During a recent visit from an old friend, one of my habitual behaviors earned me an odd look and a question. “Did you just eat a spoonful of coconut oil? Raw!?” Well, yes. I certainly did. But for me, eating coconut oil straight from the jar isn’t even something I think about anymore. I just do it.
If you’ve never tried it, you should. Eating a spoonful or two of straight coconut oil every day is actually more pleasant than it might sound. In fact, the benefits to your overall health and well-being are many. And, for the most part, they have solid scientific research to back them up.
As far as quantities go, 2 – 4 tablespoons is the recommended daily amount. However, you may want to start out with just 1 spoonful to see how you like it.
(Of course, the thought of eating raw coconut oil may be too disgusting for you to even consider it. If that’s the case, you can always try using Coconut Butter instead. Here’s why you should try doing that.)
As previously mentioned, the list of health benefits you’ll gain by eating coconut oil is a long one. So grab a jar or two, pick up a spoon and get ready to dig in. Because I’m about to give you 23 of the biggest, boldest and most impressive ways that this simple daily practice can (and probably will) change your life.
1. Eating Coconut Oil Helps You Lose Weight
When you’re trying to shed those unwanted pounds, coconut oil can help speed up the process. There are a few reasons that this works.
Eating coconut oil boosts your metabolism, giving you more energy throughout the day. Additionally, because coconut oil provides the body with clean and easily-obtainable energy, you’ll feel less hungry after you eat it. It can also improve your digestion and increase your ability to absorb nutrients from the food you eat. As a result, you’ll also experience fewer unhealthy ‘junk’ food cravings.
Furthermore, eating coconut oil helps to balance hormones. This means less stress and, consequently, less of the ‘stress hormones’ which cause fat retention – especially around the midsection!
2. It Increases Your Ability To Build Muscle
In addition to facilitating weight-loss, coconut oil provides long-lasting energy. As such, eating a spoonful of coconut oil before heading to the gym can help get you through that difficult workout. Not only will you experience increased endurance, but you’ll also get better blood flow to your muscles. It’s a winning combination!
3. It Naturally Curbs Unhealthy Cravings
Cutting back on ‘junk’ food doesn’t just help you to lose weight. It also improves many other aspects of your health. Just a few of these include balanced blood-sugar, blood-pressure and cholesterol levels; healthier hormone production; more efficient liver and kidney function; improved mental capabilities; and a cleaner complexion.
As previously mentioned, eating coconut oil helps to curb unhealthy cravings naturally. It does this by improving digestion and nutrient absorption, as well as by boosting metabolism and energy levels.
4. Eating Coconut Oil Improves Digestion
We already mentioned that eating coconut oil is a great way to improve your digestion. This effect happens for several reasons.
First, coconut oil helps eliminate overgrowth of harmful bacteria and other microbes which may be present in your digestive tract. These parasitic microorganisms are a leading cause of poor digestion – a condition which can seriously damage many other aspects of your health.
Additionally, coconut oil facilitates better absorption of the vitamins and minerals in other foods you eat. Some notable examples are calcium and magnesium, as well as fat-soluble vitamins A and E.
Eating coconut oil also reduces inflammation in the gut which may be caused by food sensitivities or other dietary problems. If left untreated, this inflammation can lead to more serious digestive disorders such as nutrient deficiencies or Leaky Gut Syndrome.
5. Eating Coconut Oil Helps To Regulate Appetite
Because it improves digestion and balances blood-sugar levels, eating coconut oil also helps to regulate appetite. It provides concentrated energy which is easy for the body to digest and use. Thus you’ll feel fuller longer after you eat it; and you won’t need snacks or meals nearly as often.
6. Coconut Oil Improves Memory & Concentration
Eating a spoonful of coconut oil straight from the jar first thing in the morning not only kick-starts your metabolism. It’s also a great way to wake up your mind. Furthermore, regular use of coconut oil in your diet actually improves memory. This is thought to be due to the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which make up over half of the essential fatty acid content of coconut oil. MCTs provide easily-accessible energy to the brain just as they do to the rest of the body. The result is overall better cognitive ability – both short- and long-term.
7. It Can Help Ward Off Neurodegenerative Disorders
Because of its positive effects on the brain, coconut oil can also help ward off neurodegenerative disorders likeAlzheimer’s Disease. It does this by providing the brain with an alternate source of fuel – chemicals known as ketones which are produced by our bodies when we eat coconut oil. These ketones are easily-accessible even for brain cells which have lost the ability to process glucose, one of the leading causes of Alzheimer’s.
