Monthly Archives: October 2014

10 Benefits of Adding Coconut Oil to Your Diet

1. Coconut Oil Contains a Unique Combination of Fatty Acids With Powerful Medicinal Properties

Coconut oil has been demonized in the past because it contains saturated fat. In fact, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fats known to man, with almost 90% of the fatty acids in it being saturated.

However, new data is showing that saturated fats are harmless. Many massive studies that include hundreds of thousands of people prove that the whole “artery-clogging” idea was a myth.

Additionally, coconut oil doesn’t contain your average run-of-the-mill saturated fats like you would find in cheese or steak.

No, they contain Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – which are fatty acids of a medium length.

Most of the fatty acids in the diet are long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently.

They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.

2. Populations That Eat a LOT of Coconut Are Among The Healthiest People on The Planet

 

Coconut is kind of an “exotic” food in the Western world, primarily consumed by health conscious people.

However, in some parts of the world, coconut is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for many generations.

The best example of such a population is the

Tokelauans, which live in the South Pacific.

They eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts and are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world.

These people are in excellent health, with no evidence of heart disease.

Another example of a population that eats a lot of coconut and remains in excellent health is the Kitavans.

 

3. Coconut Oil Can Increase Your Energy Expenditure, Helping You Burn More Fat

 

Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world.

While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others (myself included) believe that the sources of those calories are critical too.

It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is NOT a calorie.

The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats.

One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totalling about 120 calories per day.

 

4. The Lauric Acid in Coconut Oil Can Kill Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi, Helping to Stave Off Infections

 

Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon  Lauric Acid.  When coconut oil is enzymatically digested, it also forms a monoglyceride called monolaurin.

Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.

For example, these substances have been shown to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus (a very dangerous pathogen) and the yeast Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections in humans.

 

5. Coconut Oil Can Kill Your Hunger, Making You Eat Less Without Even Trying

 

One interesting feature of coconut oil is that it can reduce your hunger.

This may be related to the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized, because ketone bodies can have an appetite reducing effect.  In one study, varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides were fed to 6 healthy men.

The men eating the most MCTs ate 256 fewer calories per day, on average.

Another study in 14 healthy men discovered that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate significantly fewer calories at lunch.

These studies were small and only done for a short period of time. If this effect were to persist over the long term, it could have a dramatic influence on body weight over a period of several years.

 

6. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Are Turned into Ketones, Which Can Reduce Seizures

 

A so-called ketogenic (low carb, higher fat) diet is currrently being studied to treat various disorders.

The best known therapeutic application of this diet is treating drug-resistant epilepsy in children.

For some reason, this diet can dramatically reduce the rate of seizures in epileptic children, even those who haven’t had success with multiple different types of drugs.

Because the MCTs in coconut oil get shipped to the liver and turned into ketone bodies, they are often used in epileptic patients to induce ketosis while allowing for a bit more carbs in the diet.

 

7. Coconut Oil Can Improve Blood Cholesterol Levels and May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

 

Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fats, which actually do not harm the blood lipid profile like previously thought.

Saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change the LDL cholesterol to a benign subtype.

In one study in 40 women, coconut oil reduced Total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL compared to soybean oil.  Also improves blood coagulation factors and antioxidant status.

This improvement in cardiovascular risk factors should theoretically lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over the long term.

 

8. Coconut Oil Can Protect Hair Against Damage, Moisturize Skin and Function as Sunscreen

 

Coconut oil can serve various purposes that have nothing to do with eating it.

Many people are using it for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair.

Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve the moisture and lipid content of the skin.

Coconut oil can also be very protective against hair damage and one study shows effectiveness as sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Another application is using it like mouthwash in a process called oil pulling, which can kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health and reduce bad breath.

 

9. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Can Boost Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Patients

 

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia worldwide and occurs primarily in elderly individuals.

In Alzheimer’s patients there appears be reduced ability to use glucose for energy in certain parts of the brain.

Ketone bodies can supply energy for the brain and researchers have speculated that ketones can provide an alternative energy source for these malfunctioning cells and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

In one 2006 study, consumption of medium chain triglycerides led to immediate improvement in brain function in patients with milder forms of Alzheimer’s.

Other studies support these findings and medium chain triglycerides are being intensively studied as potential therapeutic agents in Alzheimer’s disease.

