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Coconut oil benefits: Five surprising ways coconut oil can boost your health

Diet hack: Three ways to use coconut oil for weight loss

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Coconut oil has been claimed to be one of the healthiest types of food you can find – and was subsequently dubbed a ‘superfood’. But what benefits could you actually gain from adding more coconut oil to your diet?

Coconut oil is made by pressing dried or fresh coconut meat – the white fleshy part of the coconut.

There are several different types of product available, but the most important two are virgin coconut oil, and refined coconut oil.

At room temperature, your coconut oil will feel relatively firm and waxy.

But after it’s warmed up, it’ll transform into the type of oil we’re all familiar with.

Improve heart health

You could lower your risk of heart disease by adding more coconut oil to your diet, as a replacement for other cooking oils, scientists have claimed.

Combining it with more fish and fruit could also protect against strokes, they said.

Nutritionist Kris Gunnars said: “In some parts of the world, coconut — which is loaded with coconut oil — is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for generations.”

He wrote for medical website Healthline: “For example, a 1981 study noted that the population of Tokelau, an island chain in the South Pacific, obtained over 60 percent of their calories from coconuts. Researchers reported not only good overall health but also very low rates of heart disease.”

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Boost weight loss

Coconut oil has been to claimed to encourage fat burning, which subsequently helps with weight loss diet plans.

It contains healthy fatty acids that increase the number of calories your body burns.

The fatty acids, known as medium-chain triglycerides, can increase the number of calories burned by as much as five percent over a 24-hour period.

But eaten in large quantities, it can have the opposite effect, so it’s best to eat coconut oil in moderation.

Avoid mouth infections

Mouth infections can cause several unwanted symptoms, including bad breath, sensitive teeth, and even extreme pain.

But coconut oil’s lauric acid content could lower your chances of ever developing mouth infections.

Gunnars said: “There’s also some evidence that using coconut oil as a mouthwash — a process called oil pulling — benefits oral hygiene, though researchers consider the evidence weak.

“There’s no evidence that coconut oil reduces your risk of the common cold or other internal infections.”

Protect skin

Coconut oil can be used to improve the health and appearance of your skin.

It improves the moisture content of skin, which is particularly useful for anyone that has eczema-prone skin.

Prevent hunger

The healthy fatty acids in coconut oil have been claimed to reduce hunger.

Over time, it could therefore contribute to weight loss, if you’re trying to lose weight.

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