10 Proven Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.”Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health. This includes fat loss, better brain function and various other amazing benefits.

Here are the top 10 health benefits of coconut oil that have been experimentally confirmed in human studies.

1. Coconut Oil Contains a Unique Combination of Fatty Acids With Powerful Medicinal Properties

Coconut oil has been demonized in the past because it contains saturated fat. In fact, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man, with almost 90% of the fatty acids in it being saturated (1).

However, new data is showing that saturated fats are harmless. Many massive studies that include hundreds of thousands of people prove that the whole “artery-clogging” idea was a myth (2).

Additionally, coconut oil doesn’t contain your average run-of-the-mill saturated fats like you would find in cheese or steak.

No, they contain so-called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – which are fatty acids of a medium length.

Most of the fatty acids in the diet are long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently.

They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.

 

2. Populations That Eat a LOT of Coconut Are Among The Healthiest People on The Planet

Girl Eating Coconut

Coconut is kind of an “exotic” food in the Western world, primarily consumed by health conscious people.

However, in some parts of the world, coconut is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for many generations.

The best example of such a population is theTokelauans, which live in the South Pacific.

They eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts and are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world.

These people are in excellent health, with no evidence of heart disease (3).

Another example of a population that eats a lot of coconut and remains in excellent health is the Kitavans (4).

 

3. Coconut Oil Can Increase Your Energy Expenditure, Helping You Burn More Fat

Coconuts

Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world.

While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others (myself included) believe thatthe sources of those calories are critical too.

It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is NOT a calorie.

The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats (5, 6).

One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totalling about 120 calories per day (7).

4. The Lauric Acid in Coconut Oil Can Kill Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi, Helping to Stave Off Infections

 

Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon Lauric Acid.

When coconut oil is enzymatically digested, it also forms a monoglyceride called monolaurin.

Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi (8).

For example, these substances have been shown to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus (a very dangerous pathogen) and the yeast Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections in humans (9, 10).

5. Coconut Oil Can Kill Your Hunger, Making You Eat Less Without Even Trying

 

One interesting feature of coconut oil is that it can reduce your hunger.

This may be related to the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized, because ketone bodies can have an appetite reducing effect (11).

In one study, varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides were fed to 6 healthy men.

The men eating the most MCTs ate 256 fewer caloriesper day, on average (12).

Another study in 14 healthy men discovered that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate significantly fewer calories at lunch (13).

These studies were small and only done for a short period of time. If this effect were to persist over the long term, it could have a dramatic influence on body weight over a period of several years.

6. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Are Turned into Ketones, Which Can Reduce Seizures

Open Coconut

A so-called ketogenic (very low carb, very high fat) diet is currrently being studied to treat various disorders.

The best known therapeutic application of this diet is treating drug-resistant epilepsy in children (14).

This diet involves eating very little carbohydrates and large amounts of fat, leading to greatly increased concentrations ofketone bodies in the blood.

For some reason, this diet can dramatically reduce the rate of seizures in epileptic children, even those who haven’t had success with multiple different types of drugs.

Because the MCTs in coconut oil get shipped to the liver and turned into ketone bodies, they are often used in epileptic patients to induce ketosis while allowing for a bit more carbs in the diet (15, 16).

7. Coconut Oil Can Improve Blood Cholesterol Levels and May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Cracked Coconut

Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fats, which actually do not harm the blood lipid profile like previously thought.

Saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change the LDL cholesterol to a benign subtype (17, 18).

In one study in 40 women, coconut oil reduced Total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL compared to soybean oil (19).

There are also rat studies showing that coconut oil reduces triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol, increases HDL and improves blood coagulation factors and antioxidant status (20, 21).

This improvement in cardiovascular risk factors should theoretically lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over the long term.

8. Coconut Oil Can Protect Hair Against Damage, Moisturize Skin and Function as Sunscreen

Cracked Coconut With Peels

Coconut oil can serve various purposes that have nothing to do with eating it.

Many people are using it for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair.

Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve the moisture and lipid content of the skin (22).

Coconut oil can also be very protective against hair damage and one study shows effectiveness as sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays (23, 24)

Another application is using it like mouthwash in a process called oil pulling, which can kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health and reduce bad breath (25, 26, 27).

9. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Can Boost Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Patients

Doctor With Thumbs Up

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia worldwide and occurs primarily in elderly individuals.

In Alzheimer’s patients, there appears to be a reduced ability to use glucose for energy in certain parts of the brain.

Ketone bodies can supply energy for the brain and researchers have speculated that ketones can provide an alternative energy source for these malfunctioning cells and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s (28).

In one 2006 study, consumption of medium chain triglycerides led to immediate improvement in brain function in patients with milder forms of Alzheimer’s (29).

Other studies support these findings and medium chain triglycerides are being intensively studied as potential therapeutic agents in Alzheimer’s disease (30, 31).

10. Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Fat, Especially The Dangerous Fat in Your Abdominal Cavity

A man who needs to lose weight

Given that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it makes sense that it can also help you lose weight.

Coconut oil appears to be especially effective in reducing abdominal fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs.

This is the most dangerous fat of all and is highly associated with many Western diseases.

Waist circumference is easily measured and is a great marker for the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.

A study in 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 30 mL (1 ounce) ofcoconut oil per day lead to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in a period of 12 weeks (19).

Another study in 20 obese males noted a reduction in waist circumference of 2.86 cm (1.1 inches) after 4 weeks of 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day (32).

This number may not seem too impressive on the surface, but be aware that these people aren’t adding exercise or restricting calories. They’re losing significant amounts of abdominal fat simply by adding coconut oil to their diet.

3 DIY face masks for acne that work

Who doesn’t hate it when those annoying little red spots pop up on our faces? They’re annoying to look at, annoying to feel and they absolutely decrease our confidence! They’re so annoying yet it is so easy to get them! Weather, diets, lifestyles,etc. There are so many things that can cause break out. Some cover them with make up but it would just clog our pores and make our faces break out even more. I can say that I’m pretty lucky because I don’t get acne very often but when I eat fast food a lot or do not get enough sleep,  my skin does break out. I tried this following 3 face masks and voila! my skin got clearer in a couple of days (however I did have to combine them with healthy diets as well because what you put inside your bodies has more control over how your skin look like than what you put on top of it).

First, you have to start with a clean face. So when you have acne, it means that your skin is in a very vulnerable, sensitive condition. Using a gentle facial cleanser would really help. Avoid cleansers with micro beads (this has become illegal anyways),  harsh chemicals is a must. Or you can just look for cleansers that say “for sensitive skin” or soap-free. If you don’t have them and don’t want to buy a whole new bottle of cleanser then you can use honey to clean your face. Honey has anti-bacterial property so it can really sooth your skin. I used to clean my face with only honey for a long time and I loved how my skin felt. It was squeaky clean and really soft. Then you can apply one of the following masks! 🙂

turmeric.jpg

 

  1. Turmeric mask: Turmeric contains a photochemical called curcumin, which can benefit the body, both inside and out.Turmeric mask works for acne and eczema. It reduces inflammation and redness, and promotes skin healing. Due to turmeric’s antioxidant properties, it has been used for skin rejuvenation. It helps softening lines and wrinkles, giving the face a more youthful appearance. It is also effective with rosacea – a chronic skin condition that is characterized by redness and pimples. It eases the redness and treats this disease.Ingredients 1 teaspoon of turmeric; 1 teaspoon of raw organic honey; 1 teaspoon of milk (or natural yogurt).
     Put turmeric into a little bowl. Add honey. Then add milk or yogurt. You can adjust the amount of milk to make the paste more or less thick, but make sure it’s a firm paste that will stick to your face. Turmeric is a dye and it can stain anything, so you don’t want it dripping off your face. Let the mask dry on your face. This means leaving it on for about 20 minutes and then washing it off with cool water. Dry your face gently with a cloth. heal-acne-scars-3-1.jpg
  2. Egg white and Lemon mask:

          The egg white helps reduce excess sebum in your skin by shrinking the size of your                 pores. It will also give your skin a firmer and more even look by greatly reducing                     larger pores. Lemon brightens and exfoliates. Lemon is also a natural source of                       vitamin C and rich in alpha hydroxy acids. The combination of egg whites and lemon             helps create the perfect face mask for acne or oily skin.

          Ingredients: 1 egg white; juice of half a lemon.

          Beat the egg white first until it turns a bit frothy. Add the lemon juice to your egg                   white. Apply the face mask on your face, avoiding the eyes and mouth area, where                 the skin is dryer and more sensitive. Leave your face mask on your skin for about 30               minutes. Gently rinse it off with warm waterc2e616_557c6ad7460e4c77a512f4293030e58f.jpg

     3. Oatmeal mask: 

    Oatmeal can be used cooked or plain to make masks that relieve acne symptoms. Its             soothing and exfoliating properties remove dead skin cells, soak up excess oil and                   relieve the discomfort associated with acne.

     Oatmeal can be used on its own without any other ingredients to treat acne. Boil 1/2 cup      oatmeal in 1/3 cup water and allow it to cool, creating a thick paste that can be applied to      any area of skin affected by acne. Leave the mixture on for 20 minutes and then rinse            with warm water.

