1. Coconut Pulling – Whiten Your Teeth
Oil pulling is an age-old remedy of using natural substances to clean and detoxify your teeth and gums. Research from 2008 and 2009 suggests oil pulling with coconut oil can stop plaque from forming and remove harmful bacteria. It also has the added benefit of making your teeth whiter and gums healthier.
To oil-pull, simply put a spoon full of coconut oil in your mouth, and swish it around for 5-10 minutes. You can do it as a bedtime routine or even whilst you shower, then sit back and see the results!
2. Rejuvenate and Protect Your Hair
A 2003 study found that Coconut oil, being a triglyceride of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), has a high affinity for hair proteins and, because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft.
Among the three oils studied, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product.
3. Enhance Your Eye Lashes
Long thick eyelashes are something that many people desire, but many people often opt for the ‘quick fix’ with fake eyelashes that can end up damaging your natural look. To get gorgeous lashes the natural way, apply a little bit of coconut oil to your eye lashes every night, and watch the magic work. The proteins found in coconut oil can encourage healthy growth and seal in moisture, preventing brittle breakage.
4. Moisturize Your Hands
Coconut oil is ideal to heal dry, cracked and flaky hands. Unlike other hand creams and lotions, coconut oil is completely natural and doesn’t pollute the skin with chemicals which have short term benefits but long term consequences. Along with its anti-bacterial properties, this makes it ideal for everyday use to keep your hands soft and clean.
5. Keep Your Lips Soft, Healthy and Protected From the Sun
Lips are constantly exposed to the elements so it’s important to take care of them. Whilst lip balms and chapsticks are often used to soften the lips, studies have shown that some contain irritating chemicals which dry the lips more, making lip products feel like a necessity.
Coconut oil penetrates the lips and keeps them healthy from the inside, whilst also providing some protection from the sun as an SPF 6. Whilst this isn’t as high as ordinary sun creams, even that little bit can help on a day to day basis.
6. Remove Make-up
Your face is precious and it’s something worth taking care of, yet many of us often turn to harsh store bought products that remove not just make-up but the nutrients from our skin. Coconut oil removes makeup, moisturizes the skin and rejuvenates the damage that certain make-up may have done all at the same time.
7. Moisturize Your Skin
Coconut oil is a very light moisturizer that sinks into the skin very quickly. Delivering a refreshing, healing, burst of moisture, coconut oils anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties also nurture the skin to ensure it looks naturally radiant.
It can feel oily at first, which is why it’s important to only use a little as it goes a long way. Use it as you would a regular lotion; it will dry within a minute or two.
8. Prevent Stretch Marks
The most common times to develop stretch marks are during pregnancy, puberty, muscle gain and weight gain. Evidence suggests that keeping the skin moisturised and supple can help prevent stretch marks from appearing on the skin during these periods.
Once developed, stretch marks can only be reduced and not taken away, however you can reduce them so much that they are not visible. Coconut oil gets absorbed deep into the skin very quickly, and has immense moisturizing properties that have been proven to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
9. Boost Your Metabolism
Most of the fatty acids in an ordinary diet are long-chain fatty acids, but coconut oil contains medium chain acids which are used by the body in a different way. Many studies have shown that these medium chain acids can boost metabolism, and one study has even shown that it increases energy expenditure by 5%, totaling about 120 calories per day.
10. Reduce Your Appetite
The obesity epidemic didn’t start until 1980, which shows that the problem lies within the modern diet. Anything that therefore reduces our appetite can make us take in fewer calories, and coconut oil has this effect. Many studies on the fatty acids that coconut oil contains (MCT’s) have shown that they lead to feelings of fullness and an automatic reduction in calorie intake.
11. Weight Loss Aid
In 2009 a study analysed the possible benefits that coconut could have on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women who were considered to be obese. The randomised, double blind, clinical trial involved 40 women aged 20-40 years.
It was found that the coconut oil group had a reduction in body mass index and waste size. This research therefore suggests that including coconut oil in your diet promotes weight loss – specifically in the belly fat area. Other studies have also shown its ability to increase metabolism and reduce appetite.
