For starters, you’ll want to choose Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified extra virgin coconut oil to keep it clean, but it’s also high in healthy saturated fats, including medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which are quickly metabolized by the body and used as energy rather than being stored as fat, helping to support thyroid function and more.
If the words saturated fat freak you out, know this: healthy saturated fats—MCFAs— in coconut oil are necessary for health. They:
- make up at least 50 percent of all cell membranes and are necessary for cellular health.
- play a vital role in bone health. Without them, calcium can’t be effectively incorporated into the skeletal system.
- protect the liver from toxins and support a healthy immune system.
- help to properly utilize essential fatty acids such as omega-3s and to absorb nutrients.
- are perfect food for the heart, since the fat around the heart is highly saturated.
Additionally, the MCFAs in coconut oil—namely lauric acid, myristic acid, caprylic acid and palmitic acid—help support a balanced microbial and fungal environment, while also supporting hormonal balance, healthy blood sugar levels and a healthy metabolism. What’s more is that coconut oil can withstand high temperatures, so cooking or baking doesn’t denature its beneficial properties.
Coconut oil also has several years of shelf life and has very low rancidity due to its structure. That’s way different from other common fats and oils. For instance, polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as soybean oil, canola oil and safflower oil—fats found frequently in our modern diet—are prone to rancidity and are toxic in large amounts, especially if they’re not organic and contain GMOs.
Those are just some of the health benefits of coconut oil, but coconut oil also serves as one of nature’s beauty secrets. It can be used from head to toe—on skin, hair and more.
Head-to-Toe Beauty Perks
As a beauty booster, organic, extra virgin coconut oil is free from chemical additives, making it a pure and wholesome oil to put on your skin and hair. That’s huge, too, especially since people use anywhere from 15 to 25 different beauty products a day which contain more than 200 different chemical compounds—many of them health threatening.
Part of the beauty of using organic, extra virgin coconut oil—to eat or for your skin and hair—is that you can avoid those chemicals when you add it to your daily regimen. An added plus is that it takes only a small amount of this tropical treasure because a little bit goes a long way.
You already know that the healthy MCFAs in coconut oil provide health benefits, but they also add to your natural beauty because they serve to deeply moisturize the skin and hair and to protect them from environmental and free radical damage. In fact, coconut oil can screen out about 20 percent of UV rays to naturally help protect you from sun damage.
When used on hair, coconut oil is outstanding. One study compared coconut oil, mineral oil and sunflower oil for nurturing and conditioning hair, and coconut oil was the only oil among them that reduced protein loss for both damaged and undamaged hair. In the study, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science, coconut oil achieved the greatest results, and when used as a pre-wash treatment, it inhibited the penetration of water into each hair strand. Otherwise, when water infiltrates hair strands, it causes the cuticle—the surface of the hair shaft—to rise, making it more prone to breakage and other damage. Coconut oil was able to seep deeper into the hair shaft during washing to protect the hair. Interestingly, this also helps to control and prevent “the frizzies” in humid weather. Additionally, more porous types of hair may find coconut oil especially beneficial.
In short, coconut oil is an excellent skin and hair conditioner and is rich in antioxidants, making it a perfect food for smoothing skin and hair.
So, go ahead. Use coconut oil from head to toe to bring out your natural beauty.