- Food and Cooking»
- Cooking Ingredients»
- Fruit Ingredients
12 Reasons Why You Need to Be Using Coconut Oil
Coconut oil, which is extracted from ripe coconuts, is a multifunctional oil that has been used in tropical climates for ages in women's beauty routines and their kitchens. Now the west is embracing this amazing product and realizing how much it truly rocks. I've become obsessed with it, and how can you not be? Keep reading to find out the many ways you too can use this fabulous product.
1. Coconut oil is made up of the good type of fat
Coconut oil can be used in cooking and baking and it's not at all as bad as experts claimed years ago. Although coconut oil contains saturated fat, it's not the type of saturated fat that you should should be worried about.
Recent studies show that coconut oil contains the good type of saturated fat. Specifically, the fat content of coconut oil is made up of lauric acid, a fatty acid made of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are metabolized faster in the body, and may actually have positive effects on cholesterol levels. On the other hand, the type of saturated fat that causes high cholesterol (derived from animals) is made up of long-chained fatty acids.
So go ahead, butter that roll with some coconut oil!
2. Coconut oil may help with weight loss
DIY Scrub Using Coconut Oil
It's easy to make a scrub using coconut oil - just mix together melted coconut oil, sugar or salt, and lime juice. Voila, you got yourself a scrub with amazing exfoliating properties.
3. Coconut oil is great for your hair
If you have dry or damaged hair, you obviously haven't tried coconut oil on it because otherwise it would be silky and soft. Seriously. Fatty acids in coconut oil softens hair as if you're using a really expensive deep conditioner.
One way to use coconut oil on your hair is right before washing your hair, putting a small amount on your fingers and applying it to your hair, avoiding the roots, doing it section by section. Then rinse. This way you're getting the grease out of your roots by shampooing but you're shielding the rest of your hair with the coconut oil.
Coconut oil also prevents frizz so you can apply a little in your palm and run your hand through your hair. Just make sure you put a tinsy bit or otherwise your hair will look like you dumped a bottle of oil over it (mine did the first time I tried this! It wasn't pretty but I learned my lesson. Less is more).
How do you liquidify coconut oil?
You many find that your coconut oil is solid. This happens when it's below 76 °F (24 °C). To make coconut oil liquid, you can either warm it up by placing some in a container under running hot water or you can use a microwave.
4. Coconut oil has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties
Coconut oil has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral from MCTs. Many say these propreties help ward off colds. The anti-fungal properties are good for cuticles by keeping them soft and from becoming brittle; and it's great for your feet.
5. Coconut oil is good for your mouth
A recent study has proven that coconut oil can kill Streptococcus bacteria, which is found in the throat and on the skin.
You can try an Ayurvedic technique called oil pulling, which involved rinsing your mouth with coconut oil before brushing your teeth. This whitens teeth and removes harmful bacteria.
What type of coconut oil should you get?
When shopping for coconut oil, make sure you get the organic, virgin (or "pure"), cold-pressed, unrefined kind.
Refined coconut oil goes through a bleaching and heating process, which damages polythenols which act as antioxidants in the body. However, if you're cooking at high temps, refined coconut oil fine.
6. Coconut oil removes all kinds of make-up
Coconut oil's gentle grime-removing action and antibacterial properties work wonders for removing mascara and other types of make-up. I find it pretty amazing. This is a much healthier option that using a synthetic chemical make-up remover.
Just one piece of advise, coconut oil is comedogenic, so make sure to test it on a small area of your face before you slather it all over.
7. Coconut oil is great on the sensitive eye area too
Coconut oil is super hydrating and great for the first place on the face to show lines and wrinkles.
How to exfoliate with coconut oil
- Mix coconut oil with a tiny bit of baking soda
- Scrub gentry
- Rinse with warm water
- Towel off the mixture
- Your skin is glowing!
8. Coconut oil moisturizes skin
Fatty acids in coconut oil help lock in moisture in your skin and hydrated it. It can be used on any part of your body and many use it as a facial cream. I use it on my hands daily and they feel super soft and smell really nice!
A 2013 study in the Journal of Dermatological Science showed that lauric acid helps heal acne and was is as effective as benzoyl peroxide at doing so.
Do you use coconut oil?
9. Coconut oil is great on lips
Coconut oil has fatty acids and when applied to lips, it creates a barrier and locks in moisture. Plus is smells yummy and makes lips look super healthy and shinny.
10. Coconut oil acts like massage oil / lubricant
Coconut oil doesn't absorb immediately so the lubricating effect of it allows you to slather it all over the body without it drying out for some time. Plus, it's edible. Hint hit ;-)
11. Coconut oil can be used in place of shaving lotion
Out of shaving cream? Try some coconut oil. Seriously, its lubricating nature makes it a good alternative. A drawback though is that it tends to gunk up your razor but you can just tap the handle to make it slide off. Another positive? You'll never have dry skin since the coconut oil will make it silky soft.
Coconut oil is sold on Amazon and your local health food store
12. Vegans and Paleos love it!
Vegans and Paleos, two completely different type of eaters use coconut oil as a substitute for butter or milk, and as a spread on a cracker. No matter your eating style, try coconut oil in your diet and you won't be disappointed.
Plus, coconut oil is cheap, considering its multiple uses
A jar of coconut oil goes a long way. As you've read above, you can use it on your body and to cook with. You can buy it at Trader Joe's for instance for $5.99 or you can get a 15 oz jar of Nutiva coconut oil like the one I use on Amazon for $7.89. It will last you forever and you'll have a healthy alternative for everything.