Though you may think that food only affects your physical health, experts know that what you eat impacts every system of your body…including your brain. Food can stimulate the brain and deliver vital nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals that not only help increase memory and brain function but can protect against cognitive decline as well. If you tend to lose your keys on a daily basis or are always forgetting important details, you’ll want to add these foods to your diet to sharpen your memory today.
While it may sound counterproductive to eat fat to lose fat, coconut oil is an exceedingly healthy exception.
By now, you probably know at least one person who can’t live without having a jar of the stuff in the kitchen at all times, and there’s a very good reason for that. I don’t ever let myself run out of this tropical treasure!
For years, many people were under the impression that all fats were bad, but scientific research has revealed that simply isn’t true. All you need to do is take a look at the rather shocking statistics related to the skyrocketing epidemic of obesity in the U.S., and many other places throughout the world, to see that those astounding numbers began increasing just about the same time fat-free diets became popular.
The big difference between healthy and unhealthy fats
While some people still think the best way to lose fat is to avoid fatty foods, in reality, eating the right kind of fat will actually help melt that fat away. I am not talking about going to the McDonald’s drive-thru and ordering a couple of Big Macs and fries, of course. There’s a big difference between that and healthy fats found in unrefined, organic coconut oil.
So yes, that friend, coworker, neighbor or family member you know who is always touting the benefits of coconut oil is right: everyone should have a jar of organic coconut oil in their kitchen. While it offers a wide range of uses and benefits, one of the very best is to help eliminate stubborn body fat. Some health experts believe about 20 percent of our ability to lose excess fat is related to how much you exercise and other lifestyle factors, while about 80 percent of the is determined by what we eat. Eating more coconut oil and less junk or unhealthy foods can be the difference you need to achieve the body changes you desire.
Coconut oil is filled with MCTs or medium chain triglycerides. MCTs are burned as energy, instead of being turned into extra flab. Extra virgin, organic coconut oil is rich in lauric acid and caprylic acid, compounds that are well-known to be utilized for quick energy. They’re also great for boosting the immune system to prevent you from becoming ill – when you aren’t sick, you’ll naturally be more active too. The more active you are, the more calories you’ll bun and the less flab you’ll have.
The research behind coconut oil tells the truth
Countless research has been conducted on the benefits of coconut oil and its ability to help one lose fat. Research in 2009, published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats was able to help people lose belly fat – even without a reduction in calorie consumption. Other research, also conducted in 2009 and published in the journal Lipids, tested the effects of consuming either two tablespoons of soybean oil or two tablespoons of coconut oil on women over a month. At the end of the period, the experts discovered that the women who took the coconut oil experienced a reduction in belly fat. Those who consumed soybean oil had an increase in belly fat. In addition to belly fat loss, the coconut oil consumers experienced a rise in HDL (the “good” cholesterol), while those who ate soybean oil saw an increase in LDL (or “bad” cholesterol) and a decrease in HDL cholesterol.
Research from Brazil looked at the weight loss connection between women who regularly ate coconut oil and discovered that it reduced abdominal obesity. A 1985 study, published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health demonstrated that just a single injection of capric acid (an essential component in coconut oil) resulted in “initially rapid, then a gradual decrease in food consumption and a parallel loss of body weight” in male rats. The experts discovered the reason behind this too. The capric acid provided a dramatic improvement in thyroid functioning, lowering the resting heart rate and aiding the body in burning fat for energy.
Have you ever visited the South Pacific? If you have, you probably noticed that people there tend to eat lots of coconuts, and coconut oil, but the majority tend to be trim and healthy. This is further proof that even though coconut oil contains fat, it’s the unhealthy polyunsaturated fats that aren’t found in nature that lead to an increase in fat, and those stubborn pounds. Things like cookies, packaged cakes, pastries and the like. Those processed foods are what are truly linked to not only our skyrocketing obesity problem but all sorts of other ailments.
Healthy fats like coconut oil reduce in-between meal hunger pangs
There’s another reason that eating foods that contain healthy fats like coconut oil can help you lose fat. They help keep you feeling full and satisfied longer as compared to other foods. It helps to curb those in-between meal hunger pangs and cravings for foods that aren’t so healthy, which allow you to naturally lose weight because you’re consuming fewer calories.
An important caveat to keep in mind
One thing that you should always keep in mind is that if you take in too many calories without burning them off, you’re not going to lose weight. That means that if you’re consuming a certain amount of calories and add coconut oil on top of what you’re already eating, you’re probably going to gain and not lose weight. Most people probably aren’t counting calories and only budgeting a certain amount of calories/food per day, so in those cases, adding coconut oil to your diet is likely to help reduce your appetite so that you’ll take in fewer calories overall.
