10 Reasons You Need Coconut Oil

A wooden spoon with coconut oil, beside a jar of coconut oil and a raw coconut halfCoconut oil has a surprising number of health benefits, from relieving stress to bolstering your immune system. It’s rich in the lauric, capric and caprylic acids. These omega three fatty acids give it its antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti fungal properties. It can be used to cook food, moisturize skin, and treat infections. With all of these benefits, it’s hard to imagine why you wouldn’t add coconut oil to your life. Check out the top 10 reasons why coconut oil is a miracle of nature and why YOU should be using it.

1. Improves Your Skin

Coconut oil acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skins including dry skin. It can treat psoriasis, eczema, rosacea and even wrinkles and protects the skin from sun exposure, skin cancer, and free radical damage.

2. Helps You Lose Weight

Unlike many other common oils, like soy (vegetable) and corn that contain LCT (long-chain triglycerides ) that are typically stored as fat. Coconut oil won’t make you fat. Coconut oil contains MCT (medium-chain triglycerides), which are an easy fuel for the body to burn, without turning to fat. When you add coconut oil into your diet, you’ll feel more full and eat fewer calories over all.

3. Stress Relief

Coconut oil is very soothing so it’s an excellent massage oil for the skin. Applying coconut oil to the head followed with a gentle massage helps in removing mental fatigue. Just the natural aroma of coconuts is extremely soothing thus helping to lower your stress level.

4. Makes Your Hair Grow and Repairs Damage

Coconut oil is one of the best natural remedies for your hair. It helps in the healthy growth of new hair and provides a shiny complexion. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair.

5. Anti-Aging Properties

The small molecular structure of MCTs allows for easy absorption into your skin giving it a soft, smooth, and supple texture. Coconut oil strengthens your skin’s underlying connective tissues warding off lines and wrinkles and supplies healing and repairing properties. It prevents destructive free-radical formation and limits the damage excessive sun exposure can cause and helps rejuvenate the skin by removing the outer layer of dead skin cells.

6. Improves Healing and Fights Infections

Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. When applied on scrapes and cuts, coconut oil forms a thin, chemical layer which protects the wound from outside dust, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil speeds up the healing process of bruises by repairing damaged tissues.

7. Improves Digestion

Internal use of coconut oil occurs primarily as cooking oil. Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti-microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

8. Gives you Energy

Because of the healthy omega 3 fatty acids and the fact that it increases the metabolism, most people that switch to coconut oil feel a burst of added energy in their daily life. This is due to those MCT’s and coconut oil is nature’s richest source of them.

9. Prevents Disease

Coconut oil has been shown to prevent liver, kidney and gall bladder disease. It improves our ability to absorb important minerals needed by our bones, thus warding off osteoporosis. With its ability to increase insulin production and control blood sugar, coconut oil helps prevent and treat diabetes.

10. Great for the Heart

Comprised of about 50% lauric acid, coconut oil helps control high cholesterol, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. The saturated fats in coconut oil do not have harmful properties of those contained in other vegetable oils.

BONUS: May Protect Against STD’s

6-7% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are a MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) called capric acid. Capric acid is formed into monocaprin in the human body which has been shown to have antiviral effects and is being tested for effects against herpes, chlamydia and other sexually transmitted bacteria.

Study Finds Bacteria In Unused Paper Towels

Public washroom sign(BlackDoctor.org) — Grabbing a paper towel in a public restroom may leave more on your hands than you bargained for.

Researchers say they’ve found bacteria, including some that are known to make people sick, in unused paper towels. They also found that those bacteria could be transferred to hands after washing.

The study is published in the American Journal of Infection Control. It did not find any illnesses connected to paper towel use.

Experts say the findings are probably most important for people in hospital isolation units and those with weakened immune function who need to be extra cautious about contact with germs.

Germs Lurk in Paper Towels

Researchers at Laval University in Canada tested six brands of commercial paper towels — the kind doled out in many public bathrooms.

They found bacteria in all of them, but the towels made from recycled fibers were the most heavily contaminated.

“In our study, the concentration of bacteria in the recycled paper was between 100- to 1,000-fold higher than the virgin wood pulp brand,” the researchers write.

Bacterial slime is known to be a problem at recycled paper mills, where it corrodes machines and may damage finished paper sheets.

Researchers say the new paper towel finding fits with other studies that have noted high bacterial counts in other kinds of recycled paper products.

Bacteria may thrive in recycled paper because it contains binding ingredients like starches and fillers that serve as food.

Most of the bacteria found in paper towels were Bacillus bacteria. Many Bacillus strains can produce toxins that cause food poisoning.

One brand of paper towel contained Bacillus cereus bacteria. In addition to food poisoning, B. cereus has been associated with infections of the eyes, lungs, blood, and central nervous system.

Although the found amounts of B. cereus probably wouldn’t harm healthy people, researchers note it may be more dangerous for people who have weakened immune systems, like babies and the elderly, and for people who take medications that suppress their immune function.

Germ experts said the study was an eye-opener.

“These findings are interesting in that we do not think of paper towels as being contaminated,” says Elizabeth Scott, PhD, who is co-director of the Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community at Simmons College in Boston.

Scott says the study also made her curious about bacteria in other kinds of paper products.

“It makes me wonder about kitchen towels. These are put to all kinds of uses in direct contact with food, for example, covering and wrapping food,” she says. “And what about facial tissues, which come into close contact with our eyes and noses?”

Advice for Consumers

Scott and other experts note that the study did not find paper towels caused anyone to get sick.

Until more is known, experts agree that this one study shouldn’t be a reason for healthy people to avoid paper towels.

“People shouldn’t think that it’s better not to wash their hands if they only have paper towels available to dry them,” says Angela Golden, DNP, who is president-elect of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

She says 20 seconds with soap and water is still the rule, especially after activities that dramatically increase exposure to germs, like handing raw meat.

Golden says air dryers, if they’re available, may be the healthiest and most environmentally responsible option of all.