15 Things You Still Didn't Know About Coconut Oil

By now, you're probably well aware that this seemingly magical oil works wonders when it comes to hair and skin care, but believe it or not, there's actually a lot more you still might not know about coconut oil. Aside from its obvious benefits in the beauty department, it has numerous health benefits and can also be quite useful around the house and as a natural remedy — and that's just the beginning, folks!

According to the Coconut Research Center, in much of Southeast Asia, India, and the Philippines, the coconut tree is considered "the tree of life." And as it turns out, that name has some serious merit — over 1,500 studies proving the health benefits of coconut oil have been published to date.

Since there's so many surprising ways you might not already be using it, I'm going to share some of the best proven uses for this handy product. More importantly, if you don't keep coconut oil in your cabinet, these reasons are exactly why you should start now. So, if you're ready to jumpstart your healthy lifestyle, keep reading!

Here's just a handful of the many things you still might not know about this miracle product.

1. It Can Boost Your Metabolism

Organic Coconut Melt, $34,

It seems counter-intuitive that a fatty product could actually be helpful to your health, but according to the Mayo Clinic, the fats in coconut oil are ones you should incorporate into your diet. Whether it's what you use to fry your egg in or thrown into a smoothie, coconut oil might just be the super food your meals have been missing. Plus, it tastes like coconut — who doesn't love that tropical flavor?

2. It Can Boost Your Immunity

According to Dr. Mary Enig, a nutrition research scientist for the Weston A. Price Foundation in Washington, coconut oil has anti-viral properties which have the ability to protect against other harmful microbes like fungus, bacteria, and yeast.

3. The Saturated Fat In Coconut Oil Is Good For You

Coconut oil consists of medium chain triglyceride fats, which are metabolized differently than harmful fats. Since medium chain triglycerides are sent straight to the liver from the digestive tract, Authority Nutrition points out that they're often used as energy immediately. Swap out your cup of coffee for a spoonful of coconut oil or...

4. It Can Be Used As A Coffee Creamer

Bryan Thomas/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Believe it or not, coconut oil can be used as a substitute for milk. Some people even use it as a coffee creamer!

5. It Can Make A Great Massage Oil

Since it contains no artificial scents, coconut oil makes a great massage oil for those with sensitive skin.

6. It Can Reduce The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

According to Health Impact News, coconut oil can actually have a positive effect on blood sugar levels, therefore reducing the risk of diseases like Type 2 Diabetes.

7. It Can Promote A Healthy Heart

According to WebMD, studies show that the fats in coconut oil can actually improve your "good cholesterol" levels, therefore promoting a healthy heart.

8. It Can Curb Sugar Cravings

Huffington Post's Sarah Wilson wrote an in-depth piece about how coconut oil killed her sugar cravings completely. I don't know if you'd ever want to do that, but if you're out of chocolate and coconut oil is all you've got in the cabinet, then you know what to do.

9. It's Great For High Temperature Cooking

Because of it's high smoke point, coconut oil is less likely to oxidize at high temperatures like olive oil sometimes does.

10. It's A Natural Energy Booster

When paired with chia seeds, the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil can work nicely to become a great afternoon pick-me-up. In fact, Wellness Mama even gave us a recipe for the perfect coconut/chia seed energy bars.

11. It Can Reduce Inflammation

According to Livestrong, the lauric acid found in coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties.

12. It Can Improve Digestive Functions

Believe it or not, coconut oil can actually help with the treatment of stomach conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

13. It Can Improve Memory & Brain Function

Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images News/Getty Images says that some short-term benefits of coconut oil include improved memory functions.

14. It Can Prevent Gum Disease & Tooth Decay

Because of it's antibacterial properties, a Medical News Today article points out that some dental professionals believe that coconut oil can help prevent tooth decay and gum diseases.

15. It Has Anti-Aging Properties

According to multiple sources, because of its ability to help protect the skin from free radicals, coconut oil can actually help keep your skin looking younger for longer.

The next time you reach for coconut oil, consider using it for more than just an amazing hair mask!

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