Have you heard of coconut oil? Well, we can’t blame you if you haven’t. With the new ‘superfoods’ craze that has been popping up in the market lately, it is getting hard to keep track.
Coconuts are a fundamental part of many lives, especially in the tropical and coastal regions of the world. The oil that is produced from coconuts is a popular ingredient in many beauty and food products. It has been used as cooking oil, hair oil, smoothie drinks and even as part of diet plans. There are multiple uses of coconut oil that it seems like there is nothing coconut oil cannot do!
Boosts High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL)
Coconut oil has about 90% saturated fat, which is apparently unhealthy for us, because it brings low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels up. LDL is considered the ‘bad’ cholesterol, because it collects in the walls of your blood vessels, causing blockages and increasing the risk of heart disease.
However, coconut oil also gives high-density lipoproteins (HDL) a boost. HDL is the well-behaved ‘good’ cholesterol, as it carries other forms of cholesterol like LDL away from your bloodstream.
Helps You Burn More Fat
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid and caprylic acid. Studies conducted on coconut oil have found that these acids can increase 24-hour energy expenditure in humans. In layman's terms, you get to burn an extra 100 to 120 calories each day. Now add that up to a year, and you will be burning at least 36,500 to 43,800 more calories.
That is just by ingesting coconut oil! Who needs to work out now? (Note: Regular exercise is still recommended in conjunction with a healthy diet, though). Burn, fats, burn. One simple recipe that even a non-cook can also whip up includes substituting butter with coconut oil and spreading it on your morning toast. Simple and healthy!
Okay, it is the lauric acid in coconut oil that actually kills bacteria, viruses and fungi, and prevents infections. But, it is essentially the same thing. So, it is not just an apple a day that keeps the doctor away. Incorporating coconut oil into your diet can help you to stave off that visit to the doctor.
Reduces Your Hunger Pangs
The acids in coconut oil can help to reduce your hunger cravings and help you to eat less. Scientists are not sure why, but it appears that the acids in coconut oil are metabolised in a way that curbs appetite. A reduction in appetite leads to a reduction in body weight in the long run.
Helps to Improve Your Memory
Coconut oil is an excellent brain food — the acids in coconut oil are absorbed more easily in the body and are effective in fueling your brain cells. Now, if you find yourself forgetting where you have placed the house keys for the nth time, consider adding coconut oil to your diet.
Uses of Coconut Oil
Where do we even begin? The uses of coconut oil can range from medicinal to cosmetic, which are nothing short of amazing.
Coconut oil deeply hydrates the skin, which locks in moisture, due to its vitamin E content. This is great for people who suffer from dry or dehydrated skin. You can also use coconut oil as a shaving cream as the oil will moisturise your skin, helping the razor to glide over your legs and avoid razor burn.
Eye Make-up Remover
Coconut oil works wonders on waterproof mascara. Dab a little coconut oil on a cotton pad, and swipe your eyelashes and under-eye areas gently. Wash your face as usual, and wake up the next day to a well-hydrated eye area.
In place of Vaseline, you can also use coconut oil as a lip balm, for your chapped and flaky lips. On non make-up days, you can choose to slather a thin layer of coconut oil on your lips. It will give a glossy shine to your lips. On days when you want more colour, mix some coconut oil with your preferred lipstick. To pamper your lips further, create a homemade lip scrub with brown sugar and coconut oil. Mix these two ingredients together and exfoliate your lips and lip area for about one minute. Wash off as usual.
Save yourself some money on store-bought make-up products and use coconut oil to give you that glow you want. After you have applied your make-up, dab on some coconut oil on the areas you want to highlight, like the highest points of your cheeks, centre of your eyelids, your nose bridge, above your cupid’s bow and centre of your chin. You glow, girl!
Not a fan of medications? Try coconut oil the next time you have a sore throat. Swallowing ½ to 1 teaspoon of coconut oil three times a day can ease the inflammation and pain of a sore throat or cough.