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Do you notice more coconut oil in your grocery, discount or health food store? Coconut oil is everywhere, and in everything, from food to beauty products, as more people discover its benefits.
Health-conscious people have known about coconut oil for many years. As its popularity increases, so has its availability. Common in the Philippines, where it’s grown and produced, this simple oil is nothing short of miraculous because of the many things it can do. After harvesting, the white coconut “meat” is removed, dried and pressed to remove the oil.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA), which has long been thought to clog arteries, although newer studies are showing just the opposite. MCFA digests differently than long-chain fatty acids, starting in the digestive system. They’re sent directly to the liver, where they are turned into ketone bodies (water-soluble molecules) used for energy in your kidneys, brain and muscles. But you likely won’t hear this from your doctor.
If you’ve never tried coconut oil, (and you’re not allergic) here are seven reasons why you should:
Coconut oil. . .
1. Is better for cooking. Hydrogen molecules are added to soy or other “vegetable” oils to extend shelf life. This type of oil can turn trans-fat when you cook with it.
Coconut oil has a naturally long shelf life without preservatives, withstands higher cooking temperatures and can be used in place of butter or olive oil. It’s liquid above 76 degrees Fahrenheit, and solidifies at lower temperatures.
2. Has natural anti-fungal properties. If you suffer with heartburn, acid reflux, bloating or other digestive issues, you may have an overgrowth of Candida albicans, or yeast overgrowth in your gut.
Coconut oil’s lauric acid fights back. Taken daily, the oil’s acids help reduce and eliminate “bad” bacteria in the gut and allow healing.
3. Helps with weight loss and energy. Coconut oil’s MCFA helps the body metabolize fat, which is used for energy. These acids also keep your blood sugar stabilized and prevent cravings for salty or sweet junk food.
Fat also provides better satiety longer, which keeps you from eating what you shouldn’t.
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4. Can help with hair repair and re-growth. The small molecules of the medium-chain fatty acid are able to penetrate the hair shaft better than other oils.
Coconut oil prevents frizzing much better than silicone- or alcohol-based products, which can dry your hair. A very small amount hand-rubbed onto towel-dried hair before drying and styling works well to stop frizz and give a healthy shine.
5. Has been shown to improve cognitive functioning in Alzheimer’s patients. Ketones supply the brain with energy, and coconut oils create an alternate source. There are numerous stories of diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients who started taking coconut oil daily and saw improvements.
6. Is a natural moisturizer. Your skin is your biggest organ and will absorb anything you put on it—including chemicals in your toiletries. Coconut oil is easily absorbed into your skin with no toxic chemicals. Use a small amount on your hands, feet, or any place you need a little extra moisture.
7. Can help improve dental care. “Oil-pulling,” or simply swishing coconut oil around in your mouth, coats your teeth and helps remove plaque, stains and odor.
It’s primarily an Ayurvedic medicine practice, but is gaining attention (and fans) here in the US. Oil-pulling also helps with bleeding gums and heart health by helping to remove oral bacteria that can migrate into the heart.
Do you need any more reasons to try coconut oil?
*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first about this method.
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