 

10. Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Fat, Especially The Dangerous Fat in Your Abdominal Cavity

 

Given that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it makes sense that it can also help you lose weight.

Coconut oil appears to be especially effective in reducing abdominal fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs.

This is the most dangerous fat of all and is highly associated with many Western diseases.

Waist circumference is easily measured and is a great marker for the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.

A study in 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day lead to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in a period of 12 weeks.

Another study in 20 obese males noted a reduction in waist circumference of 2.86 cm (1.1 inches) after 4 weeks of 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day.

This number may not seem too impressive on the surface, but be aware that these people aren’t adding exercise or restricting calories. They’re losing significant amounts of abdominal fat simply by adding coconut oil to their diet.

Smooth and Tight Body Skin

It’s important to always keep your skin in its best shape. Become a firm believer in younger looking skin with the Firm by Invasix, a new, advanced non-invasive treatment specifically designed to remodel the skin to fight the effects of gravity. This professional treatment provides contraction in the deep layers of the skin. During the treatment, new collagen formation is stimulated to improve and smooth the skin’s surface. It used on the face and neck, as well as body areas such as the knees, abdomen, thighs, and arms that might need contraction, BENEFITS OF FIRM:
Immediate results on the treatment table
Stimulates collagen production
Contracts collagen for a tightening sensation in the skin
Diminishes appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Smoothes skin texture
Avoid more extensive surgery
Non-invasive with no downtime, feels like a pleasant, warm facial massage.

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7 Mistakes That Are Making You Break Out

1.SMART PHONES, HATS/CAPS, EYEWEAR

There’s a lot of gunk lurking on smartphone screens, eyeglasses, and the lining of your favorite hat: oil, makeup, and the residue of old hair products. All of that dirt and bacteria can quickly break you out,”

2.While the urge to go to town on a zit (especially when it appears many times its actual size in a magnifying mirror) can seem overwhelming, popping pimples only pushes bacteria further into the pore. So muster the strength to turn away—

3. There’s a difference between twice-weekly skin-brightening exfoliation (good), and daily obsessive overscrubbing (bad). That’s because the layers of our skin near the surface form a protective matrix of proteins and lipids that keep moisture in and acne-causing bacteria out. Aggressive scrubbing can impair the skin-barrier function and lead to inflammation. So think of that eager-beaver scouring as a means of exposing your skin to the very things that make it break out—and just don’t.

4. Splashing water on your face in the morning might seem like an adequate start to the day, since all that’s transpired since your last cleansing was a night of restful sleep on clean Egyptian cotton pillowcases. But you’d be surprised by how much settles on the face at night: Waste left from nighttime products and, if you had a glass of wine with dinner, the metabolized remains of alcohol. Wash your face before bed, at all costs, and repeat the process after you get up, since breakouts erupt when old makeup and your face’s natural oils meet pollutants and dirt during the day.

5. We all know that snack foods eventually end up on our hips and thighs. But tell a true beauty junkie that she’s also doing damage to her skin, and that should be enough to make her swear off sugar, white rice, and, well, everything nice. New evidence suggests that eating foods that cause blood sugar to spike—pizza, bagels, and cookies are all culprits—can trigger an avalanche of acne-generating hormones. Treat your skin to foods rich in vitamins A and E, like leafy greens, grapefruit, nuts, and avocado, which can help clear the complexion, and fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar into your system and reduces the risk of acne.

6. Indulging in alcohol doesn’t directly cause acne, although it has been blamed for turning skin blotchy, dry, and dull. It’s what accompanies alcohol in the glass that really brings on the breakouts. Ingredients like tonic water, fruit juice, syrups, and other sugary mixers are all offenders. (Remember what we said about sugary junk foods?) Stick with the basics at the bar (no sweetened mixed drinks ending in “toni”), match each round of booze with a glass of water (to combat dehydration), and consider a two-drink maximum as a worthy personal goal if you’re prone to pimples.

7. Skipping a shower after a workout may prolong the exercise induced euphoria, but wearing a damp sports bra or t shirt against your skin will form the perfect breeding ground for body acne, since the moist material pushes bacteria into sebum glands, producing zits. So wash your face and then change into clean, dry clothes. Also, if you’re still rocking your middle-school T-shirts and faded black stretch pants (the ones with the totally shot elastic waistband), consider a wardrobe overhaul: Invest in breathable designs made from moisture-wicking, fast-drying fabrics.

