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Coconut oil is no longer just a fad—it’s a full on national obsession. You can’t get within 10 feet of the Internet before you stumble across another article extolling its many virtues: It’s delicious, it makes killer baked goods, it may have some health benefits, and it even doubles as an all around beauty product.

But coconut oil’s explosion in popularity has come with one major downside: Now grocery store shelves are packed with countless varieties of the stuff, all bearing a confusing carousel of label claims. So which type should you buy for max nutrition and taste? We’ve got you covered.

Coconut oil is definitely one of the healthiest oils on the planet, with a myriad of health benefits and uses. Over 1,500 studies have confirmed its miraculous medicinal properties, which are mostly due to its unique content.

It contains healthy fats known as medium-chain fatty acids, which have lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid.

It is primarily a natural, healthy and highly beneficial solution for many health issues. However, not all sorts of coconut oil are made in the same way. There are two main types of coconut oils: virgin and refined.

How are they made?

  • Virgin coconut oil. It is made out of fresh coconut meat which is scooped out of the shell and then is pressed. This meat leaves behind the coconut oil. It is completely natural and has a pure flavor.
  • Refined Coconut oil. It is made out of dried coconut meat. The neutral flavor is achieved by steam refine of the oil. Be careful because some producers add some harmful chemicals to produce this type of oil.

There are three basic types of fatty acids—short-chain, medium-chain, and long-chain. Long-chain fatty acids have more carbon atoms, which means they require higher temperatures to melt. Fats that are solid at room temperature have longer chain lengths—thus, coconut oil.

One of the fatty acids that’s mostly removed in fractionation is lauric acid—a type of “healthy” saturated fat found in high quantities in coconut and palm kernel oils. It’s a great fat to have in skin care because it’s so moisturizing and cleansing.

Once the lauric acid and other long-chain fatty acids are gone, you’re still left with a lot of good stuff, including medium chain fatty acids like capric, caprylic, myristic and palmitic, all of which retain their super-moisturizing capabilities. You also still have the natural antioxidants, which protect from environmental stressors, and nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, which help maintain a tighter, firmer look.

Whenever possible, buy coconut oil that’s labeled as “unrefined,” “extra virgin,” and/or “cold pressed,” but avoid coconut oil that’s labeled as “deodorized.” Sticking to these guidelines ensures that you’ll get oil subjected to the least amount of processing. Unrefined coconut oil, also called extra virgin, is extracted from the fruit of fresh mature coconuts without the use of chemicals or high temperatures. This means it retains some nutrients that act as antioxidants.

Hard facts show that we, Americans, simply eat too much. For instance, some scientists say that Americans eat 500 calories more per day than needed, while other experts suggest we eat 100% more food than we actually need. No wonder why Americans are so overweight!

A new way to cook rice that would cut the caloric absorption by 50-60%, that is a new recipe that makes the rice become a resistant (indigestible) starch, which resists the absorption of the starch from entering the bloodstream.

Most of the starches are very digestible and quickly convert to sugar in our blood. So while most of the starches get stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen, the excess glucose gets stored as fat and becomes a major contributor to obesity and a host of other health issues. Resistant starches pass through the small intestines undigested and become food for the good microbes in the large intestines, all the while reducing the risk of excess glucose lingering in the blood and supporting healthy colon cells.

It’s no secret that weight-conscious people are cutting back on their starchy carbs. Now a group of Sri Lankan scientists has uncovered a cooking technique that can reduce the amount of calories your body absorbs from the rice you eat by more than half. So if you like to layer your stir-fry over a bed of the white grains, you’ll save yourself 120 calories for every cup.

The key is increasing the rice’s amount of resistant starch, the type your body doesn’t absorb from starchy foods. It’s simple. Just add a teaspoon of coconut oil to the boiling water. Then add a half a cup of rice. Simmer for 40 minutes or boil for 25. Then—and this is key—refrigerate it overnight (or 12 hours).