What this means is that it’s NOT about adding fat calories to your current diet, but replacing other, less-healthy cooking fats like vegetable oil with coconut oil. You could also switch out things like processed creamer for coconut oil in your coffee. Coconut oil can tolerate high temperatures without being damaged, and it can add a tasty tropical flavor to dishes like vegetable stir-fry, eggs or fried fish.
When I turned fifty a year ago, I realized that the clock was ticking faster than it had been. Great memories flooded my mind and I began to look at my life in a slightly different way. I also noticed some physical changes that were somewhat troublesome.
Although I have been conscious of the aging process for some time, turning fifty really hit home. I was aging, yes, and looking a little older each year, but I was also confident that I was not going to let my age define my outlook on life nor stop me from taking the best care of my body. I am a firm believer in being a great steward of what has been given to me, including my mind, spirit, and body.
The aging train chugs onward
Perhaps you, like me, have taken a glance at yourself in the mirror only to notice a few more fine lines around your eyes, forehead, and cheeks, or maybe some creases in your neck that were not there before. If so, welcome to the aging process.
The reality is, as we age our skin begins to lose it firmness, elasticity, and also its moisture, which all contribute to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Added culprits that hasten your skin aging include sun exposure, stress, and lack of sleep. This is a naughty trifecta for me. I have spent a great deal of time in the sun, I don’t handle stress really well, and since the onset of perimenopause, I don’t sleep too well either.
In my search for a natural way to reduce fine lines, especially around my eyes, and be kind to my aging skin, I turned to my old favorite standby — coconut oil. When I discovered the benefits of this tropical treasure about eight years ago, I began to use it for everything. I dumped all my cooking oils and replaced them with coconut oil. I began to investigate all of the wonderful ways that this healthy saturated fat could improve my health and the health of my family and pets.
Why coconut oil?
If you are hesitant to put coconut oil on your skin, let me give you just a few reasons why I am in such an intense love affair with this rich and creamy substance.
Coconut oil is the main reason why people in the tropics can be in the sun and not experience skin cancer, and also have flawless looking skin. Its healing, antioxidant powers protect the skin from free radical damage. In addition, using coconut oil on the skin helps our bodies absorb other nutrients more effectively, such as vitamin E, which is another skin-protecting antioxidant. Studies have shown that people with dry skin can improve the moisture and fat content of their skin by using a little coconut oil daily.
What this means for wrinkles
I have used coconut oil on my arms, legs, and feet for quite some time, but was a bit leary of putting it on my face for fear that I might break out. However, I was wrong about that and for the last year, I have been enjoying the therapeutic benefits of unrefined coconut oil on my face, especially around my eyes (where my age is really starting to show).
After some experimenting, I was able to come up with my own recipe for my tired eyes. In addition to coconut oil, I chose to use lavender essential oil not only because I love its calming and sweet aroma, but because of its therapeutic value. Lavender oil is loaded with potent antioxidants that are strong enough to combat the daily damage done by environmental pollutants while calming my skin. Also, lavender oil also reduces inflammation and improves blood circulation.
I also use vitamin E oil in my eye cream because of its moisturizing and antioxidant properties. The antioxidants in vitamin E also protect skin cells from harmful UV rays and other free radicals that break down collagen. Like coconut oil, vitamin E oil penetrates the skin quickly and goes to work to hydrate the epidermis — this helps keep new wrinkles from forming.
This eye cream works
After using my anti-aging eye cream for the past year, I can attest to the fact that it works. I use it each evening before I go to bed and can see a noticeable difference in the appearance of my skin around my eyes.
I believe in this cream so much that I want to share the recipe with you. It is an easy-to-make way to revitalize the sensitive areas around your eyes and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Again, while we can’t stop the aging process, we can do our best to love the skin we are in!
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- ¼ tsp vitamin E oil
- 6 drops lavender essential oil
- Small container — I use an Altoid tin
- Measure all ingredients into a small bowl.
- Mix really well.
- Using a small spatula, put the mixture into your container. Cool until hardened. I put my container in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
- Use every night before bed. Apply with your ring finger for the least amount of pressure on the tender skin around your eyes.
This takes 5 to 10 minutes to mix up. It takes about 15 minutes for it to cool to a hardened state.
Skin cancer rates in America continue to rise, despite the amount of sunscreen people are slathering on. Now, new FDA testing shows that the active ingredients in sunscreen, normally absorbed into the body, may remain for days or even weeks. In addition, their testing found that even a single application of sunscreen seemed to leach high concentrations of chemicals into the bloodstream — beyond what the FDA considers safe. So, what exactly are these ingredients and how harmful are they?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with winter that is usually firmly planted in the hate category. Yes, the snow is lovely, and spending the holidays with family is always a treat. However, once the new year rolls around and spring is just a few months away, I’m ready to say goodbye to grey skies, freezing temperatures, and the cracked and dry skin that is my constant wintertime companion. Unfortunately, winter is unavoidable, and so, too, is the struggle that I have in keeping my skin hydrated and healthy. Thankfully, there are ways to keep the dry skin at bay. Instead of turning to chemical-laden products that just cover up the issue, I’ve put together a few of my favorite, all-natural remedies that you can whip up at home.
