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Coconut Oil Health and Beauty Benefits

 

 

 

By Diane Hanson

 

Move over olive oil, coconut oil is creating a buzz in health food stores these days and is fast becoming more and more popular as a health aid for both young and old.

 

The health and beauty benefits of consuming coconut oil have been recognized in many parts of the world, especially in India and Asia for thousands of years. It is said that Indian women used coconut oil to keep their complexion spot-free and stave off the signs of aging while people of Southeast Asia used it to stop mosquito bites from itching.

 

What Does Coconut Oil Do for Your Body?

1. Coconut oil has anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties. The lauric acid in coconut oil acts as a powerful antibiotic to kill off almost all kinds of harmful organisms.

If you include organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil in your diet on a regular basis, it can help you avoid common colds, flu, sore throat, dental cavities, and other bacterial infections.

On top of that, coconut oil also kills the fungus/yeast infections that cause a host of skin problems such as candida, ringworm, athletes foot, thrush, and jock itch. Sun burnt skin, cradle cap and even diaper rash can also benefit from the use of coconut oil. The oil is shown to help improve symptoms of eczema and psoriasis as well.

 

 

 

2. If used as a part of a low-carb diet, coconut oil may actually help weight loss. Unlike many other common oils, coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which is an easy fuel for the body to burn.

Besides, it also satisfies hunger longer, increases your metabolism and helps you burn stored fat more efficiently. It is believed that drinking a glass of warm water mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil, about 30 minutes before your meal, can make you feel full so you eat less.

 

 

 

3. Coconut oil is widely used as a natural skin moisturizer for all skin types in numerous ancient ayurveda beauty treatments. Its quick-absorbing yet rich properties leave the skin feeling soft and smooth without the greasy feel. Simply apply it on damp skin after showering.

It also works wonderfully as a massage oil, and is especially good if you’re looking to increase bust size or to firm up saggy breasts.

Coconut oil is gentle enough for use on baby's sensitive skin. If your baby develops a yellow, hard crust on the scalp (cradle cap), just rub a few drops of coconut oil onto scalp and leave overnight. Then wash with shampoo in the morning. Repeat the application a few more times to completely get rid of cradle cap.

 

 

 

4. In addition to the skin-enhancing benefits, coconut oil is also one of the best natural nutrition for your hair. Not only will it promote hair growth, it can also help restore the protein loss of damaged hair. To keep your hair looking healthy and shiny, try conditioning lifeless hair with this chemical-free coconut oil treatment at least once a week.

Pour a small amount of coconut oil into your hands and gently massage onto your scalp. Then comb the oil out to the ends of the hair. Cover your head with a hot towel so that the oil can penetrate deep into the hair shaft. Wash off after 1-2 hours.

Regular massage of the scalp with coconut oil also eliminates dandruff or head lice.

 

 

 

5. Coconut oil helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases including Alzheimer's and osteoarthritis as it contains potent antioxidants that protect the body against the damaging effects of free radicals.

Research has shown that coconut oil helps raise the “good” HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL, and therefore reduces the risk of developing heart-related diseases.

Besides, coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It is also helpful for effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.

 

 

 

How Much Organic Virgin Coconut Oil You Should Use Daily ?

The general recommendation is between 1-3 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil a day for most adults. You can enjoy coconut oil as a bread spread together with your favorite jam, honey or peanut butter on your toast, or mixed into oatmeal, or add to smoothies.

Alternatively, feel free to use it in cooking or baking (in place of vegetable oil or butter) to reap the health and beauty benefits of coconut oil.

 

Organic virgin coconut oil (cold pressed) can be found in most health food stores, or you can purchase them online. However, avoid cheap RBD (refined, bleached, and deodorized) coconut oil, which is often used for cosmetic and industrial purposes and therefore, not suitable for human consumption.

 

 

 

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