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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 11, 2021

      11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

      11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

      Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

      Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

      1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

      Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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      2. Stress Relief

      Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

      3. Improved Sleep

      Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

      4. Appetite Control

      Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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      5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

      When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

      6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

      Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

      7. Mosquito Repellant

      Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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      8. Pain Relief

      While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

      9. The New Anti-Viral

      Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

      10. Improved Cognitive Function

      Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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      11. Money Saving

      With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

      Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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