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Coconut Oil: Proven Benefits, Myths And How To Use

Coconut Oil: Proven Benefits, Myths And How To Use

If you’re reading this article, chances are that you might have heard one or two wonderful things about coconut oil but would like to get a better understanding of the oil before actually getting down to using it. Coconut oil is indeed classified as one of the world’s “superfoods” because of its highly respectable healing properties and benefits for our wellbeing.

And here’s why you shouldn’t stop exploring other powerful benefits of this “superfood”:

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How To Use Coconut Oil For Skin Problems

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Proven Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Studies have shown that coconut oil can kill harmful bacteria as its content makeup is 50% Lauric Acid, which is used medically for viral infections. This substance has also been proven to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus, which is a very dangerous pathogen.

Surprisingly, coconut oil can also be used as an effective hunger suppressant due to its high fatty acid content. Fatty acids such as the medium chain triglycerides (MCT) have an appetite-reducing effect. In one study, men who were given more MCTs ate 256 fewer calories than men who weren’t give as much. Although this study was conducted over a short period of time, increasing MCTs in your diet may be a long-term solution to weight loss.

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Another one of the benefits of coconut oil is that it can also lower cholesterol as saturated fats helps increase good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein) while reducing bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein). In one study, regular consumption of coconut oil in 40 women led to better cholesterol levels as compared to soybean oil.

Myths About Coconut Oil

As with many wonder foods out there, the internet is filled with claims that are scientifically backed up and those which are simply trumped up.

Due to the thick and solidified state of coconut oil, caused by its low solidifying point of 24 degrees celsius, there are many misconceptions of coconut oil being thick and difficult to be absorbed by the body. But little do people know that coconut oil is actually a very thin liquid and it is not greasy or sticky, hence it is very easily absorbed by the body and favoured to be used as a tanning or massage oil.

Many people avoid coconut oil mainly because of its high saturated fat content. As a result, they form the misconception that it will lead to obesity and heart diseases. In fact the opposite is true, as the saturated fats in coconut oil actually help to increase the body’s metabolism, thereby leading to higher energy consumption and faster fat burning.

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Potential Risks of Using Coconut Oil

Due to the lack of extensive studies on the effects coconut oil has on cholesterol, the American Heart Association has maintained that we should limit our intake of all saturated fats, despite whether or not coconut oil contains MCTs.

However, all health institutions agree that the benefits of coconut oil make it a better alternative to using trans fat oil and commercial vegetable oils that are processed.

DIY-spa-week-coconut-oil-beauty-recipes

    How to Use Coconut Oil

    Coconut oil can be used for many ailments and skin issues. Its deep skin penetrating properties act as an extremely effective skin moisturiser which is perfect for dull or dry skin. Simply applying pure coconut oil to the skin and leaving it on overnight can be very beneficial for the skin, as reported by many users.

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    Coconut oil is also a good hair conditioner known to strengthen hair and give a healthy shine. Applying coconut oil to your roots can also prevent lice and dandruff as it has anti-microbial properties.

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      The Difference Between Pure Coconut Oil and Refined Coconut Oil

      Refined coconut oil is oil that has been bleached and deodorised and is usually extracted from dried coconut meat. The deodorising process takes away the oil’s distinctive odour and flavour. Most refined coconut oils are hydrogenated and may contain trans-fats which raise the bad cholesterol levels in our body.

      Pure coconut oil, sometimes referred to as virgin coconut oil, is oil that is extracted from fresh coconut meat. Pure coconut oil is not hydrogenated and has not been bleached or deodorised, thus retaining its natural flavours and odour.

      Where to Buy Coconut Oil

      Coconut oil can be purchased at your local supermarket. The oil should be clear and consumers should note not to by virgin coconut oil if there are impurities or if it is cloudy. One can also buy coconut oil online these days at online supplement stores or online specialty grocery stores.

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      Last Updated on December 9, 2019

      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

      Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

      Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

      Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

      1. Get Rationally Optimistic

      Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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      This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

      In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

      The result: no more mental stress.

      2. Unplug

      Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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      How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

      It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

      Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

      3. Easy on the Caffeine

      Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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      Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

      4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

      That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

      How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

      • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
      • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
      • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

      While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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      5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

      This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

      The result: mental stress will be gone!

      So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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      Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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