As you may or may not have noticed in recent months, coconut oil seems to be all the rage. A simple search of ‘uses of coconut oil’ immediately bombards you with intimidatingly lengthy lists for this popular substance. Oftentimes referred to as a ‘superfood’, the unique combination of fatty acids found in coconut oil have immensely popular effects on person’s health and outward appearance. In fact, studies have shown that coconut oil can help our bodies build resistance to both viruses and bacteria that can lead to illness. Furthermore, it can also help fight off yeast, fungus, and candida.
Coconut oil can also have a positive impact on our hormones for thyroid and blood sugar control. And that’s not all – coconut oil has been linked to better brain function, oral health, brighter, healthier looking skin, and much, much more. This multi-purpose substance can also be used for cooking and is a great eco-friendly alternative to many other products.
As anyone with coconut oil in their cupboard will likely tell you, the benefits and uses of this awesome substance truly are endless. Without further ado, here is a look at a few of the most surprising health benefits and uses of coconut oil:
Coconut Oil Can Increase Your Energy Expenditure
It is no secret that obesity is a worldwide problem that affects millions. Research indicates that populations that eat a lot of coconut are among the healthiest people on the planet. While many people mistakenly believe that obesity is simply a matter of calories, it is widely known that the sources of those calories play a critical role, too. So, what does this have to do with coconut oil? The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure compared to the amount of calories from longer chain fats. Some studies have shown that an intake of 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24-hour energy expenditure by 5 percent, which translates to about 120 calories per day.
It Soothes Persistent Skin Conditions
Instead of turning to heavily medicated, toxic creams, why not try coconut oil when you are dealing with dry, irritated skin? In fact, many regular users of coconut oil tout its amazing benefits, including its effectiveness in improving symptoms of both eczema and psoriasis. One of the main saturated fats in coconut oil is Lauric acid, which has been shown to fight off fungal infections.
It Can Be Used for a Makeup Remover
If you are looking for an eco-friendly way to remove your makeup after a long day, try coconut oil. All you have to do is warm up about a teaspoon of coconut between your fingertips, then massage it onto your face to dissolve makeup. Be sure to be gentle while coaxing off mascara by wetting a washcloth with hot water then placing it over your face and gently massaging until the last traces of mascara is gone.
It Combats Tooth Decay
Several studies have indicated that coconut oil can help prevent tooth decay by stopping the growth of many strains of S. mutans bacteria – the strain responsible for tooth decay. The best way to use coconut oil to combat tooth decay is by oil pulling. To do this, all you need to do is swish about a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth every morning – it is best to do before you eat – for about 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure and spit the oil out into a trashcan when you are done and DO NOT swallow it, as it will be full of toxins and bacteria.
As you can see, coconut oil has many incredible benefits and uses. From helping fight obesity and improving your overall skin, having a jar of coconut oil in your pantry will be one of the best things you’ve ever done for yourself.
Feature image courtesy of Alex Masters