Benefits of Coconut Oil -
Let's Count The Ways
People have fallen in love with coconut oil because it is a healthy fat - meaning, when you consume it, you're replacing the bad fats in your food and in your body, with the good. Coconut oil is much easier for your body to metabolize and in turn, burn off; turning it into energy that is actually used. This process is made possible due to its Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCT), which differ greatly from their longer chain counter parts. MCT's are a friendly fat that are rapidly used and burned. Consuming coconut oil, a good fat, is much better than consuming, say, butter, because it actually assists your body in it's natural breakdown process.
But isn't eating fat bad for
me? Not necessarily, it's all in the
type of fat you consume. Coconut oil is the ONLY saturated fat that has lauric acid, which makes it a good, non-hydrogenated fat. Lauric acid has been shown to increase HDL cholesterol (the 'good' cholesterol) and lower the
'bad' cholesterol by promoting its conversion to pregnenolone, a molecule that is essential for the creation of hormones. Lauric acid is also a natural antibacterial and anti-viral. It has been shown to destroy certain viruses such as HIV, herpes, CMV and influenza. All of this, combined with the MCT's, which studies are showing can help control weight gain and obesity, coconut oil is a great addition for your overall health. If that's not enough, it has recently been discovered for its beauty purposes as well.
Just remember that yes, coconut oil does have calories and fat content displayed on its nutritional information, but by choosing this healthy fat over bad fat, it will work
with your body in achieving good health.
a Supplement and a Food
Replacement for Butter/Oil - coconut oil can be substituted in cooking/baking recipes for butter and oils. The ratio would be 1 cup coconut oil per 1 cup [insert your ingredient name here]. Coconut oil is also used in several other methods because of its high temperature properties - such as
- No More Shortening - use coconut oil for greasing pans, and in pies or other baked goods. Examples of its replacements may be butter, lard, Crisco, PAM etc.
Hint: If you're adding it to your baked goods recipe, it's a good idea to melt it down and measure it in liquid form, not a solid.
Nutritional Supplement - some people take coconut oil on a spoon, while others blend it into their favourite smoothie to get the goodness.
Coconut oil is rich in MCT
essential fats, which are
types of fats that are very
easy for the body to
- Because the good fats in
coconut oil are so easily
metabolized (compared to the
harmful animal fats) it's
very easy for your body to
use them as a source of
energy. This is why
athletes use it as a source
of energy that won't spike
your blood sugar.
This makes it great as a
sports "gel", or spiked into
your pre-workout nutritional
In Food- smoothies,
cookies, as a coffee
creamer, in homemade mayo,
stir fry, spreads/dips,
popcorn topping, oatmeal,
pancakes, curries... the
possibilities are endless.
Fight Frizz - rub a small amount of coconut oil on your hands and rub together - lightly smooth over fly away hairs.
Deep Condition - soak hair in coconut oil for one hour, then shampoo out [no spa needed!]
Homemade Shampoo - mix 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1/3 cup liquid soap, 1tbs coconut oil, 1tsp almond/olive oil, 10 - 20 drops of essential oil.
Dandruff Control - rub a small amount of coconut oil into scalp
Face and Body Scrub - mix coconut oil with honey, dry ground coffee, sugar and salt [here is a good recipe] but get creative.
Makeup Remover - a small amount of coconut oil goes a long way [and moisturizes at the same time]
Lip Balm/ Skin Moisturizer - again, a small amount of coconut oil goes a long way. Think dry feet, hands, face, nail beds, cuticles. It has been known to help people with such skin problems as psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema.
Shaving - you can make your own shaving cream by using a small amount of coconut oil and water. Prone to cutting yourself? Coconut oil soothes cuts and razor rash.
Massage Oil/Lubricant - Coconut is a safe, inexpensive and effective lubricant during intercourse.
Sunscreen - I know, seems crazy using an oil as a sun protectant but coconut oil is a natural SPF 4. However it's a good idea to test this out on your skin first, we just want you to be safe before you stand out all day in the sun based like a Thanksgiving turkey.
Toothpaste - mix coconut oil with baking soda and brush, brush brush!
Stretch Mark Cream - coconut oil is fabulous for nourishing skin, hence why we use it as a moisturizer, however it's anti-aging effects can also reduce pesky stretch marks and cellulite.
