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Coconut Oil has been all the rage lately, and for good reason! It’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years and is called the “tree of life” by many Southeast Asian inhabitants. In World War II, coconut oil was given intravenously directly from the coconut to replenish electrolytes and provide hydration to wounded soldiers. (via Today’s Dietician)

Coconut used to get a bad rap because all the saturated fats it contains. These saturated fats are special though. They are called  “medium chain triglycerides” or fatty acids that are medium in length. These fatty acids are extremely healthy and provide a quick source of energy for the body.

According to Authority Nutrition, the main benefits of incorporating coconut oil into your life are:

More calories burned: Due to the unique medium-chain triglycerides, coconut oil has been proven to increase your energy expenditure by up to 5%. Depending on your size and weight, this could be a few hundred calories a day, effortlessly!

Anti-virus, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal: Coconut Oil contains tons of Lauric Acid. Lauric Acid has been scientifically proven to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It has been effective against pathogens such as the deadly Staphylococcus Aureus and Candida Albicans, which is the cause of yeast infections.

Coconut oil reduces hunger: The fatty acids that are found in coconut oil reduce hunger cravings and can help you feel satiated for longer. This decreases your calorie consumption, leading to weight loss.

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Lowers Cholesterol: Previously, it was thought that saturated fats increased cholesterol. Now we know there is a difference between HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol). Coconut oil’s saturated fats actually increase the good cholesterol, and decrease the bad cholesterol. This effect is thought to decrease the risk of heart disease.

Coconut oil therapy: Coconut oil is now being used for therapy in many disorders involving the brain, including epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. A study by the National Biotechnology Information found that consuming medium chain triglycerides created an immediate improvement in patients who had mild Alzheimer’s. Amazing!

Coconut oil is not only beneficial to your health, it’s your secret weapon when it comes to beauty. Here are some easy beauty hacks to integrate to your routine:

Deep-conditioner: Some people swear by coconut oil to grow their hair long and strong. Melt coconut oil in the microwave and slab it on your hair. Let it sit for at least 1 hour. Beware if you have thick hair, this may take a few washes to get out!

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Make up remover: Instead of those expensive makeup wipes, use coconut oil to remove your makeup before you go to bed. Any excess coconut oil left on your lashes will help them to grow faster. The oil residue left on your face is the perfect natural moisturizer. This is a win-win that will save you tons of cash!

Body scrub: Leave the chemically laden body scrubs at the store and make your own with coconut oil! Mix ½ cup of coconut oil and brown sugar on low heat. Add your favorite essential oils. Stir and put in container for your next relaxing bath.

When picking coconut oil to buy, it’s preferable to buy organic and cold-pressed so that it maintains it’s amazing nutritional properties.

Coconut oil is a must-have for your next grocery trip!