Coconut oil has many, many uses, from skincare and cosmetic treatments to shampoo and smoothies.
The oil has amazing benefits on many levels, and it also has the research behind it (we will get there later in this article).
What is with this magic oil that can be used for pretty much everything? We’ll break down what exactly makes it so versatile and useful, along with the benefits and side effects.
But first, we’ve ranked the top 5 coconut oil products on the market according to price, product quality, and reviews.
So what’s the best coconut oil supplement on the market?
1- Coco & Co. Pure Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
If you’re looking for the overall purest quality virgin coconut oil the market has to offer for better hair, skin and nails, look no further than Coco & Co. Pure Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.
Helps for thicker, faster hair growth.
They use a unique extraction process for premium “high grade” quality.
Here’s what the company says about that: “Our special extraction process produces amazing results with up to 800% less moisture content compared to other cold pressed virgin coconut oil on the market.”
It’s not the cheapest coconut oil on the market, but as far as premium quality goes, this one is hard to beat.
2- Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil, Refined
Nutiva organic coconut oil is exactly what it sounds like- just plain refined coconut oil with a neutral flavor and scent.
It has a higher smoke point than virgin coconut oil, making it a great versatile option for baking.
You can also add your favorite essential oil to the creamy coconut oil to make your own moisturizer or hair mask.
USDA Organic, non-GMO, virgin, kosher, non-hydrogenated, and no cholesterol.
Sold in a 1 gallon tub, this is one of the better values on the market.
3- Carrington Farms Organic Coconut Oil
Nothing but extra virgin, unrefined organic coconut oil here.
This particular brand of organic coconut oil is said to have less of a “coconutty” taste than other leading brands. Some people might prefer this if they are using coconut oil for cooking and don’t want to add a strong coconut flavor to everything.
Gluten free, non-GMO, free of hydrogenated and trans fats, kosher, and 100% organic.
Product comes from the Philippines in a plastic container that is labeled “Hexane Free & BPA Free”.
4- Nature’s Way Organic Coconut Oil
As one of the leading supplement brands out there, Nature’s Way offers a great organic coconut oil product as well.
This particular coconut oil product is made from a well-known name in the supplement space so you can trust the quality.
This product is unbleached and unrefined, making this a great option for cooking.
It is important to note that coconut oil has a melting point at 76 degrees Fahrenheit and may ship to you in solid or liquid form. It is still safe to consume if it is in either liquid or solid form.
Comes in a plastic, BPA free jar.
5- Invivo Essential Fractionated Coconut Oil
This unique coconut oil product comes with a pump and dilution guide.
A great option for aromatherapy and relaxing massage treatments. The pump makes it great for mixing with other essential oils to be applied topically.
It’s safe for kids, odorless, and clear, and it won’t stain sheets or clog pores.
Manufactured in the USA. Buyers can receive a bonus free eBook with a dilution guide emailed to them after their purchase.
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is the oil taken from the kernel or meat of a coconut.
It has a sweet smell and is known for promoting heart health, protecting against diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Diabetes, and it can also help with weight loss.
Coconut oil gets 84% of its calories from saturated fat. This gives it a longer shelf life than other oils such as olive oil. It also allows it to withstand higher cooking temperatures. Many used to think that coconut oil was unhealthy. That is because of the high amount of saturated fat it contains .
But now thanks to the many studies performed on coconut oil, we are now learning more about its health benefits. We now know that along with being high in saturated fat, coconut oil also contains several healthy fats. These include Caprylic acid, Lauric acid, and Capric acid. These are also known as medium-chain fatty acids or MCFAs.
How do MCFAs work?
Our bodies naturally produce medium-chain fatty acids in the liver. This means MCFAs convert into energy instead of storing it away as fat. Since they are smaller in size than long-chain fatty acids, they convert into energy faster. They are key factors in the creation of energy metabolism .
Therefore, coconut oil is now a common ingredient in energy drinks or pre-workout smoothies. They are also known for having antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
We often hear that saturated fats are bad for us. And that can be true. Yet there is plenty of evidence out there to support the claims that MCFAs are good saturated fats. They are healthy because our bodies metabolize them differently.
What are the benefits of coconut oil?
There are a number of health benefits that coconut oil offers, too many to list. Here are 7 of the most unique benefits that make coconut oil one of the most versatile health oils in the world:
1. Coconut oil helps with Alzheimer’s Disease.
When the liver digests MCFAs, it creates ketones. These ketones are accessible to the brain to use for energy. Ketones send energy to the brain without the use of insulin, which allows glucose to process into energy.
Studies show that our brain can produce its own insulin, that can process glucose and enhance brain cells. Since the brains of Alzheimer’s patients lose their ability to make their own insulin, the ketones from coconut oil help create an alternative form of energy that repairs the function of the brain .
