There are more than1500 studies out there proving coconut oil to be one of the healthiest foods available.

The wonder oil has both internal and external benefits, making it a must-have pantry staple.

As with any product, make sure you are consuming coconut oil inmoderation to reap the benefits. Choose organic, virgin coconut oil and avoid refined oils.

Internal benefits

Cooking with coconut oil has several health benefits, earning it the title of a ‘superfood’.

According to the experts at House Call Doctor, coconut oil contains natural saturated fats which increase the body’s good cholesterol content and helps convert bad cholesterol into good, assisting with general heart health.

Most fats we consume are called long-chain triglycerides (LCT), whereas the fats in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).

MCTs go straight to the liver, where they are turned into ketones.

Ketones have powerful health benefits, and have been spruiked as treatments for epilepsy, seizures, and Alzheimer’s disease. Ketones are also helpful in reducing hunger, which can lead to weight loss.

External benefits

Coconut oil has been praised for its moisturising properties, leading some to use it on their hair, skin, lips and nails.

Applying to the skin can reduce the symptoms of eczema, and hydrates dry skin, lips, and nailbeds.

Applying to the face can cleanse and moisturise, making coconut oil a natural substitute for artificial makeup removers.

Hair that has been soaked in coconut oil then rinsed is generally less prone to dandruff and splitting and is more resistant to heat damage.

“Oil pulling” is the process of swishing coconut oil around the mouth for up to 20 minutes. Dentists suggest this kills some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, draws out toxins, improves dental health and reduces bad breath.

Have you tried coconut oil?

By Skyler West

Piper Skyler West: Piper, a sports medicine expert, shares advice on injury prevention, athletic performance, and sports health tips.