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Virgin Coconut Oil Benefits for Skin and Health

Updated on July 10, 2012

Coconut oil is a very stable oil from pressed from the meat of the coconut. Because it is heat stable it is a great oil to cook in. However, coconut oil is recognized for amazing properties and benefits beyond cooking. Coconut oil is great for skin and hair because it prevents protein loss, it has antibacterial and anti viral properties, it may help lower levels of bad cholesterol and increase metabolism, and can be used as a repellent against certain types of fleas. It is used as alternative fuel sources in many small tropical locals and has been used as a diesel engine fuel.

Coconut oil has received bad press. Studies claim that coconut oil may raise cholesterol levels because it is a saturated fat. Unfortunately, these studies were done on hydrogenated coconut oils and not virgin coconut oils which have a different health risk. Virgin coconut contains medium-chain triglycerides which may not carry the same risks as other saturated fats. The properties of coconut oil may even help you to lose weight by boosting the metabolism.

Coconut oil has a nice, mellow nutty flavor and is a great oil for stir fry and fried fish. It lends nice flavor to baked goods and is easy to cook with. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, liquefies at 78 degrees Fahrenheit and has a smoking temperature of 351 degrees Fahrenheit.


Virgin Coconut Oil For Skin and Hair

Try an easy 5 step coconut oil facial mask to rejuvenate tired and listless skin. The medium chain fatty acids in virgin coconut oil help the skin to retain moisture and youthfulness. The skin will benefit from the topical application of virgin and organic coconut oil and benefits from ingestion of the oil as well. Eating virgin coconut oil helps to deposit the beneficial fats under the skin to help it stay moist and healthy. Use the virgin coconut oil directly on skin as a moisturizer or massage it in. It makes a great massage oil and may also be used like hair gel to style and condition hair.

The Capric and Lauric acids that are contained in virgin coconut oil benefit the skin in a different way. These amino acids contain anti-microbial and disinfectant properties. When applied to the skin the, coconut oil may help to protect from infections. Taken internally, these amino acids help protect and boost the immune system. These amino acids may help prevent hair loss by acting as a antimicrobial agent on the scalp and in the hair follicles. Because of this, virgin coconut oil plays a beneficial role in treating dandruff. regular application of coconut oil to the scalp will prevent and rid your hair of dandruff for good.

A well known skin saver is Vitamin E. Coconut oil is full of Vitamin E. It has great antioxidant properties that help repair skin and reduce fine lines while helping to prevent wrinkles. For hair, Vitamin E plays an important role. It will keep the scalp healthy and hair whole.


Cooking With Coconut Oil

Because the scientific evidence of old studies about coconut oil are being refuted and we are seeing evidence that suggests coconut oil has many health benefits, cooking with coconut oil has become mainstream. The oil is very easy to cook with and can be used as a substitute for shortening in solid form or heated gently to produce a liquid oil when a recipe calls for one.

When in need of coconut oil as a liquid for a recipe, gently warm the jar of virgin coconut oil in a bowl of warm water. Coconut oil becomes liquid at 78 degrees, so, this melting process is quick. You may also melt the coconut oil solid in a pan over low heat on the stove for quicker melting results.

Coconut oils create flaky pie crusts, wonderful muffins and fabulous icing for cakes and cupcakes. Substitute virgin coconut oil for butter in your favorite baking recipes. Organic virgin coconut oil, like Nutiva brand coconut oil, has less saturated fat then butter.

Here is a quick recipe for an ice cream topping:

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or use mini baking chips

2 tablespoons Nutiva coconut oil.

Melt the chocolate over a small double boiler. Stir in the virgin coconut oil and heat until all is melted. This will take about a minute. Keep the liquid lukewarm until ready to serve on top of the ice cream. This chocolate recipe will harden into a shell within a few seconds when spooned over ice cream. Delicious.

How to Open a Coconut - No Mess


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