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Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Uses & Health Benefits
My Favorite Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil Uses for Health
Coconut oil is a versatile oil with a wide array of benefits for the body. Coconut is a super food that has been revered by many cultures throughout the ages for it's healing and nutrient properties. Pacific Islanders who follow a traditional diet that is rich in coconut meat and oils have much lower rates of heart disease and obesity than do those who consume other vegetable oils.
There are many myths and misconceptions about coconut oil that need to be clarified. Many sources have stated that coconut oil is bad for your health due to the high level of saturated fats. This is true of hydrogenated coconut oil which is highly processed and should be avoided. Any hydrogenated oils indicate the presence of trans fats and should be replaced with other, healthier oils.
The preferred, healthy coconut oil is the extra virgin coconut oil. It should be organic, cold pressed, and unrefined. This is the oil that contains the heart healthy omega fats that benefit the body. In fact, a diet with coconut oil can help to boost the metabolism and aid weight loss while lowering cholesterol.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid. These are the active ingredients that give coconut oil its antioxidant, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties. It is soothing to the body and deeply moisturizing to the skin and hair.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil has fewer calories than other oils and is easily converted into energy therefore not clogging the arteries with excess fat buildup.
Aids Weight Loss
Coconut oil has been shown to control cravings, increase energy levels, and boost thyroid function – all of which can assist in a weight loss plan. In addition coconut oil is readily used by the body as fuel and not readily stored by the body as extra fat.
The lauric acid in coconut oil is used by the body to produce specialized anti-microbial, anti-bacterial substances. Organic coconut oil also helps assist the body in the absorption of several key nutrients needed for a healthy immune system.
Treats Skin Conditions
The natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties in coconut oil make it an excellent natural choice for fighting acne. In addition a diet with coconut oil as well as coconut oil applied to the skin has been shown to be a very effective treatment for eczema.
Aids Digestion & Bowel Function
The anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil have been shown to soothe the gut and heal injuries to the digestive tract. The anti-microbial properties assist various digestive disorders by killing microorganisms that contribute to chronic inflammation.
Promotes Dental Health / Prevents Bone Loss
Coconut oil aids in the absorption of calcium and magnesium to prevent bone loss and protect teeth. In addition the anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties of coconut oil can help with good oral hygiene. Some people brush their teeth with coconut oil and baking soda as a natural tooth cleanser.
How to Use Coconut Oil
As a Supplement
The suggested therapeutic dose is around 3 tablespoons of raw coconut oil per day. Coconut oil has a fantastic, mild coconut flavor which is excellent blended into smoothies or even used as a spread instead of margarine. If you dislike the taste of coconut, capsules can be purchased.
Spread your coconut oil out throughout the day and build up gradually if you have been on a strict low or no fat diet as a sudden consumption of this amount could cause diarrhea.
Cooking with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees and can go from a solid to a liquid and back to a solid again. This is no cause for concern and perfectly normal. Sauté stir fry vegetables in a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil for an interesting flavor.
In baking, melt the coconut oil to its liquid form as a replacement for other oils for best results. For items like pie crusts or pastries it can be used in its solid form.
Coconut Oil for Skin and Hair
Coconut oil has many uses other than cooking and can be used externally for skin and hair care. It's antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties make it a great acne treatment. It's omega fatty acids also make it an excellent, all-natural moisturizer for the skin and conditioner for the hair. Extra virgin coconut oil can be applied straight to the skin/hair. It smells wonderful and is fabulous at softening the skin.
Make an incredible scrub by simply mixing solid coconut oil with a bit of sugar or sea salt and rub the mixture gently in a circular motion to exfoliate and nourish the skin. The oil melts as you rub it into the skin and moisturizes. This will leave your skin feeling soft and supple and is a lot less expensive than getting a facial or spa treatment!
Use coconut oil as a hot oil treatment or deep conditioner for the hair. Apply generous amounts to saturate dry hair, allow to sit for 30 minutes and then shampoo as usual for a deep conditioning treatment. You can also apply as you would regular conditioner after shampooing, comb it gently through the hair and rinse it out after a couple of minutes. On humid days I take a pea size dollop and melt it in my hands and apply to the ends of my hair to help tame frizz.
If you have never used coconut oil before I highly recommend it. You'll find it's a real treat to your body both inside and out. It is truly one of the most versatile oils there is and its health benefits can't be beat.
**Make sure you are using the right kind of coconut oil! It should be extra virgin and organic for the full range of health and beauty benefits**
Nature's Way is my personal favorite of the different coconut oils I've tried. It has a silky, but thick texture when solid and it adds great flavor to stir fry. I also use this daily for oil pulling. Coconut oil is one of the best things you can do for your dental health. It whitens teeth with regular use and promotes tight, healthy gums.
Because I use it daily I use Amazon's subscribe and save feature and have a new jar delivered every other month.
Do you use coconut oil? vote here or share your thoughts/experiences in the comment section :)
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© 2012 Christin Sander