Whether you know it or not, coconut oil is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Not only does it include healthy fatty acids, but it is also easy to digest and anti-fungal and is converted into energy rather than fat by your body. Below, we've rounded up the biggest benefits of coconut oil; some of them, you may not have expected.

The prevention and treatment of cancer

Coconut offers a number of cancer-fighting qualities, including the ketones produced when it is digested by your body. Because tumor cells cannot access the energy from the ketones, a diet of ketones could be used as part of a recovery program for cancer patients.

Improves problem skin

Despite its oily nature, coconut oil can be used as a face cleanser, moisturizer and even sunscreen. Because of the fatty acids (caprylic and lauric) in coconut oil, applying it to your skin can reduce skin inflammation and provide moisture. What's more, the oil can be used to protect the skin because of its antioxidising and antimicrobial properties, which balances out the fungus that is the cause of many common skin conditions.

Good for oral health

The process of oil pulling may date back thousands of years, but it's only recently that the treatment has entered the mainstream. By popping a teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swishing and rising with it for 15 to 20 minutes, you can cleanse your mouth and aid in the prevention of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral conditions. When oil enters your mouth, bacteria will stick to it and be removed when you spit it out at the end of the 20-minute session.

Hair care

Coconut oil can be used to treat dry hair and dandruff. Because of its fatty acids, the oil can be turned into a homemade shampoo to improve the health and quality of your hair, while straight coconut oil can be applied to your hair directly as a natural conditioner.

Dandruff can be treated by massaging coconut oil into your hair along with a natural essential oil, such as rosemary, before leaving to soak in and rising 30 minutes later.

Hormone balancing

Coconut oil is a fantastic source of saturated fat, which is recommended during the menopause to reduce estrogen levels and balance your hormones. Use coconut oil alongside other health fats sources, such as avocado and flax seeds, and avoid processed foods that are packed with sugar and refined ingredients.

Boosts your immune system

As coconut oil contains lauric acid, consuming the oil can create a hostile environment for viruses and infections, boosting your immune system as a result. If you're already sick, replace sugar and starch with coconut oil as a source of energy, to prevent the growth of the bad bacteria that can cause viruses in your body.

Prevents high blood pressure and heart disease

High levels of natural saturated fats can be found in coconut oil, which is known to convert your "bad" cholesterol, known as LDL, into good cholesterol. Because of this, coconut oil can be linked to a lower risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Heals UTIs

Another great health benefit of coconut oil is healing urinary tract infections (UTIs). This works because the oil is packed with MCFAs, which have natural antibiotic qualities and help to kill off harmful bacteria and ensure you get back to a fighting-fit state as soon as possible.

Boosts energy

So far, the coconut oil health benefits that we’ve listed have related to fixing ailments and getting you back on the mend. However, coconut oil can also be enjoyed as part of a healthy and balanced diet, either as a drink (coconut water is delicious), in your food (coconut shavings in salads) or used during the cooking process (coconut oil when frying).

The oil is easy to digest and offers long and sustained energy release, making it perfect for those looking to boost their energy and stay alert throughout the day. In fact, some of the world's most successful athletes use the oil as a source of energy when training.

Helps you lose weight

It may sound strange that consuming oil will lead to weight loss, but when coconut oil is eaten as part of a healthy and balanced diet, it really can! Add coconut oil to your diet to increase energy levels, decrease your appetite and help you to lose weight.

We hope that you have learned something new in our roundup of 10 of the biggest health benefits of coconut oil, which is one of the world’s healthiest and most diverse foods. Whether you’re already a fan of the flavor or it's new to you, we recommend that you experiment with adding the oil to your recipes so that you can improve your overall health. Good luck!