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Coconut oil is a well-known superfood these days, along with an awesome cooking ingredient in place of butter. Coconut oil’s fats are prized for their easy-to-digest, quick-to-absorb features. Unlike butter’s saturated fats, coconut oil’s saturated fats are cholesterol-free. While it’s a fantastic oil, you don’t want to go overboard with it. Like all fats, coconut oil should be used in moderation and shouldn’t be consumed by the spoonful as the food itself. However, if you’re looking to improve your immunity, a little bit of coconut oil in your diet might help get you there.

Why Coconut Oil Is Good for Immunity

Coconut contains two special ingredients that make it excellent for immunity. These are antiviral properties, commonly referred to as lauric acid and caprylic acid. Both are well-known for fighting off yeast overgrowth (candida), along with bacterial infections. Coconut is comprised of 50 percent lauric acid, which the body converts to monolaurin, an antiviral agent that fights off a variety of pathogens and viruses. Many of the viruses and pathogens coconut oil has been found to prevent include the following: herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, HIV, listeria monocytogenes, helicobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia. If you don’t know what all those are, don’t fret – just know that coconut oil is truly a wonderful tool to keep in your immunity kit of wellness as a more natural solution. Though it isn’t a proven cure for any disease, the antiviral properties of coconut oil have been through extensive research.

Why Coconut Fats Are Unique

Coconut oils are also comprised of medium-chain triglyceride fats, which are used by the liver to aid in cleansing and for fuel (energy.) Unlike most fats that are stored, coconut fats are used for metabolism. They’ve been linked to cleansing the blood, weight loss, and even boosting digestion as another benefit. Coconut fats, unlike most saturated fats, have also been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, due to the high amounts of lauric acid coconut contains. The lauric acid content has also been shown to lower blood sugar and high blood pressure.

How to Use Coconut Oil for Immunity:

If you’re looking to boost your immunity naturally, simply use a teaspoon of coconut oil a day. While some proponents advise going with multiple tablespoons, coconut’s antiviral effects can be quite strong unless you’re used to them. A common issue, called the die-off effect, is well known to cause unpleasant symptoms like headaches, fatigue, muscle pain, etc. as bacteria start to die off in the body with the use of coconut oil. To prevent that and still get the benefits, along with preventing the need to take in tablespoons of pure oil a day, just use a teaspoon. You can stir it in coffee, which many people refer to as bulletproof coffee, or you can use it in any of your dishes like oatmeal, soups, smoothies, stews, or even make dessert and cook your veggies in it. If you’re not comfortable using coconut oil, go with coconut butter, which retains all the fiber naturally found in coconut, along with some of the oil.

You can also use coconut oil on your skin, which is our largest organ. We absorb everything we put on our skin straight into the bloodstream within minutes of contact. Protect your skin just like you would your internal organs when it comes to fighting off immunity invaders. Coconut may act as a natural “shield” for viruses and bacteria in the environment, and as a bonus, you’ll smell amazing!

What to Remember About Coconut Oil and Immunity

Remember that coconut oil isn’t a miracle cure for any illness, though it does research backing its benefits. You should also remember that eating a well-balanced, plant-based diet free of processed foods, unhealthy fats, refined sugar and grains, and animal products is important to obtain a healthy immune system as well. That being said, if you’re already eating a healthy diet and want an extra boost, add some superfoods to your diet, including coconut oil and even camu camu and goji berries, which also have immune-boosting properties. Avoid refined coconut oils, and go with extra-virgin and organic for the best quality.

Also, check out 8 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With Coconut Oil for even more uses.

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