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10 Best Uses for Coconut Oil

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Don't call it a comeback! Coconut oil, a saturated fat-rich oil found within coconuts, was once labeled unhealthy, but more recent research has since rebooted this food's reputation. But coconut oil has been used for years around the world to for personal health both in the kitchen and in the bathroom (we'll get to that in a minute). Who knew a little deeper research and plenty of independent testers could turn a once frowned upon oil into the superfood du jour?

You may have heard about it, so we put together a list of the best ways we could find to add coconut oil to your daily life, in case you're worried that tub or jar may go to waste:

1. Weight Loss Aid -- Dr. Mehmet Oz has repeatedly praised coconut oil on "The Dr. Oz Show" for its ability to contribute to healthy weight loss and weight management. He explained that coconut oil helps keep you full to cut calories -- on average, 60 calories per day. This oil also boosts the metabolism and is processed directly through the liver instead of being stored throughout the body as extra pounds. He recommended 2 tbsp daily of virgin coconut oil that's free of hydrogenated oils.

2. Heart Health Booster --  Despite being a saturated fat, coconut oil has been found to help lower LDL, or "bad" cholesterol to support the heart. The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil protect heart function to ward off heart disease as well as atherosclerosis.

3. Skin Care Trick -- When it comes to your skin, slather coconut oil on post shower as a moisturizer to heal dry skin and calm inflammation associated with conditions like eczema. Even if you have acne-prone skin, don't fret, the antifungal and antibacterial properties within coconut oil can help calm, clear and prevent future breakouts. You can even use it as a makeup remover.

4. Hair Therapy -- Just like with the skin, coconut oil can repair the most damaged of locks. Try saturating dry hair with coconut oil and covering with plastic wrap or a shower cap before bed. Wash it out in the morning (plan on two shampoos) and see your damaged hair start healing. You can even use a small amount on dry hair to tame frizz and define curls. A very small amount -- it's oil after all.

5. Digestion Solution -- As a natural digestive aid, coconut oil helps the body remove waste more efficiently and easily, preventing uncomfortable problems like hemorrhoids. It also helps to fight off bacteria, fungi or other substances that can irritate the digestive system, especially for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

6. Diabetes Management Tool -- Consuming coconut oil in place of other fats helps to regulate sugar levels to prevent spikes and crashes while supporting healthy insulin production. It can also provide relief from neuropathies or other symptoms associated with poor circulation, a common side effect of diabetes.

7. Energy  Recharger -- The MCTs within coconut oil make a great energy source for the body and also boost metabolism for greater energy production. You also get an energy boost because coconut oil helps the body better absorb and utilize vitamins and minerals.

8. Immune System Supporter -- This oil is rich in antioxidants and has antifungal and antibacterial properties that fight off common toxins that can lead to everything from urinary tract infections (UTIs) to gum disease. It also has antiviral properties, which may be able to help you fight off the common cold or flu by strengthening the immune system.

9. Thyroid Function Enhancer -- One of the most common symptoms of a poorly functioning thyroid (aside from needing sweaters in the summer) is a slower metabolism that can result in excess weight gain that's difficult to reverse. By switching out other fats for coconut oil, you can actually get your metabolism moving again and start to look and feel better.

10. Household Cleaner -- Believe it or not, coconut oil can be used to put the shine back in leather or polished wood furniture. Just be sure to use a small amount and test an area not normally visible before applying to the entire piece.

With all these great reasons, why not make the switch? Shop for great coconut oil products at eVitamins and go "coco" for your health!

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