People across the world hail coconut oil as a “superfood” and an all-natural beauty product that they’ve been waiting for. Even though coconut has been in existence for thousands of years, it has only been a decade that they’ve been in so much demand.
Coconut is a multipurpose fruit, especially for those who live in tropical countries. Coconut is eaten as a fruit, its flesh is eaten directly or used in cooking and coconut water is considered to be a refreshing drink. People use coconut milk for cooking and coconut oil is beneficial for skin and hair care, along with adding flavor in dishes. Even the shell of coconut can be used to store trinkets, treasures and other small items.
Although every Indian household has forever had a bottle of coconut oil and fond memories attached to it, the popularity of coconut has soared around the globe in recent years. From putting it into smoothies and salads, people are also cooking with it and splashing it on their hair and skin.
Coconut oil almost seems faultless. But, did you know that it can also be harmful to a few people? Below given are the pros and cons of coconut oil that you should know.
Coconut oil pros
The scientific community sees coconut oil as an unhealthy fat due to the presence of 86% unsaturated fat. But, the unique combination of fatty acids that this oil contains has amazing health, hair and skin benefits.
Improves hair quality and suits all hair types
Coconut oil benefits for hair are varied and well-documented. Unlike popular belief, applying coconut oil directly to the hair does not leave the hair greasy and heavy. Instead, the oil cleanses, strengthens and smooths the hair. As the oil contains medium-chain fatty acids, it is capable of penetrating deep into the hair shaft and give hair the nutrition that it needs to grow. Also, it moisturizes dry hair, strengthens the cuticle and prevent split ends. But, that’s not all. Coconut oil helps in fighting dandruff, itchy scalp and prevents scalp infections like, lice. The oil prevents loss of hair. It keeps the head cool during summer and also protects hair from chlorine when summertime demands regular dips in the swimming pool. Coconut oil can be used as a hair mask for deep conditioning or a detangler. You can apply the oil before washing your hair, leave it overnight or use it as a part of your hot oil treatment. You can also apply a few drops of oil after washing your hair if you have frizzy hair.
Enhances skin health and renders it blemish-free
Coconut oil comprises of lauric acid and this lends the oil hormone-balancing and moisturizing properties. Additionally, the oil has skin healing and anti-aging properties. Also, collagen production is stimulated, which helps to make the skin firm and tight. Also, the oil contains vitamin E and this offers protection against the harmful rays of the sun.
The vitamin E content in the oil also saves hair from UV rays.
Helps in increasing good cholesterol in the body
There are two types of cholesterol – HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein and among these two, coconut oil helps in increasing HDL, which is also known as good cholesterol. HDL helps in reducing the levels of LDL and boost cardiovascular health. Researchers have also proclaimed that MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) found in coconut oil helps in increasing the levels of good cholesterol in the body.
Brain health is improved
Glucose is not always available in the body or sometimes the body cannot absorb enough of it due to existing illnesses or diseases, and therefore, ketones are often used to power brain cells. Now, as you must be aware, the human body does not produce enough ketones on its own. But, if you consume coconut oil, it is possible to create a temporary state of hyperketonemia where the ketone bodies in your bloodstream will be elevated. Also, several studies have proved the anti-stress and antioxidant properties of coconut oil that helps in maintaining brain activity to its optimal.
Helps the body in making good use of insulin
As already mentioned, coconut contains medium-chain fats. This means that it is hard to convert coconut oil into stored fat, and therefore, easier for the body to burn the fat off. Coconut oil is also capable of lower the fat buildup in the body and sustains insulin action in muscle and fat tissue. As coconut oil helps in balancing blood sugar levels, it is quite beneficial for patients suffering from diabetes.
In addition to these, coconut oil has anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties that help those suffering from dermal infections. Its anti-fungal properties offer amazing coconut oil benefits for hair as the rising pollution and unhealthy lifestyle is resulting in people having an itchy, dry scalp.
Coconut oil cons
Just like everything else in life, coconut oil also has its cons. However, they’re not that dangerous. Take a look.
- Might cause allergies – If you are sensitive to coconuts, the oil might trigger allergic reactions. It can cause eczema, rashes, nausea, vomiting, hives and even breathing difficulty. So, if you know that you are allergic to coconuts, do not use coconut oil. If you do not know, apply a few drops on a little patch of skin and see what happens. If there are no reactions, you can proceed with its application on your hair and skin.
- Diarrhea – This is not wholly a con of coconut oil. The thing is that this oil fights bacterial infections inside the body. During this process, side-effects might arise like, diarrhea. This is a short-term side-effect, but you are advised to consume coconut oil in small amounts so that this can be avoided.
So, as you can see, coconut oil is mostly about good effects on hair, skin and your body. If you are still not using coconut oil, it is high time that you should. But, make sure to get separate coconut oil for cooking, hair and skin.