The Many Benefits of Coconut Oil September 23 2014

Coconut oil is all the rage but what makes it so special? Extracted from the meat of matured coconuts, coconut oil has many uses and studies have shown that populations that eat a lot of coconut are among the healthiest people on the planet.

After receiving a bad rap for many years, coconut oil has now been found to be a healthy oil and has many benefits. While coconut oil is a saturated fat, it is cholesterol free and trans-fatty acid free and has actually been shown to help lower cholesterol levels due to its ability to stimulate thyroid function. Virgin coconut oil is composed of medium-chain-length fatty acids, or triglycerides MCTs, which are shown to have many health benefits, including raising the body’s metabolism, and acting as an antiviral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent. Coconut oil has a lower smoking point that other oils so it's great for cooking and it gives foods a wonderful flavor. It can also be used instead of vegetable or canola oils when baking and is a much healthier alternative.

In parts of the world, such as Thailand and the Philippines, using coconut oil on hair and skin has been an ancient practice. It's a natural hydrator and it has a high moisture retaining capacity, it doesn't let moisture escape thus keeping hair and skin moist and soft. Because of its anti-microbial properties it can protect skin from infections and various skin disorders. It makes a great makeup remover and can soften dry, cracked skin. Coconut oil is also excellent for styling the hair and reducing protein loss in damaged hair. It can help get rid of dandruff, nourish and minimize dry hair and split ends as well as conditioning and smoothing dry frizzies.

When purchasing coconut oil you should look for organic, extra virgin in an unprocessed form. There is no need to refrigerate your coconut oil because it doesn't go rancid like so many other oils. Store in a dry place and it will become liquid at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, below that temperature it will solidify. Coconut oil should always have a pleasant smell and mild taste.

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