The Surprising Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

By Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc, Siobhan Bleakney, ND, and Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc Co-Medical Directors of Inner Source Health in New York

Posted on | By Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc , Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc , Siobhan Bleakney, ND | Comments ()

Is it true coconut can help with aging?

The oils found in the coconut have a positive antioxidant action in the body. This means they help our body stop the damage to other healthy fats and tissues in our body. Oxidation is considered a major contributor to cardiovascular problems and skin aging. Coconut oil can actually help our bodies reduce the need for antioxidant intake.

Is coconut oil good for my skin and hair?

We tell our patients that from the time of infancy through the senior years,  coconut oil is a wonderful moisturizer for skin and hair. It has good amounts of the antioxidant vitamin E, which is very protective. If you are using on the skin regularly, it is best to try to find an organic coconut oil, to reduce the absorption of toxins and pesticides through your skin.

We even recommend new parents massage infants with coconut oil after a bath. One 2005 study of 120 babies showed that a coconut oil massage is safe and has health benefits.

How can I use coconut oil?

Coconut oil works in both baked goods like zucchini and banana bread and with vegetables. It is especially tasteful when paired with bitter greens like kale. You can use it as part of the onion and garlic sauté, where it offers a surprisingly different and pleasant full-bodied taste. It is also a wonderful addition to oatmeal to make it even creamier, while staying healthy.

Coconut oil can withstand the heat – making it a better cooking option.

One of our favorite protein shake recipes to help with blood sugar and mood is this one:

Dr. Pina’s Piña Colada

Ingredients

20 grams protein powder

3 oz low-fat coconut milk

3 oz pineapple juice

1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks or ice

Directions

Blend all ingredients together and serve. 

You can also try our coconut pancakes.

Having healthy fats and plenty of protein is a wonderful way to control blood sugar, and stave off mood disorders and depressive feelings.

Does coconut oil have side effects?

The literature suggests that coconut oil is quite safe to take in reasonable amounts. While no formal study has figured out the exact amount for optimal benefit, it appears one to two tablespoons a day can be beneficial.

Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc

Article written by Pina LoGiudice ND, LAc
Co-Medical Director of Inner Source Health in New York

Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc

Article written by Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc
Co-Medical Director of Inner Source Health in New York

Siobhan Bleakney, ND

Article written by Siobhan Bleakney, ND
Co-Medical Director of Inner Source Health in New York