When coconut oil first became popular a few years ago, I didn’t really understand the hype, nor did I see how I could use it. After so many legitimate sources swearing up and down by it, I decided to give it a try. Fast forward a few years later, and here I am practically worshiping the stuff. Oh, mighty Coconut Oil (yes, it deserves capitalization) – How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Coconut oil is well known for its amazing antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. It’s packed with antioxidants, is easily digested and helps the body absorb essential nutrients.
While it’s true that most saturated fats should be avoided, coconut oil is a rare exception because it’s made up of lauric acid, a tremendously beneficial medium-chain fatty acid.
Coconut oil has MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids) whereas most fats are made up of long-chain fatty acids that are difficult to digest and become stored as fat. The shorter MCFAs are instantly broken down by the liver and easily converted into energy.
Lauric acid makes up the majority of the MCFAs found in coconut oil. It aids your immune system and can increase your HDL (healthy cholesterol.) Additionally, it boosts your metabolism and can support weight-loss.
There are numerous ways you can utilize coconut oil, but I find these to be the most useful.
Again, coconut oil is packed with antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral goodness. Health and beauty come from the inside out, mainly from our gut. Most of us have a digestive issue or gut imbalance, even though we may be unaware of it. Coconut oil is extremely beneficial in the treatment of these imbalances such as candida overgrowth. It’s a great companion for our healthy microflora and can help cure most digestive disorders.
I try to add a tablespoon of coconut oil into my daily diet. I find it tolerable to take a tablespoon of coconut oil, as is, although a year ago this was not the case. If that method seems too hard to swallow (literally), you can include it in your meals in many other ways:
- Try adding it to a smoothie.
It will make the texture silky and soft, but be sure you aren’t using frozen fruits, otherwise you’ll have some unpleasant chunks floating around and clogging your straw.
- Add it to your coffee or tea.
It’s a great natural energy boost for your afternoon pick-me-up. Top it off with a dash of cinnamon and your favorite nut milk for liquid heaven.
- Mix it into a healthy dessert.
I like to drizzle some over coconut ice cream. It solidifies and adds a delicious crunchy texture to my treat. Sprinkle some nuts on top for extra enjoyment.
- Try adding it to a smoothie.
Remember those MCFAs? The liver effortlessly breaks down coconut oil and turns it into energy. Therefore, it’s a natural energy booster that can help you remain refreshed and alert. It’s perfect either partnered with coffee and tea or on its own in complete replacement of caffeine.
Coconut oil does not oxidize easily, unlike most vegetable oils. So when it comes to cooking, you should seriously consider using coconut oil in lieu of others. Most oils like canola, safflower and vegetable should be completely avoided.
Many oils have low smoking points. Once these oils are heated to their smoke point, they quickly break down and become toxic. Unrefined, virgin coconut oil is extremely stable and can withstand temperatures of up to 350ºF without compositional compromise. Plus it’s packed with healthy perks!
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice used to orally draw or “pull” out toxins. Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and let it melt in your mouth then swish it around for 20 minutes. Be sure to spit, rinse, brush your teeth and scrape your tongue afterward. It’s a simple process with huge benefits – a habit worth having!
Skin is the largest organ on the body. It absorbs everything… including harmful chemicals like those found in most soaps and lotions. Coconut oil is a safe and natural alternative. It also just happens to last longer and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth. I strictly stick to this one – coconut oil is my one and only moisturizer.
Apply it immediately after you shower or wash your face; it is best absorbed when the skin is damp. You can use it on your face in the morning and/or at night before bed as a beautifying moisturizer that penetrates while you sleep. Try it for a month and watch your skin transform and glow.
Because of its antioxidant and antibacterial properties, coconut oil is highly effective when used to heal skin issues such as acne or eczema. It can be used on all skin types and doesn’t clog pores. After consistent use for a month, it cleared my acne, evened out my skin tone and gave me that glow previously mention.
It may sound scary to add oil to your face, but keep in mind that this is not your average oil. Your pores are very responsive and if they aren’t lacking in the oil department, they will stop over-producing pore-clogging oils. They will instead be quenched with purifying oil and take a break. Simply apply as explained earlier to make this a two-in-one healing moisturizer. Give it one month – coconut oil will work wonders for your complexion!
Coconut oil makes a great deep conditioner. You can include healing essential oils and create your own hair mask. Leave it on overnight for intensive treatments.
Ditch the chemicals and use soothing coconut oil to remove makeup. It works especially well as a gentle mascara remover too, while simultaneously moisturizing the very sensitive skin around they eyes. It’s perfect for preventing damage and wrinkles.
Coconut oil makes an excellent massage oil. A little bit goes a long way, and the scent is soothing.
The most intimate use for coconut oil – natural lubricant. Try a sensual full body massage with your love. Keep some in a small jar in your nightstand for spontaneous loving.
What to Buy
There are many brands of coconut oil available. Some labels read virgin when technically that term only applies to something that is unrefined. Coconut oil cannot be virgin, only less refined. But yes, you want the least refined oil so look for “organic, virgin” coconut oil. Bonus points for “cold-pressed” or “wet-milled” somewhere on the jar as well. Make sure it comes in a glass jar or BPA-free container.
How to Use
Store coconut oil in a cool, dry place, preferably dark. I keep mine in the kitchen and bathroom cupboards, along with a small supply in the bedroom.
Coconut oil solidifies at room temperature, but it may be liquefied in warmer climates. To use, you can let it melt on a spoon over hot water or simply let it melt in your hands or mouth.
Coconut oil is a miracle superfood with multiple uses. If you’re wellness-orientated, then you should have at least one jar in your possession at all times.
In what ways do you most like to use coconut oil? Go ahead, give it a try and get creative!