This part is essential, the scientists say, because the cooling process expels the digestible part of the starch; once outside the rice granules, the molecules form strong bonds, turning them into indigestible starch. By doing this, the oil enters the starch granules during cooking, which changes the starches and makes them more resistant to digestive enzymes. The cooling is important because the soluble part of the grain exits and forms a bond on the outside layer, locking in changes to the structure of the granules. The end result: You increase the resistant starch 10 times over the amount usually found in traditional, non-fortified rice, reducing the calories your body absorbs by at least 10 to 12 percent, says lead researcher Sudhair A. James, of the College of Chemical Sciences in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

 

Rice contains a number of nutrients, including potassium and magnesium, and it’s not clear whether this modified cooking process affects how the body absorbs those. The researchers didn’t describe any of the changes to the rice’s taste or texture, either. But the team hopes to test different types of rice and oils to see which is the best to use with this cooking process.

The prospect of lower-calorie rice can go a long way in dealing with the obesity epidemic especially in developing nations like India where large number of people consumes rice. Although rice is not the only reason for weight gain, cutting down calories in a cup of cooked rice even by 10% can have an enormous impact for future generations.

The benefits from coconut oil seem to be endless.

Coconut oil is oil extracted from the white, mature coconut flesh or meat. Coconut oil is a rich fat source, mostly containing saturated fat (3.7 grams) with trace amounts of monounsaturated fat (0.29 grams) and polyunsaturated fat (0.08 grams), per one teaspoon. Just like choosing foods to nourish your body’s cells, it is equally important to know what is going onto it.

Specifically, hair products may contain unwanted, unnatural ingredients. So try out coconut oil and enjoy these benefits:

 

Treats Hair Loss

This is the single-most common problem that has been plaguing humanity for ages. But coconut oil has always been a natural and handy remedy for the condition.

The oil has been used since ancient times in India for grooming hair and maintaining its health. It has also been combined with other herbs to make various remedies for hair fall. You can ideally boil sage leaves in coconut oil and apply the mixture to your scalp for improving hair health. This oil can also be mixed with lime water or gooseberries for desirable results.

Nourishing Hair Growth

The fatty acids and the nutrients found in coconut hair oil combine with the natural proteins found in our hair to give protection against breakage. The specific fatty acid, named Lauric acid in coconut oil gives it this property of preventing breakage thereby helping our hair grow stronger and longer. Putting a mask of coconut oil followed by a massage and then steaming the hair gives the best results. It prevents hair thinning and boost thickening of hair, making it strong.

Moisture Retention

 Coconut oil has high moisture retaining capacity, since it is not easily broken down nor evaporated, being very stable. It does not let moisture escape, thus keeping hair moist and soft, which prevents breakage of hair.

Removes Dandruff

Dandruff is one of the most common hair related problem. Dandruff can be caused due to several reasons including excessively dry scalp, non maintaining scalp hygiene, excessively oily skin, chronic illness, etc. Coconut oil is considered to be one of the best anti-dandruff remedies. It not only removes the dandruff but also works to eradicate the reason of dandruff formation. If you have dandruff you should apply coconut oil on your scalp and massage gently. Keep it for 1-2 hours and then wash using a shampoo. Repeat this for a few days and you will see significant less dandruff on your scalp.

Protection From Lice

These tiny pests on your scalp can cause you great embarrassment and misery. Most of the OTC products that claim to offer protection from lice can also damage the scalp and hair. But that wouldn’t be the case when you have coconut oil handy.

Simply coat wet hair with coconut oil and use a fine comb to remove the lice.

Adding this natural oil to your routine in place of overly processed, chemical ridden products is a great way to lessen your exposure to potentially hazardous substances, and it works as good as, if not far better than, any other comparable man made option out there.

You may think oils will lead to breakouts and leave a greasy, heavy film on your skin. Wrong. Naturally derived facial oils are actually:

  • Lightweight
  • Absorb quickly
  • Leaving no shiny, greasy residue

Facial oils penetrate deeply into skin to provide long-lasting hydration.

Extra virgin coconut oil happens to be very rich in antioxidants that prevent free radical formation (free radicals cause skin to lose elasticity). And because its molecular structure is relatively small, these benefits penetrate deep into underlying tissues that most moisturizers can’t reach. Coconut oil is also non-comedogenic, meaning it will not clog your pores.

