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Some see it as a tropical staple, some, an exotic gourmet delicacy. Not many, however, are aware of the overall goodness of coconuts. The oil that this delightful fruit bears, especially, has myriad uses that extend far beyond the pantry. In its cold pressed form, coconut oil is far more beneficial and healthful. From being a health super food to a skin and hair care wonder, there are a multitude of virgin coconut oil benefits that you should know of. Here are 10 most amazing benefits and uses of virgin or cold pressed coconut oil:
Virgin Coconut Oil Benefits for Health
1. It Lowers the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
To keep your heart healthy, ingesting a spoonful of organic virgin coconut oil daily is highly suggested. As per a 2012 study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, coconut oil intake helps increase the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol while lowering the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
2. It Aids Weight Loss
Cold pressed coconut oil consists of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) unlike most vegetable oils that comprise of long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). MCTs, unlike other fats, donâ€™t circulate in the bloodstream; they are directly converted into energy by the body. MCTs also increase the metabolic rate of the body - another factor that aids weight loss.
3. It Regulates Blood Sugar
Another important health benefit of coconut oil, especially extra virgin coconut oil, is its role in regulating blood sugar levels. A 2016 animal study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology found that virgin coconut oil helped improve glucose metabolism in high fructose diets.Coconut oil improves secretion of insulin.
4. It Has Anti-Microbial Properties
The lauric acid contained in coconut oil is converted by the body into monolaurin, a compound that possesses antimicrobial properties and fights diseases like flu, measles, yeast infections, herpes and AIDS, among many others. It also helps fight microbes that result in a variety of skin infections.
Virgin Coconut Oil Benefits for Skin
5. It Acts as an Excellent Moisturiser
Set aside the chemically-laden toxic moisturisers and give way to this all-natural emollient. Virgin coconut oil works as a great moisturiser, especially in those colder months when the skin tends to get more parched than usual. If it is solidified, which it can get when the temperature drops, heat it up in a pan before applying it generously on your skin. Coconut oil also works as a great makeup remover.
6. It Treats Skin Infections
The anti-microbial properties of cold pressed coconut oil also help treat a plethora of skin infections like eczema and dermatitis.Whatâ€™s best, extra virgin and organic virgin coconut oil is very light and doesnâ€™t leave a thick residue behind on application. It is easily absorbed by the skin. A 2013 study published in the International Journal of Dermatology found that the topical application of virgin coconut oil was highly effective on paediatric patients with mild to moderate cases of atopic dermatitis.
Virgin Coconut Oil Benefits for Hair
7. It Strengthens the Hair
Virgin coconut oil helps a great deal in strengthening the hair and enhancing its appearance by preventing spilt ends and protecting it against damage by preventing protein loss. The fatty acids present in coconut oil make the hair strong and supple.
8. It Fights and Prevents Dandruff
The antibacterial properties of coconut oil yet again come to the rescue by treating, and preventing the recurrence of dandruff. Being rich in lauric acid known for it antiseptic and antibacterial properties, coconut oil helps fight yeast infections that can give rise to dandruff and make the scalp itchy.
9. It Conditions the Hair
If your hair has started to look and feel more like straw, you need to add organic coconut oil in your beauty cabinet. The regular application of coconut oil makes the hair shinier, softer and manageable. The best thing about coconut oil is that it penetrates very easily into the hair follicles, thereby conditioning it both, from the inside and outside. It even helps protect the hair from the harsh rays of the sun and pollution.
10. It Stimulates Hair Growth
Massaging your hair and scalp with virgin coconut oil regularly can help aid hair growth by boosting blood circulation and thereby increasing the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. How to use virgin coconut oil for hair - Warm up some virgin coconut oil and massage it gently into the scalp, working it from the roots towards the ends. Leave it on for at least an hour before shampooing your hair. Repeat this process 2-3 times a week for best results. While the above-mentioned uses of virgin coconut oil are surely effective, it is equally important to remember that following a wholesome diet and exercise plan is what can truly help you achieve and maintain a healthy body, good skin and lustrous hair. Organic coconut oil can add on to that goodness.
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