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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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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 January 21, 2020

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

        Why You Need a Vision

        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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        How to Create Your Life Vision

        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

        What Do You Want?

        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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        Some tips to guide you:

        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
        • Give yourself permission to dream.
        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

        Some questions to start your exploration:

        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
        • What qualities would you like to develop?
        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
        • What would you most like to accomplish?
        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

        A few prompts to get you started:

        • What will you have accomplished already?
        • How will you feel about yourself?
        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
        • What does your ideal day look like?
        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
        • What would you be doing?
        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
        • How are you dressed?
        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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        Plan Backwards

        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
        • What important actions would you have had to take?
        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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