It contains saturated fats so predominantly, these saturated fats are medium chain fatty acids or triglycerides. When applied on the skin, they keep it smooth to the touch. Due to the presence of these fats, coconut oil also retains the moisture content of the skin, as the fats eliminate moisture loss through the pores on skin. When ingested through the regular consumption of coconut oil, these fats deposit under the skin, thus keeping it healthy and smooth, giving it an even tone and reducing the appearance of the pores.

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, a natural substance that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder. This alkaline substance has antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a powerful medical tool effective at combating everything from colds to oral problems to skin issues.

Baking soda is effective when used for short periods. However, excessive use can damage your skin and hair. Also, you should do a patch test to determine whether your skin is sensitive to it.

All natural, non-toxic, simply derived face wash can provide all the cleansing power your skin needs without aggravating or over-drying it. This homemade concoction has just two ingredients and you can mix it up tonight at home
You can create an easy skin cleanser with just these two simple ingredients. Baking soda on its own is a remedy against acne. It regulates the pH level of the skin and helps in healing breakouts. Coconut oil has strong healing, moisturizing and antibacterial qualities that beneficially affect the skin while nourishing it. Mixing these products together creates a safe combination, even on sensitive skin. Keep in mind that wet-milled traditional virgin coconut oil will provide the best results.

You’ll only need two ingredients:

  • Coconut oil

  • Baking soda

To determine the amount of each needed, you first need to know what your skin type is and what results you are going for. For more sensitive skin, use at least a 2:1 ratio of coconut oil to baking soda. If you need more of an exfoliate, use a 1:1 ratio.

Mix it together well and then massage it gently onto your face in circular motions. You can leave it on for a couple of minutes as you would a facial mask, or you can wash it off immediately using warm water.

After using this you’ll notice your skin is smooth, calm, and polished. The combination of baking soda and coconut oil is effective at treating and fading acne scars, redness, and breakouts. It also works well at exfoliating rough, dry skin, leaving it moisturized and clean.

 

Coffee is more than caffeine in a cup. It also has potential health benefits too. The consumption of coffee goes back centuries.In 17th century England the popularity of the drink gave rise to a number of coffee houses which were dubbed ‘penny universities’, because with one penny a person could buy a cup of coffee and have intellectually stimulating conversations with other people

Although coffee is famously known for its caffeine, she has a much more impressive side. It’s one of the riches sources of Chlorogenic acid (part of the phenolic acid family/antioxidants) which reduces oxidative stress and inflammation. Coffee also appears to increase insulin sensitivity which means a lowered risk for type 2 diabetes. This is also suspected to be due to Chlorogenic acid.

A recent study has found caffeine has the same effect on the body’s cells as muscle contractions caused through exercise. And though they don’t recommend anyone opt for coffee over fitness, they are currently looking at more ways caffeine positively influences DNA. As an added bonus, caffeine has been shown to reduce pain during exercise which may help you get through that last set of lunges.

Many of us love coffee because it has the ability to keeps us on our game, but studies show that caffeine has a positive effect on memory and thought processes, too. In fact, a study that looked at mice with the equivalent of Alzheimer’s disease (who consumed caffeine-laced water) experienced a decrease in the levels of a protein in the brain that is associated with the disease.

Mix these 3 ingredients into your coffee and burn more fat:

Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains saturated fat. The fats in coconut oil are mostly medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Here’s what you need to know.

They don’t require bile to be broken down because they’re shorter than other fats and they’re transported directly to the bloodstream through your portal vein. All this means is that you can quickly get energy from medium chain triglycerides and your body won’t add them to your love handles (unless you’re consuming an overabundance of calories).

Honey

Honey technically has more calories than sugar. A teaspoon of honey has about 21 calories, while one of white sugar contains around 16 calories. The sugars in honey taste sweeter than those in white sugar, so you may use less honey than sugar when sweetening your coffee.

Because the sugars in honey are processed faster, they’re less likely to be converted into fats and stored in your body.

The sugars in honey have a lower glycemic index than those in white sugar, which means honey will have less of an effect on blood-glucose levels.

Cinnamon

One study found just half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon can slow the speed at which the stomach empties following a meal, which can help control sharp rises and falls in blood sugar levels. Softening these sugar spikes can theoretically reduce cravings.

Excess sugar in the blood is normally converted to fat, adding to the existing fat stores. Cinnamon increases the metabolism, which means one would utilize more sugar, leaving little for storage.