2. Saturated fats in coconut oil improve heart health.
Natural saturated fats like those found in coconut oil can help to increase the levels of HDL cholesterol (or healthy cholesterol) in the body. These saturated fats can also convert bad cholesterol (LDL) into good cholesterol. When we increase the HDL in our bodies, our cardiovascular health increases and lowers our risk of developing heart disease. Coconut oil can also help to lower high triglyceride levels.
3. Coconut oil improves various skin issues.
You can use coconut oil to treat burns, eczema and other types of skin problems including psoriasis and dermatitis. It is an excellent natural face cleanser, a moisturizer, and a simple sunscreen. The fatty acids lauric and caprylic in the oil help to eliminate inflammation while adding moisture back to the skin.
Research is still ongoing to find more benefits that coconut oil provides to the skin. It contains various antioxidants that can help heal damaged skin. And the antimicrobial properties balance the pH levels to reduce the risk of fungal or candida growth.
4. Coconut oil can help prevent and treat UTIs.
Taking coconut oil can help to treat or prevent urinary tract infections and kidney infections. The MCFAs work as antibiotics that disrupt the bacteria and eventually kill them. Studies have also shown that coconut oil can help diabetics by providing protection against insulin resistance.
Medium-chain fatty acids can improve the function of insulin which can make blood sugar levels easier to maintain, especially for those with Type 2 Diabetes .
5. You can eliminate painful inflammation using coconut oil.
Individuals who live with arthritis pain suffer from ongoing inflammation in their joints. A recent study in India showed that the antioxidants in virgin coconut oil helped to reduce inflammation. The results showed that coconut oil was even more effective than the leading over-the-counter solutions for arthritis pain .
6. Coconut oil can reduce the symptoms of pancreatitis and gallbladder disease.
Taking coconut oil can help to reduce the strain on the pancreas. That’s because the MCFAs do not require pancreatic enzymes to break them down. It is also very easy to digest when taken as directed. Anyone who suffers from gallbladder disease can use coconut oil to help improve their symptoms as well as their overall health.
7. Coconut water can help clear up kidney stones.
Along with providing us with the benefits of coconut oil, the water found in coconuts is also very useful. It can help to support healing and keep us hydrated. Some doctors have even used coconut water to clear up kidney stones by injecting it into patients.
What are the side effects of coconut oil?
When applied to the skin, or taken orally, coconut oil is generally safe. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when taking the supplement.
Because it is high in saturated fat, it could lead to unwanted weight gain if taken in excess. This could also cause the user to develop high cholesterol levels. Since there is evidence that shows coconut oil can also decrease bad cholesterol levels, those who have high LDL cholesterol should use coconut oil with caution.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, coconut oil is considered safe when used in regular amounts. The safety of using coconut oil in large doses for pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers is unknown. It’s best to stick with smaller amounts just to be cautious.
There is also no evidence available that shows any danger in using coconut oil when used on the skin of children or infants. Therefore, it is potentially safe.
Consuming too much coconut oil at first could cause nausea or loose stools to occur. For best results, you should take 1 teaspoon a day, and gradually increase your amount up to 2 tablespoons over the course of two weeks.
How do you take coconut oil?
There are several ways that you can add coconut oil to your daily diet. Those who consume 2000 calories a day often take 36 to 39 grams of coconut oil. You may combine it with butter and use it as your main source of fat. You can also add it to coffee, or simply eat a spoonful on its own.
Two tablespoons of coconut oil provide you with 18 grams of medium-chain triglycerides. This is within the range recommended to improve your metabolic rate. This amount will also leave you with enough wiggle room to include other healthy fats in your daily meal plans, such as avocados and olive oil.
You can add coconut oil to your favorite recipes. Since it is high in saturated fat, it is stable at hot temperatures. A few suggestions for using coconut oil for your daily meals and snacks include:
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to a frying pan and use it to sauté vegetables, meat, or eggs.
- Melt coconut oil in the microwave and pour it over plain or salted popcorn.
- Coat chicken breast or other types of meat in coconut oil before adding seasoning the next time you bake.
Coconut oil is a useful alternative in recipes that call for either oil or butter. Always allow any cold ingredients such as milk or eggs to reach room temperature before you blend in the oil. This will allow everything to mix smoothly and prevent clumping.
You can also add the oil to tea or coffee. This allows you to consume your daily recommended amount while you enjoy your morning cup.
Coconut oil is a beneficial natural fat that can help to reduce your bad cholesterol levels. Thanks to recent studies, we now know that this oil can treat various diseases including Alzheimer’s and Type 2 Diabetes. It can also help to reduce inflammation associated with arthritis and decrease the risk of developing heart disease.
While there are not any known side effects to taking coconut oil daily, it’s important that you start off slow and work your way up gradually. Failure to do so could result in digestive issues or upset stomach.
You can apply this useful oil to the skin, which can be helpful in eliminating pain in the joints caused by arthritis. You can also use coconut oil in your favorite recipes, or add a spoonful of the oil to a cup of coffee in the morning.