Fitness & Health By Ruth henry-ovid / July 6, 2016 Share Tweet Pin Share Have you ever tried using authentic and organic coconut oil to cook? If you haven’t then you should try it. The aroma alone will have you feeling like you are vacationing in the Caribbean. Yes! It is that good.However, coconut oil is good for much more than that!If you have ever had a conversation with any health guru or somebody who knows a thing or two, oils will definitely pop up in the discussion. When coconut oil is mentioned you should pay attention. Its benefits are a-plenty and there are some benefits you would not even begin to think of. Here we will look at three of those benefits: skin care, weight loss and teeth whitening. You read that correctly. Coconut Oil for Great Skin Be honest. When you hear someone say that coconut oil is good for your skin, the last thing you are thinking of doing is rubbing it all over your face. The thought alone might sound way too oily, but ironically scientists say this is a pretty awesome thing to do. The University of Southern California Dermatology Department published a study in 2011 stating that coconut oil has natural anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Just to give you some fancy scientific words to read up on, the study proved that the fatty acids caprylic, capric and lauric acid found in coconut oil, have naturally occurring disinfectant with antimicrobial properties. This means that once applied to the skin, the oil helps to protect against infections that can enter the body through the pores or even open wounds. For this reason, it is also good for skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis and eczema. When ingested these fatty acids also help to boost your immune system. Coconut oil is also made up mostly of natural saturated fats, which helps to eliminate moisture loss and thus dry and flaky skin. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin K. Vitamin K is the vitamin that is needed for healthy growth, repair and maintenance of the skin. It contains anti-oxidants that help to fight against ageing and a healthy dose of natural proteins needed for just about anything. The point is, you cannot go wrong adding coconut oil to your daily skin care necessities. If you take the time out to read the label on the popular moisturisers you use, you will also find that many companies add coconut oil extract to their products. The problem is that these products are not always healthy for your skin, and the small amount of coconut oil they use will be processed down to a form that barely resembles it vitamin-rich, organic nature. Get yourself a bottle or virgin coconut oil and here are four ways in which you can use it to make your skin radiant: 1) To soothe dry skin. Be it your cracked lips, dry hands or even your dry feet. Rub on it on, watch it work its magic. 2) As an exfoliate, a scrub and a body moisturiser. Many of those natural oil scrubs you buy are just a mixture of oil, sugar and/or body salts. Get a bit of virgin coconut oil and some sugar and make your own mix at home. For moisturising purposes, just rub it on, leave it and voila! 3) To remove makeup, simply put a little on a cotton ball and wipe away. This is by far healthier than the chemicals in astringents. 4) As a massage oil. Many store bought massage oils use coconut oil as one of their basic compounds. Just save yourself a pretty penny and go straight for the virgin coconut oil. Coconut Oil for weight loss Your first question might be how can an oil with saturated fats help you to lose weight? Think back to that high school biology class you probably never paid attention to. Maybe you had learnt about healthy fats…maybe? Well, the logic is simply, we all need some amount of fat to survive, but the fat you eat at KFC or your favourite fast food joint will send you to the morgue quicker than it will lower the scales. Natural fats found in nuts and in this case coconuts are some of the most valuable fats you will ever consume. And as saturated as they are they are easily broken down by the body simply because they are NATURAL not processed. Here are four benefits and ways to use coconut oil for weight loss: 1) It helps to boost energy levels Now, earlier we mentioned three fatty acids- caprylic, capric and lauric acid- these fatty acids are quickly broken down to become quick and usable energy. It is for this reason that coconut oil has been linked to weight loss and weight management over the years. Just add 2-3 tablespoons to your diet. You can maybe switch your vinaigrette for coconut oil when you order that Caesar salad. 2) It helps to balance your hormones. When our hormones are all over the place, it does not matter how much you work out, you will likely not lose weight. Without the right fatty acids your body will not be able to break down hormones to regulate your digestion, libido, metabolism, thyroid function and your mood. All of these things play a part in weight loss. The fatty acids found in coconut oil helps to regulate your hormones and inevitable assist on your weight loss journey. 3) It helps to kerb cravings and decrease hunger. When fatty acids are broken down they go straight to your liver where they form ketone bodies, which have historically been known to lower cravings and hunger. Ever heard of the Ketogenic Diet? There is a reason it is effective and coconut oil can play a huge role in that. 4) It helps your body absorb nutrients faster and helps to stabilise your sugar. When your sugar levels are all over the place your cravings go through the roof, and so an hour in the gym goes down the drain. At the same time, if your body does not properly absorb nutrients then your health declines. It really is that simple. Coconut oil as a saturated fat helps your cells bind easier with insulin during digestion, and this helps to properly regulate your sugar levels while aiding in digestion and nutrient absorption. Just add a couple tablespoons to your diet, but NEVER go above 2-3 tablespoons per day. You might sabotage your own efforts. Everything in moderation! Coconut Oil for Teeth Whitening Yeah, when I first learnt this I was sure someone must have been drunk while they wrote it. No actually. A research published from the Mayo Clinic in 2009 explained that the process of “oil pulling” actually does whiten your teeth. How? Well, oil pulling is apparently an ancient method that has its roots in Ayurvedic medicine. It uses natural substances to help detoxify and clean your gums and teeth. The process really just involves you swishing oil in the mouth the way you would your Listerine or preferred mouthwash, though you need to do this for 5-15 minutes to really see results. This works because the oil is actually able to break through plaque to remove toxins and stains without disturbing the gums. It is a practice that was introduced in the US in the 1990s by Dr F Karach who had success with it in his medical practice. The oil pulling process is simple. Place 2-3 teaspoons of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for up to 10-20 minutes. When you are finished, simply spit it out, rinse with warm water and brush your teeth. Do this morning and at night. Watch Dr Axe’s explanation below. Due to the antibacterial properties of coconut oil, it also helps with oral infections. At the end of the day the benefits of using coconut oil cannot be denied. However, please remember NOT ALL COCONUT OILS ARE EQUAL!!! Coconut oil is highly resistant to heat damage, but solvents are often used in the extraction process. Make sure you buy your coconut oil from companies and brands that have been proven to avoid the disasters of chemical residue. When you purchase, ensure that you are buying VIRGIN coconut oil. Enjoy!