Many neurodegenerative disorders develop slowly over time and only become apparent later in life. So getting into the daily habit of eating coconut oil now just might save your mind further down the line!
8. It Can Prevent & Treat Urinary Tract Infections
Most people don’t drink enough water. This results in a constant state of dehydration which can easily lead to bacterial infection in the urinary tract (also known as a UTI). Of course, our first and best piece of advice would be to simply drink more water. But eating coconut oil straight from the jar is also an effective natural remedy to prevent or treat a UTI.
Coconut oil is a powerful natural antibiotic. The MCTs which make up the majority of the oil actually penetrate and dissolve the cellular wall of harmful bacteria. In effect, this causes them to disintegrate and die.
Coconut oil is just one of many natural antibiotic foods. Learn more about this and 11 others in this article.
9. Coconut Oil Kills Bacteria That Cause Bad Breath
Bad breath is most often caused by bacteria which naturally exist in the mouth. Because of its powerful anti-microbial properties, this also makes coconut oil ideal for freshening breath.
Maximize your coconut oil’s contact with buccal bacteria by swishing the oil around your mouth for about 30 seconds. Then you can either spit the oil out or swallow it, depending on your personal preference.
10. Eating Coconut Oil Naturally Whitens Your Teeth
Those same bacteria which cause bad breath, secrete a stick substance (which we call plaque) in order to hold on to whatever surface they’re growing upon. Bacterial plaque not only holds bacteria in place, it also adheres food particles to your teeth. This lingering food is a leading cause of staining.
When you use coconut oil to remove excess bacteria, you also reduce plaque build-up and prevent much of this staining. Thus eating coconut oil can go a long way toward keeping your pearly-whites bright and healthy!
11. Coconut Oil Moisturizes & Nourishes Your Lips
When you eat a spoonful of coconut oil straight from the jar, you’ll automatically run your lips over the surface of the utensil as you slide it out of your mouth. This action doubles as a natural way to moisturize and nourish your lips. Even if they aren’t dry, your lips will benefit from this extra dose of pure lipid perfection!
12. Eating Coconut Oil Helps Relieve Dry-Mouth
Drinking lots and lots of water all at once won’t actually re-hydrate you or cure your dry-mouth as fast as you might think. At least not right away. About 3 – 4 ounces (or 90 – 120 ml) is about as much as your body can handle at once. Any more than that and your system will probably just use it to flush out your urinary tract. (Not that this is a bad thing.)
That said, if you get a bad case of dry-mouth, try drinking about 4 ounces of water to start the re-hydration process. Then chase it with a spoonful of coconut oil. As the oil moves through your mouth and throat, it will help to seal in what moisture is there and alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of dry-mouth.
Continue to drink 3 – 4 ounces of water every 30 minutes or so until your body becomes re-hydrated. At this point, your dry mouth symptoms should fade completely.
13. It Can Soothe A Dry, Scratchy Throat
This seems to work in much the same way as using coconut oil for dry-mouth. To soothe a dry, scratchy throat, drink a small glass of water. Then follow that with a spoonful of coconut oil to seal in moisture. The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil will also help to alleviate any swelling or irritation in your throat.
Remember, when you’re trying to re-hydrate your body, you’ll need to drink a little bit of water at a time. On average, try to consume between 3 – 4 ounces (or 90 – 120 ml) of water per hour. You can drink more water and do it more frequently, if you so desire. Just remember not to drink too fast as this could actually upset your stomach, in some cases.
14. Coconut Oil Protects Your Liver & Pancreas
As mentioned earlier, the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil behave differently than other saturated (long-chain) fats. Whereas most saturated fats must be broken down in the intestines before being transported into the bloodstream for use as fuel; the MCTs in coconut oil are absorbed as-is and delivered directly to the liver. The liver then transforms these intact fatty acids directly into energy, thus reducing its already considerable workload.
Furthermore, because the liver directly converts MCTs into energy, eating coconut oil also results in less fat accumulation (stored energy from other sources) in and around the liver.
Working side-by-side with the liver, the pancreas also benefits when we eat coconut oil. One of the pancreas’ functions is to produce the enzymes needed to transform fatty acids into usable energy. Because its MCTs don’t have to be broken down this way, eating coconut oil also reduces strain on the pancreas by lightening its workload.