Besides that glorious, refreshing scent reminiscent of a tropical island, coconut oil has many other benefits. It is good for your hair, skin and body, and it is also a delicious addition to many recipes!
Coconut Oil for Skin
You can use coconut oil to make a great-smelling body oil. As a solid, coconut oil’s creamy texture makes it the perfect light moisturizer to slather all over your body. Apply a quarter-sized amount right after you get out of the shower so it can sink into your warm skin. The light tropical scent that lingers after it’s applied. Add in a few drops of peppermint or lavender oil for a massage mix.
Coconut oil even makes a great lip balm. Chapped lips don’t stand a chance against ultra-hydrating coconut oil. Scoop some into a spare contact lens holder and throw it in your purse so you can dab it on with your finger throughout the day.
Do you worry that your hands don’t look as good as they could? Coconut oil can even help your nails. Use it as a cuticle softener. Get double duty from your new DIY coconut oil lip balm case and say goodbye to ragged cuticles. Using your finger, swipe a small amount of the oil onto each of your cuticles and allow it to sink in. The coconut oil will strengthen your nails and hydrate the delicate cuticle skin, making your hands look more youthful.
You can use coconut oil to make your eyes look more youthful as well! Use it as an under-eye cream. The skin under your eyes is thin and delicate, making it prone to fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. If you hate the idea of dropping big bucks on expensive eye cream, then substitute coconut oil. Just rub a pinch in between fingers to warm it up before patting it underneath your eyes.
Maybe your skin looks dull. Coconut oil can help there as well. Use it as a highlighter. After all, glowy, fresh skin is in! But if that doesn’t come naturally for you, just dab a little liquified coconut oil onto the tops of your cheekbones, cupid’s bow (the dip above your upper lip) and just above eyebrows for hydrated skin that looks lit from within your body.
Does your makeup remover bother your eyes and skin? Or maybe you just don’t like the idea of spreading chemicals over your face. Use coconut oil as a makeup remover. Just a teaspoon (or less) can take off a day’s worth of makeup with ease, no matter the staying power. Massage a dollop of warmed, liquified coconut oil straight onto skin and watch as makeup melts away, then rinse with warm water. To make your own coconut oil makeup remover wipes, melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil per round cotton pad in a microwave-safe container. Then, lay the cotton pads in an even layer and let them soak up the oil overnight. Store them in the same container or in a plastic baggie and throw them in your carry-on or gym bag for easy makeup removal on the go.
Why spend money on a body scrub full of ingredients concocted in a lab? Make your own body scrub. Mix a half cup of sea salt or sugar with an equal amount of melted coconut oil, and then use your hands to rub it over any rough patches of skin. The scrub moisturizes while removing dead skin cells. The result: skin that’s baby soft. Add a little more salt or sugar for the extra tough skin on your feet and elbows. On its own, you’ll step out of the shower with a faint tropical scent, but you could also add lavender oil.
You may be surprised to find that coconut oil even makes good shaving cream! Just warm the jar under the water and smooth onto legs before shaving. Your razor will glide smoothly, allowing for a super-close shave, and your legs will be moisturized from the oil in the process. Tip: shave outside the shower. The oil is very slippery, so you’ll have an easier time holding onto your razor if your hands are dry.
Coconut Oil for Hair
Why buy coconut scented shampoo? Use the real thing by making a coconut oil hair mask.
Coconut oil is a creamy solid at room temperature and turns to liquid when heated to 76°F. While in the shower, melt your coconut oil by running the jar under the warm water. Then, after shampooing, apply a generous amount of the oil to wet strands and twist hair into a bun. Let it sit for at least five minutes before rinsing to add moisture and shine back into limp locks.
Coconut oil is also a great frizz fighter. Rub a pea-sized amount of coconut oil between your fingers to warm it up, and then apply it to the bottom couple inches of your hair for all day frizz protection. If you have thicker, coarser hair, apply the coconut oil from mid-shaft to ends for added frizz control. Bonus: It also leaves hair extra shiny and soft!
Here is a video on the beauty benefits of coconut oil:
Coconut Oil for Health
If coconut oil is good for hair and skin, it makes sense that it is good for the rest of the body as well.
Coconut is kind of an “exotic” food in the Western world, primarily consumed by health conscious people. However, in some parts of the world, coconut is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for many generations.
The best example of such a population is the Tokelauans, which live in the South Pacific. They eat more than 60 percent of their calories from coconuts and are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world. These people are in excellent health with no evidence of heart disease. Another example of a population that eats a
lot of coconut and remains in excellent health is the Kitavans.
Coconut oil is good for the heart and can help prevent heart problems.
There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for heart health. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. In reality, coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50 percent lauric acid, which helps in actively preventing various heart problems, like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as you commonly find in vegetable oils. Coconut oil does not lead to increase in LDL levels, and it reduces the incidence of injury and damage to arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.
Everyone is always on the lookout for a weight loss miracle. Coconut oil may not be a miracle that melts away pounds, but there is evidence that you can use coconut oil for weight loss.