SIMPLE WAYS TO BEAT BLOAT

STOP FAKING IT

Replacing your usual indulgences with sugar-free gum and diet soda can feel virtuous, but zero-calorie good intentions can backfire. Some artificial sweeteners contain sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that can’t be absorbed by your gastrointestinal tract.  They tend to ferment there and produce a lot of bacteria and gas, making them a huge cause of bloating.  It’s just another reminder that nothing is ever really free.

DON’T PASS THE SALT
Salt attracts moisture—think about how salt shakers cake up when it’s humid outside. When you have a higher concentration of sodium in your bloodstream, your body holds on to water to dilute the concentration. Drinking water also keeps your sodium-potassium balance in check.

FLUSH IT
Some fruits, like watermelon and cranberries, act as natural diuretics that reduce fluid retention. Still, don’t just reach for the nearest Edible Arrangement. The diuretic effect can be canceled out by sugar, which causes bloating. Go for vegetables that are relatively low in fructose, like asparagus and cucumber. Vitamin C supplements have a diuretic effect, meaning the help the body get rid of excess fluid. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids when taking them. Remember the more water you drink the less water your body will hold on to,

EAT AN AVOCADO
So you’ve slipped up and snacked on a handful (or six) of salty pretzels. The good news is that avocados and other potassium-rich foods combat puffiness by balancing excess sodium and reducing water retention. “Look for foods that are high in potassium or that have a balance of potassium and sodium, like celery.
DRY OUT
There are lots of reasons to skip that second (or third) glass of wine, and you can now add bloating to the list. Don’t let the fact that alcohol is a diuretic fool you. By keeping your body from processing things properly, alcohol can blow you up. Alcohol is very acid-forming in the body, and an acidic body tends to hold on to excess water weight. Caffeine can have a similar effect.” And then there’s the fact that alcohol and salty snacks were made for each other, so consuming one usually means too much of the other.
When you do indulge, avoid sugary and boil-brewed alcohols, like tequila, rum, and beer, which has the added problem of carbonation. They’re extremely processed, Tequila is one step away from agave, which is over 90 percent fructose. The purest hard liquor—i.e., the one with the least sugar—is vodka, so Russians have the right idea.

CHECK YOUR MEDICINE CABINET
Like alcohol, certain drugs can affect the body’s ability to hold on to water. Birth control pills, steroids, and even ibuprofen are the worst offenders. It’s tempting to chalk up bloating to your diet, but if you’re on a new medication and notice that you feel puffy or crampy, you might want to discuss other options with your doctor. You should also talk to your physician if you’ve changed your diet and other habits and still feel bloated. It could be a sign that something more serious is going on.

WORK IT OUT
Is there anything exercise doesn’t fix? With bloating, it doesn’t hurt to get physical. The GI tract is muscle, It gets flabby if you’re not exercising.  Physical exertion can stimulate gastrointestinal contractions known as peristalsis, making digestion easier.

EAT LIKE A LADY (AS YOUR GRANDMOTHER WOULD SAY)
Wolfing your food isn’t just bad manners. Fast eaters tend to take in more air and therefore experience more gas. Those other bad habits Grandma warned you about, like chewing gum, sucking on hard candy, and smoking, also increase gulped air. Carbonation can be a problem, though it depends on your sensitivity. Mere seltzer water will get to some people, while others are left unfazed by several San Pellegrinos a day. And if you’re about to sit down to a feast beginning with a green salad, which gets the digestive process rolling. All those enzymes at the beginning help you digest the rest of the food that follows.

Bloating, that feeling of fullness and swelling, is uncomfortable and can be distressing. While it might seem contradictory, you can usually fix fluid retention in your body by increasing your fluid intake, including drinking more water. As you drink more water, your body releases fluids, potentially leading to less bloating.  Mild water retention can be caused by fluctuating hormone levels, hot or humid weather, sunburns and standing for long periods of time.  As the fluids rehydrate your body, your body learns it is no longer at risk of dehydration, so it will release the retained fluids, leading to reduced swelling.