Good luck ! 🙂

Naturally remedies for dry scalp

It is winter time! and that means cold feet, cracked skin,etc. One of the most annoying things is the dry, flaky, itchy scalp. Not to mention it is really hard to cure. I used to suffer from dry scalp for a very long time. I tried many different special shampoos but it didn’t work. Then I decided to try to go natural and it worked! Below are the three ways to treat dry scalp naturally that I personally tried and loved:

heart-benefits-of-coconut-oil-vs-olive-oil-RM-722x406

 1) Natural Oil: The key to combating dry scalp is to incorporate natural oils into your hair care regimen.  Olive and coconut oil has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and they also absorb easily into the scalp.  Jojoba Oil most closely resembles sebum or the oily secretion of the sebaceous glands that acts as a lubricant for the hair and skin and provides some protection against bacteria.  Some other great oils are jojoba oil, coconut oil, olive oil. Oils work best when sealing in moisture from water. What you have to do is simply put some oil on your scalp and hair (they will help your hair to become really smooth too!), gently massage from 2 to 5 minutes then let them absorb for 15 minutes. After that you can wash them off using your normal shampoo. At first you might not really like the feeling because it could get a little greasy. You can avoid that by not putting too much oil or wash your hair twice after applying the oils. But hey, no pain no gain right? You would have healthy scalp and strong, shiny, smooth hair afterwards. A little grease couldn’t be that bad ! 🙂 mayonaise

2) Mayonnaise mask: Mayonnaise is made essentially out of eggs and oils. Eggs are high in protein, which is what hair is made out of, so it’s only natural that eggs would be an excellent source for deep treatments. Oils are also great for your scalp (like I mentioned above !:) ) What sets mayonnaise apart is that it contains vinegar. Vinegar will help disinfect any fungus or bacteria that might be using your scalp as a temporary home, causing itching and dryness. Apply 1/2 cup of mayonnaise to already dry hair. Massage into roots and scalp area and cover with a shower cap or other plastic cover. Let stand for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly in warm water before shampooing as usual.  This remedy would show result after the first time. The only thing I don’t like about this remedy is you would smell like mayonnaise and that smell would linger for quite a while … Then again, no pain no gain yeah? 😉

apples-and-vinegar

3) Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar rinses are great as well. Mix a solution of 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar to 3 cups of water, pour into a spray bottle, saturate hair, cover with a plastic cap, and let sit for 20-30 minutes. “This will help with many irritating scalp conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and dandruff. It rinses out clean, removes product buildup, and also adds shine and restores the pH to the hair. A few drops of rosemary or tea tree oil will boost this rinse,” says Shera Lee, a Health Coach and Yoga Instructor. Those with a very sensitive scalp should use caution when  adding essential oils and may find comfort by increasing the amount of water used for the mix.

 

4 honey face masks recipes for dry skin

Honey is naturally antibacterial, so it’s great for acne treatment and prevention. Aging: Full of antioxidants, it is great for slowing down aging. Complexion boost: It is extremely moisturizing and soothing, so it helps create a glow!
1

  1. Yogurt and Honey– 1/2 cup plain yogurt – 1 teaspoon honey. Mix both ingredients together then apply the mixture on your skin. Wash your face with lukewarm water after 20 minutes.  When topically applied to the skin, a velvety yogurt face mask will help moisturize, fight acne, prevent premature aging, relieve sunburn, and reduce discoloration.

2

2. Egg yolk And Honey: Add 1 teaspoon of honey with one egg yolk in a small bowl and mix them well till they thicken slightly. Spread the mixture onto your face. Let it sit on your face for 15 minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water. Egg yolk is made up of mostly water and fats, which makes it a great water-binding agent that locks moisture into your skin cells, leaving your face soft and supple. Egg-yolk face masks work wonders for people with dry or flaky skin. The nutrients in egg yolks work to hydrate, nourish, and moisturize dull skin.

33. Avocado And Honey: This is my personal favorite mask! It is super moisturizing. Every time after I use this mask, my skin feels fresh; moisturized and plumped! This mask is a boon for mature, wrinkled and dry skin. You need half of a ripe, fresh, organic avocado to make this dry skin face mask at home. The other half you can eat to give your skin a boost from inside as well!!

Mash 1/2 very ripe, soft avocado into a creamy pulp in a bowl. Then stir in 1/4 cup of honey to form a smooth paste. Apply it onto your facial skin, leaving it there for about 10 minutes. Rinse it off your face with the help of a cool washcloth.

Turmeric root and powder

 

4. Turmeric and Honey: Turmeric mask works for acne and eczema. It reduces inflammation and redness, and promotes skin healing. Due to turmeric’s antioxidant properties, it has been used for skin rejuvenation. It helps softening lines and wrinkles, giving the face a more youthful appearance. Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of raw organic honey, 1 teaspoon of milk (or natural yogurt) together until they thicken a little bit. Spread the mixture onto your face. Let it sit on your face for 15 minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water.

And if you’re too lazy to follow the recipes above (lol), you can simply warm honey up in a microwave for a few seconds then spread it on your face. Wash it off after 20 minutes! Honey is also a great facial cleanser. It leaves your skin soft, clean and moisturized! 🙂