One key to successful and lasting weight loss is to ensure steady blood sugar so that any extreme ups and downs are avoided and don’t cause you to fall off the wagon and make a beeline for the junk food aisle at the supermarket or the jumbo bag of chips in your pantry.
How to best steady the blood sugar over long periods of time and between meals? With healthy and satiating fats of course!
Coconut oil for weight loss is the best fat to choose, due to the plethora of healthy medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCTs) that boost metabolism for immediate energy. As a bonus, the MCTs in coconut oil don’t end up as stored body fat like longer chain fatty acids sometimes can.
Countries that consume high amounts of coconut and coconut oil in their diets, such as the Philippines, India and the Pacific Islands have significantly fewer cases of heart disease and obesity clearly disproving any agenda driven smear campaign against this marvelously healthy oil! Add coconut oil to your diet plan!
Here is a video on coconut oil and weight loss:
There has even been research showing the benefits of coconut oil for Alzheimer’s. In Dr. Mary Newport’s 2011 book, “Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure? The Story of Ketones,” Dr. Newport fervently declares that her husband has shown clear improvement in his dementia with regular use of coconut oil. In some circles, the topic is rather controversial, but many of those with concerns about their cognitive future feel it’s worth a try.
A recent University of Oxford study suggested that although the effects of coconut oil may be temporary, Alzheimer’s and dementia patients have indeed seen short-term benefits resulting from its use. This research supports Dr. Newport’s theory that ketones, which are byproducts of the breakdown of fats in the body, play an important role in brain health. The idea is that by boosting ketones, found in coconut oil, we can improve cognitive function.
Another coconut oil use is for an energy boost.
Coconut oil contains a unique form of saturated fats known as medium-chain triglycerides. Unlike other saturated fats, MCTs provide an energy source for the body, rather than being stored, according to “Supplements 101” by Jim Stoppani. The fats contained in coconut oil may boost thermogenesis and/or fat burning in the body. You can take either organic virgin coconut oil or isolated MCT supplements extracted from coconuts. Follow a few guidelines to add coconut oil to your fitness program.
Coconut oil may even help those with diabetes.
Diets high in MCTs (65 percent of coconut oil’s makeup) have been shown to improve glucose tolerance and reduce body fat accumulation when compared to diets high in LCTs. MCFAs have also been shown to preserve insulin action in, and insulin resistance in rat studies. Coconut oil may also improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics.
Researchers observed that study participants who followed a diet in which 40 percent of calories came from fat, either comprised of mostly MCTs or LCTs, the MCT group improved insulin-mediated glucose metabolism by 30 percent when compared with the LCT group.
Here is a video discussing the health benefits of coconut oil:
How to Incorporate Coconut Oil into Your Diet
There is no shortage of coconut oil recipes on the Internet and in cookbooks that make it easy for you to incorporate coconut into your diet.
However, coconut oil is so versatile and so easy to use that you can find other ways to enjoy it.
- Cooking at High Heat – Some oils are unsafe to cook with at high temperatures, coconut oil is a great alternative.
- On toast instead of butter – Simply use coconut oil instead of butter on your toast.
- Eat it by the spoonful – Coconut oil is that delicious and healthful. Enjoy one spoonful each morning. Smoothies – Add one tablespoon of coconut oil into your favorite smoothie recipe and increase your energy with the oil’s MCTs.
- Fry eggs – Lightly coat the bottom of your skillet with coconut oil to create a non-stick surface and delicious eggs.
- Popping popcorn – A sweet twist on a classic snack! To make stovetop popcorn, you need a heavy-bottomed pan. First, add the coconut oil and popcorn to the pot. Coat the area of the pot with the oil, and use just enough popcorn to make a single layer over the bottom of the pot. Give the pot a little shake to make sure all of the kernels are coated with oil. Next, place the pot over medium heat. Put the lid on the pot, leaving it slightly open so that steam can escape. It should take about five minutes for the popcorn to pop completely.
- Popcorn topping – Instead of butter, melt a little coconut oil and pour it over your popped popcorn. Then sprinkle lightly with Himalayan crystal salt.
- Oven-baked sweet potato chips – Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Thinly slice sweet potatoes to about 1/8” thick. Place slices on a baking sheet and brush lightly with coconut oil. Bake for about 15 minutes or until chips are lightly brown. Add salt to taste, and serve with salsa or dip. (Or just eat them plain – either way they’re delicious!)
- Replace vegetable oil for baking
- Pan frying – Next time you fry up a batch of sweet potato fries or a piece of chicken, use coconut oil. The taste is great and the coconut oil’s health benefits are even better.
- Grilled cheese with coconut oil – No need for butter the next time you are making a grilled cheese sandwich.
- Coconut oil coffee – Adding a spoonful to your coffee is a delicious way to start your day with a huge energy boost!
- Homemade granola
- A Spoonful in tea – Allow some coconut oil to melt and mildly flavor your next cup of tea.
- Salad dressing
There are so many uses for coconut oil, and there could be other coconut oil benefits to come, as more research is done on this amazing oil.
You can see more uses for coconut oil in this video: