Check out these quick and easy ways to introduce coconut oil into your diet

Whether you’re using this antioxidant-rich fruit to ward off high cholesterol or to protect your skin against the cold winter weather, coconut oil is making a comeback among health gurus, who continually laud its versatility and significant health benefits. With a surplus of vitamin E and a presence of lauric acid, coconut oil is the perfect way to add a healthy kick to a morning smoothie or dinner dish.

Lauric acid, found in coconut oil, is an antioxidant-rich superpower that has been known to help fight viruses and bacteria. In addition to fighting off illness, the saturated fatty acids found in coconut oil are being put to use in the world of health and beauty, as the oil is found to be one of the most beneficial natural ingredients for improving the shine, and overall health, of hair. So, if you’re looking to grow your hair a few extra inches or trade in dull locks for a healthy shine, coconut oil could be for you.

Saturated fats don’t generally hold a positive connotation. We hear saturated fat and think of heart disease, or that burger we should’ve skipped over the weekend. But although coconut oil holds a substantial amount of saturated fat, the presence of lauric acid actually aids in fighting off high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in arteries). For a quick and easy way to add some coconut oil into your diet, use it to sauté vegetables or to as a flavorful baking additive.

1. Add Some Shine to Your ‘Do
Coconut oil is the perfect way to add some much-needed shine to your hair. Apply liberally to hands and use as a mask to remove frizz and add a lustrous shine. Rinse, remove, and enjoy your lustrous locks.

2. Hydrate Your Skin
Add some coconut oil to your daily face (or body) cleansing routine and exfoliate regularly. Not only will the oil hydrate your skin, but it will provide a noticeably soft finish, too.

3. The All-Natural Under-Eye Cream
Forget the expensive creams and in-office treatments. Apply a pea-sized amount of coconut oil under each eye, and watch as dark circles diminish and wrinkles fade. Make sure not to get the oil in your eyes, as it can cause blurry vision!

4. Boost Your Energy
Mix a tablespoon of flaxseed or chia seeds with coconut oil into a smoothie for a guaranteed energy booster. Throw in some strawberries or banana and you’re in for a real treat.

5. High-Temperature Cooking Pro
Superior to olive or vegetable oils, coconut oil acts as the most efficient heat-tolerant oil choice when cooking at high temperatures. Next time you’re pan-frying vegetables, substitute coconut oil in place of the accustomed olive or vegetable oil for a flavorsome surprise.

6. Fight the Flu
Add a small amount of blended coconut oil to a cup of tea to protect your immune system or recover from that winter flu. High in vitamin E and an assortment of critical antioxidants, this oil is the perfect seasonal additive to warm that sore throat or get rid of the sniffles.

7. Improve Digestion
A tablespoon of coconut oil before each meal can improve digestion and has been suggested to aid in weight loss. Unlike other fats, those from coconut oil are sent directly to the liver and processed as energy. Therefore, the fat in coconut oil isn’t stored, but used to produce an immediate energy boost.

8. Increase Brain Function
According to recent studies, coconut oil can be used to improve cognitive function and aid in reversing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, in early stages.

9. The Ideal Baking Substitute
If you’re trying to start the new year off right, get rid of the butter. Substitute coconut oil for a powerful antioxidant kick and the secret ingredient for perfect gooey cookies, or the seamless flaky pie crust. Lastly, coconut oil is known to make an incredibly fluffy and flavorful frosting. The kicker? It’s a vegan ingredient and unbelievably delicious.

10. The Perfect Side Dish
Imagine onions that linger with sweet notes of syrupy goodness. Or sweet potatoes that are candied and perfectly textured. Coconut oil is now being used by modern-day chefs to sauté mundane vegetables and bake starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, adding that extra oomph while providing a nutritional powerhouse to ordinary side dishes.

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