Coconuts are a summer staple. From fragrances to coffee flavors, the uses of this tropical fruit have grown in popularity, especially in recent years. Now, coconut oil can be spotted in the pantries of many households, and not just because it can act as a moisturizer or elevate a dish.
In fact, coconut oil has been linked to a number of health benefits including the support of weight loss and memory, as well as the improvement of skin and hair health.
Keep reading for some of the unexpected uses and benefits of coconut oil!
Coconut Oil and Weight Loss
It seems contraindication for an oil or fatty substance to support weight loss but in fact, studies have linked the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that appear in coconut oil to fat burning.
This doesn't mean that eating a spoonful of coconut will help you burn fat. Instead, find substitutions like swapping out butter or canola oil. In general, these oils and fats have high calorie counts so making sure to use the most nutrient-rich and healthiest alternatives is a great first step to nailing down a healthy and sustainable diet.
Coconut Oil and Memory
The link between coconut oil and brain power lies in ketones. Your body makes ketones when your cells don't have enough glucose. They stimulate the brain where glucose is scarce. This in turn is linked to your recall and overall memory.
The Laboratories of Neurosciences and Clinical Investigations investigated the role of ketones and MCTs in brain cognition and found that in sufficient quantities, coconut oil was able to stimulate ketosis. This in turn provides brain cells with an energy source that boosts cognitive performance and even was said to offset early signs of mild Alzheimer's.
Coconut Oil and Skin & Hair Health
Using raw coconut oil—or coconut oil-based products—helps to prevent hair damage. Compared to other plant-based or mineral oils, coconut oil outperformed and even reduced the amount of protein lost in cases of both damaged and undamaged hair when used as either a pre-wash or post-grooming product.
Every person's hair and skin will have unique needs that may not align with a coconut oil regimen. However, coconut has naturally occurring antioxidants and antimicrobial agents that have been proven to fight off acne-causing bacteria.