If you’ve read many health articles in the last few years, you’ve probably come across many concerning reports about the health issues associated with toxic beauty and cleaning products. The truth is, those products which you so willingly spread all over your skin could actually be really dangerous, contributing to things such as cancer, skin disease, and environmental disasters. There are tons of products out there that are totally natural, safe, and just as effective (if not more) as the ones loaded with toxins. We’ve gathered a list of our must-have natural bathroom essentials.
Oral health is absolutely critical since it affects every single area of your body, not just your teeth. When plaque builds up and cavities set in, you can quickly develop gum disease, infection, and other health issues that negatively impact your quality of life and force you to spend far too much time in the dentist’s chair.
If you’ve been living with dry, cracked heels, hiding your feet in sneakers all summer because you’re too ashamed of the unsightly skin and experience pain when wearing sandals, you’re not alone. Many people ignore their feet and don’t care for them properly, leading to all sorts of skin and movement issues. It’s time to break your bad habits and pamper your neglected heels. Read on to find out the secret to banishing that cracked skin for good.
Just like the rest of your skin, lips require a little effort to keep them looking and feeling their best. Whip up these super easy, nourishing treatments to create totally kissable lips.
There is just something so alluring about the atmosphere of the desert that causes many people to move to the lands of sweeping mountains, dusty open roads, and 0% humidity. If you live in the western part of the United States, you are probably used to hearing the term “it’s a dry heat” as you dart from one air-conditioned building to the next. Or if you’re preparing to make a transition to an arid climate, you may be wondering just what toll this lack of moisture has on your skin and body. Fortunately, living in a dry climate doesn’t have to be dangerous. Here are a few natural ways to combat an arid climate and ensure you stay moisturized even in the heart of the desert.
Get a humidifier
This is perhaps the single most essential step for returning critical moisture to your body and remaining hydrated. Purchase a large humidifier for your bedroom and keep it running whenever you sleep. A lot of humidifiers also support essential oil use so you can utilize the power of aromatherapy as well. This is especially crucial if you live in a hot area and use air conditioning as this already dries out your body and can be detrimental for your skin and lungs.
Lotion is your new best friend
You may have been able to get away without moisturizing in the humid jungle of Florida, but in the Mountains of Colorado or the red rocks of Arizona, you’re going to need to take your skincare game up a notch. Focus on natural lotion products that are specifically geared towards ultimate hydration. You’ll want to check for ingredients such as coconut oil, aloe vera, shea butter, or olive oil. Be sure that whatever lotion you use does not have alcohol derivatives (which act as drying agents), parabens, chemicals, or any other ingredients you don’t recognize.
You may want to try making your own lotion. Using one of the ingredients listed above and a few drops of essential oil, you have a totally customized, hydrating lotion that you can feel good about using. Rub moisturizer all over your body when your skin is still damp after your shower. This will help give your skin time to absorb and lock in the moisture.
Drink more water than you think you need
It is never a good idea to wait until you get thirsty to drink water. Being thirsty is actually an early sign of dehydration and means that your body is already crying out for water. When there is less water in the environment, you have to work twice as hard to replenish what you lose during workouts or normal day to day activities. It can also be hard to remember to drink water because you don’t sweat as much as you would in an area with high humidity levels. Always try to err on the side of caution and drink more water than you think you need. A good rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces each day, but this will need to be adjusted according to activity levels and the amount of caffeine you consume.
Protect your skin
Generally speaking, arid climates have more days of full sun than places that experience frequent rain and cloud cover. This means that it is incredibly easy to get sunburn and other sun-related skin conditions when exposed to such bright UV rays on a constant basis. Be sure to protect your sun whenever you go outside. Wear breathable, lightweight clothing that covers your body and still keeps you cool.
It is a good idea to find a natural sunscreen that you love for daily use on your face, neck, and arms, as these are the most at-risk parts of your body for a sunburn. If you are going to be out in the bright sun for an extended period of time, be sure to reapply sunscreen and consider wearing a hat to protect your face.
Spend time outdoors in the early morning and evening
“Aird” doesn’t always mean “hot” but as summer approaches, it stands to reason that your arid climate is experiencing a significant heat increase. Since the sun is primarily what determines the heat levels in a dry environment, it is possible that the temperature could drop 10-20 degrees as the sun sets. Try to organize your outdoor activities when the sun is past its peak and is beginning to cool down. Avoid spending significant amounts of time outdoors between 10am-3pm as this is usually the hottest part of the day.