Home > Natural Health > Natural approach Updated 20 August 2014 7 reasons to use coconut oil Whether you’re followingTim Noakes' advice on eating carbs or not, coconut oil should be a staple in your diet. Here are some reasons why. 2 Shutterstock Assess Ask the natural health expert » Learn Natural therapies to try » Quiz Is my vegetarian diet balanced? » Test yourself: How flexible are you? » A quick guide to The Atkins Diet This medicinal plant that only grows in the Western Cape could replace antibiotics one day From the kitchen to the bedroom, coconut oil has a number of health benefits that go beyond just weight loss.See breaking news and the hottest health tips before anybody else by joining South Africa’s biggest and best health community, like health24 on Facebook now! Thanks to the current Banting and Paleo styles of eating, popularised by Professor Tim Noakes, coconut oil has made a comeback. But what is it about coconut oil that makes it such a super food?Read: 10 Golden rules of BantingCoconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat, with 90% of its calories as saturated fat. It contains a unique composition of fatty acids and is highly resistant to oxidation at high heat, making it an ideal oil for high-heat cooking such as frying.It also contains medium chain triglycerides that are transported directly from the digestive tract to the liver and provide a quick source of energy. However, it is the presence of the fatty acid known as lauric acid, that gives coconut oil most of its super health benefits. Read: Coconut meat, milk: healthy or not?Seven reasons why coconut oil is a super food1. Weight lossCoconut oil is easy to digest and has been shown to slow the rate of digestion, which stabilises our blood sugar and helps us feel fuller for longer. It also increases metabolism which eases pressure on the pancreas, and in so doing burns more energy.Read: Updates on the latest in weightloss2. Healthy heartThe lauric acid in coconut oil has been shown to prevent some heart problems such as high cholesterol. While it is high in saturated fats, which are usually associated with high cholesterol, the saturated fats in coconut oil do not increase the LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol levels and can actually protect the arteries and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. 3. Boosting immunityCoconut oil is bursting with antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties from the antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acids it contains. The lauric acid is converted into monolaurin which has been shown to fight off some nasty viruses and bacterias, such as herpes, influenza, and even HIV. According to the US Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills the viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, and other serious conditions. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhoea.4. Stress busterUsing coconut oil as a massage oil will not only moisturise your skin – when used to massage your scalp it can help fight mental fatigue.5. Hair careUsing coconut oil on your hair can not only help encourage growth of new hair, but gives it a healthy shine. Use it as a conditioner and massage it into your scalp to prevent dandruff and even lice.6. Healthy bones and teethCoconut oil can assist the body to absorb minerals such as calcium and magnesium from the foods we eat, which in turn promote stronger, healthier bones, which may ward off osteoporosis later in life. This can also protect the teeth, as properties in the coconut oil can stop tooth decay. 7. Skin careUsing coconut oil on the skin can form a chemical barrier on the skin and ward off infection. It has also been known to alleviate the symptoms associated with skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis by supporting the natural chemical balance of the skin.Read: How to get the best skin everIn people with normal skin it can soften the skin, relieve dryness and flaking and even prevent wrinkles and age spots.Read more:Coconut oil may combat tooth decayBenefits of Caprylic acidHow to shop for olive oilSources: Ncbi; Coconut Research Centre; Authority Nutrition; Organic FactsImage: Shutterstock Amy Froneman, The Kettlebell NEXT ON HEALTH24X 7 reasons why you should drink matcha tea 2016-03-02 14:07 More: Natural HealthNatural approach advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 2 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... From our sponsors Cipla today announced the launch of its innovative inhaler called Synchrobreathe. Live healthier How loud is too loud? » Heal your hearing Pain relievers linked to hearing loss in women FDA approves balloon device to clear Eustachian tube SEE: Interesting facts about hearing loss Our ears perform quite a complex job – not only are they responsible for helping us hear, they also assist with balance. Get back into your healthy habits » 7 beach sports to keep you active 7 reasons to start running Here's how to get yourself back into exercise after a break 5 ways to kickstart your fitness routine in 2017 With the festive season at an end, getting back into your fitness routine should be a breeze with these five steps.