Everywhere we look these days, people are crazy for coconuts. Fighting dry skin? Slather on some coconut oil. Want whiter teeth? Use coconut oil instead of mouthwash. Craving some flavor in your iced coffee? Coconut is a sweet treat! Need to hydrate? Drink coconut water… The list goes on and on. When it comes down to it – what is the real deal with all the cococlaims? Is this tropical treat truly a topical tonic? Does it really hydrate the thirstiest of individuals? Is it actually the cure for anything other than cabin fever when you’re craving the taste of a faraway island paradise? If you are curious about the coconut culture, read on – we’ve dug a little deeper to see if we could discern which claims are accurate and which might be a bit of a stretch.
Claim: Coconut Oil is a Moisturizer
What the research says: Turns out this one checks out. Research indicates coconut oil is moisturizing when applied to the skin. Studies show that coconut oil may even be a better solution than mineral oil for eczema relief in children (eczema is a skin condition that causes dry, itchy rashes). Risk factors for applying coconut oil topically are generally low for adults and using the product on children is considered possibly safe. Before you use it on your little ones – be sure to check with a doctor. That being said, if you love the way it moisturizes your skin, you can likely feel confident in your usage.
Claim: Coconut Water is Ultra-hydrating
What the research says: Although this claim is not necessarily inaccurate, the jury is still out. Coconut water contain electrolytes, the same ingredient that many popular sports drinks tout. Electrolytes are key to re-hydrating after a major sweat session. Because of its electrolyte composition, there is a lot of buzz around drinking this instead of regular H2o. That being said, although evidence does show that coconut water is hydrating and safe to drink, it is not yet considered an alternative for water in treating dehydration.
Claim: Coconut Oil Improves Oral Health
What the research says: Coconut oil for the win when it comes to oral health! Oil pulling, an ancient oral health technique where the user swishes coconut oil around in their mouth for anywhere from five to fifteen minutes, is making a comeback with the dual popularity of alternative health practices and coconut oil. A recent study compared the effects of using coconut oil versus Chlorhexidine mouthwash on bacteria in the mouth. The results showed that coconut oil was as effective as Chlorhexidine mouthwash on reducing certain strains of oral bacteria. If you are interested in a more natural alternative to your oral hygiene routine, you can certainly consider oil pulling as an option.
Although these are just a few of the multitude of claims made regarding coconut in its many forms, overall, the results generally seem positive. The current hype may be a bit much surrounding this tropical fruit, but it does appear to have its advantages. Suggested additional alternative health uses are plentiful and include increasing energy, weight loss, easing the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and supporting neonatal health… just to name a few. Although hard evidence may not yet be available to support such claims, alternative healthcare is gaining traction as many seek to find preventative and natural care options for a variety of health conditions. In addition to the health benefits, this tropical treasure certainly boasts delicious flavor and scent that is easily enjoyed in many forms.