12. Cooking Oil Replacement
With a higher boiling point than other oils coconut oil is ideal for frying, and is considered by health professionals the healthiest choice you can make. Even though people often think that olive oil is a health conscious choice; a 2012 study found that once it reaches a certain temperature it has been proven to release toxins that are believed to be related to some neurodegenerative diseases and certain types of cancer.
13. Butter Replacement
When cooking or baking, coconut oil can be substituted for butter in just about any dish. For baking, most people will substitute coconut oil with butter in a 1:1 ratio, however for certain recipes it is possible to include less butter.
14. Cure Yeast Infections
Yeast infections are caused from an overgrowth of yeast and are very common in women, and also appear occasionally in men. Due to coconut oils anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, it has long been used to treat yeast infections. Applying the oil to the infected area two to three times a day should cure the infection, however if it persists you should contact your doctor.
15. Prevent Heart Disease
Coconut oil is an exotic food in the western world which is only consumed by health conscious people, however in some parts of the world coconut is a dietary staple. The best example of this is the Tokelauans which live in the South Pacific who get 60% of their calories from coconuts.
As a population the Tokelauans are excellent in health with no evidence of heart disease, which has led to them being clinically studied.
16. Support Healthy Thyroid Function
Evidence is now beginning to show that coconut oil can also positively affect our hormones for thyroid and blood sugar control. In fact, Dr Oz states this is because coconut oil has improvements in how we handle insulin in the body which directly affects our blood sugar levels. He states it also helps increase metabolism, energy, endurance, digestion and makes it easier to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
17. Help Fight Alzheimer’s and Epilepsy
Coconut oil goes straight to the liver from the digestive tract. This is beneficial because it can be quickly turned into an energy source or turned into ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
18. Promote Healthy Brain Function
Brain tissue is very rich in complex forms of fatty acids, and these fats are collected from our diet. Coconut oil contains a lot of medium chain triglycerides which are metabolized differently to other fatty acids, which helps the thyroid gland develop and maintain healthy brain function. In fact, many studies have proven that coconut oil can help protect against brain diseases in a variety of different ways.
19. Treat Athletes Foot
The anti-fungal properties of coconut oil can help control and fight athletes foot when applied daily. To treat your feet, clean them first and dry them thoroughly, then massage in a thin layer of coconut oil. Wash your hands before applying to the other foot to avoid spreading fungus.
20. Sooth and Heal Psoriasis and Eczema
Both of these skin conditions make the skin red, irritated and can be very uncomfortable. Using coconut oil to rub over the skin that is affected can help fight off fungus and bacteria, helping your skin to heal faster. It also helps keep the skin moisturized and healthy, which can make the condition more comfortable when irritation may be taking its toll.
21. Ringworm Remedy
Despite sounding like a parasite, ringworm is very common and falls under the same category as athletes foot. Caused by one of the several types of fungi that feeds on head tissue, it can be itchy and uncomfortable.
Washing your hands before use, rinse and dry the affected area before applying a small amount coconut oil to the area 3 times a day.
22. Rash Soother
Rashes can often be uncomfortable, painful and itchy, but coconut oil can help take care of this. Its anti-inflammatory effects are great to reduce swelling, but it can also take the edge off itching which can stop the cycle of scratching and further irritating your skin.
23. Personal Lubricant *not compatible with latex
Yes, that’s right. Coconut oil has long been used as a natural and effective alternative to store bought lubricant. Although it is not compatible with latex (do not use with condoms), you can enjoy it on your own or with your partner the same way you would any other kind.
24. All-in-one Udder Soother
Just like coconut oil provides a wonderfully soothing moisturizer for humans, it can also be used as an all-in-one anti-bacterial and anti-fungal moisturizer for cows.
As you can imagine, cracked teats are terribly uncomfortable for the cow. They can also provide an area for bacterial to build and infection to multiply, which is the last thing that cows want. Simply apply it to the udder like you would any other balm.
25. Pre-workout or Quick Energy Source
Coconut oil contains a unique set of saturated fats known as medium chain triglycerides. Unlike other fats, MCT’s are an ideal energy source for the body and transfer into energy rather than being stored.
It is important however to choose organic, raw and unrefined coconut oil. Refined coconut oil, which has been bleached and deodorized, has a compromised nutritional profile and can often contain harmful trans-fats.
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