Natural Deodorant - while there are several variations of coconut oil deodorant, these three ingredients seem to be in all of them; corn starch, baking soda and essential oils (along with the coconut oil, of course). It smells good and some people claim it keeps them drier in the ugh, pit region, longer.
Nipple Cream/Milk Enrichment - for new mommies, this is a perfect way to naturally nourish cracked, sore or dry nipples. It's okay to leave it on there between feedings, just make sure to wipe it off before the next feeding. And eating some of the coconut oil yourself will help to enrich the quality of milk you produce.
Diaper Irritation - using a bit, in place of lotion, is very soothing to your babies bottom and its all natural. It also works for cradle cap.
Bug Bites - apply directly to bug bite to aid in the relief of itching and burning
Oil as a Treatment
Swimmers Ear - it is said that mixing coconut oil with garlic oil and putting a few drops into affected ears for 10 mins will cure a swimmers ear - do this 2-3 times daily, until clear.
Stress Relief - because the aroma of coconut oil is extremely soothing, it helps lower our stress levels. Try applying some to your finger tips and massaging into your temples in light circular motions.
Digestion - ah yes, the saturated fats in coconut oil have anti-bacterial and anti-protazoal properties that help control parasites and bacteria that cause indigestion and other digestion related problems. MCT's have also been used widely in the treatment of malabsorption pathologies, such as pancreatitis, Crohn's, celiac's, and cystic fibrosis, showing a huge benefit over low fat diets in terms of maintaining adequate nutrition and weight. The good fats in the coconut oil also aid in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids - which is exactly what we like to hear.
Weight-loss - coconut oil has been proven to stimulate your metabolism, improve thyroid function and escalate energy levels [pre-workout smoothie, anyone?], all of which helps decrease unwanted fat and increase lean muscle. Coconut oil can also reduce food cravings.
Nose Bleeds - we don't want to go into details about how you have to get the coconut oil in your nasal passage - we think you get the right idea - but with its moisturizing qualities, coconut oil can help prevent nose bleeds caused by dry, cracking nasal passages.
And the list goes on... Coconut oil is said to aid with hot flashes, bleeding hemorrhoids, HIV, constipation, irritable bowl syndrome (IBS), improve menstruation cramps/pain, migraines, relieve gallbladder pain, acid reflux, liver disease, adrenal fatigue, Alzheimers, candida albicans, asthma, autism, cholesterol [improves good, reduces bad], chronic fatigue, circulation, immune system, mental health (including depression), back pain/sore muscles and that is just a sample. When applied topically it can aid with thrush, fungus, yeast infections, pink eye, acne, spider veins, eczema, psoriasis, cold sores, canker sores, head lice, athletes food, herpes, genital warts and cellulite.
Coconut Oil Uses
Insect Repellent - mix coconut oil [melted] with peppermint oil extract and use like regular bug
repellent. It's natural and much safer for children and even pets.
Pets - some people melt coconut oil and mix it in their animals food to aid in overall health for their pet. But just to be on the safe side, please consult your veterinarian before doing so.
Goo Gone - mix equal parts coconut oil and baking soda into a paste. Apply to sticky area, let it sit for roughly 10 mins and try wiping it off [using an old toothbrush to scrub might be necessary]
Gum in your hair? - rub some coconut oil all over the mess [aka. Hair and gum], leave it there for roughly 30mins and gently roll the gum between your fingers - it should come right out.
Furniture Polish - mixing coconut oil with a bit of lemon juice is great for polishing wood furniture, while leaving a pleasant scent; it's wise to test it out in an inconspicuous spot first, just to make sure. It is also said that if you use coconut oil on a cotton ball, you can use it to polish bronze. Again, test it out first.
Conditioning - coconut oil is great for seasoning animal hides, cookware, and is a great moisturizer for leather products [we've even heard people use it on their dash of their car].
Rid Hair of Lice - mix coconut oil with apple cider vinegar for a natural treatment to lice.
Oil Lubricant - if you're in a bind and left your can of WD40 at home, coconut oil can fix squeaky or sticking mechanisms, including door hinges.
Cleaning - coconut oil can be used to clean your hands and paint brushes after using an oil based paint. It can clean soap scum from your bathroom by using a small drop of coconut oil on a damp cloth and spraying the area with vinegar, and wiping with a lint-free cloth. As strange as it sound, leaving coconut oil in your mouth guard while not in use can sanitize and clean it as well, just make sure to get rid of the excess oil before popping it back in your mouth.