20 Great Ways to Use Coconut Oil
By Aylin Erman, EcoSalon
Have you added coconut oil into your daily healthy and beauty routines, yet?
Coconut oil is an incredibly versatile item to stock in your pantry and among your toiletries. Its healthy fats bring with them a host of health benefits. Incorporate the following 20 uses into your lifestyle and you’ll know how to take care of daily rituals, from easily removing makeup to reducing frizz, and address health issues from Alzheimer’s to boosting hormone function.
Despite its saturated fat content, coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides that are shorter than those in animal fats, which means the body can metabolize them quickly and not store them on the body. Coconut oil’s fats are actually quite beneficial for the body. The oil contains nutritionally beneficial fatty acids: lauric, caprillic and capric acids. Lauric acid fights off bacteria and viruses, and coconut oil is the only source of it, apart from mother’s breast milk. Caprilic acid contributes to healthy digestion and balances bacteria in the gut, while capric acid has strong anti-microbial and anti-viral properties.
It’s coconut oil’s unique fat content that makes it especially beneficial. The following 20 suggestions give you practical tips to getting the most from coconut oil.
1. Make Pop-Tarts
Pop-tarts are an American classic, but they are not the best addition to a healthy diet. Use coconut oil in this spelt-based Vegan Pop-Tart recipe to keep things animal-friendly and full of rich flavor and texture.
2. Replace Your Everyday Cooking Oil
While many everyday oils like olive oil are lauded for their unsaturated fat qualities, when cooked, the oils biochemically change and don’t bear the same nutrients, enzymes and potency as when in a raw, cold-pressed state. Coconut oil is unique in that it has a high burning temperature, so it can withstand higher heat levels that other oils can’t. When cooking, opt for coconut oil. It brings a new flavor profile to your dishes and can make the difference in your healthy diet.
3. Eye Makeup Remover
Coconut oil is a gentle and effective way to remove make-up. A little goes a long way and you ultimately get more for your buck by sticking to coconut oil and avoiding expensive brands with chemicals and artificial ingredients.
4. Daily Energy Supplement
Because of its ability to fight off bacteria and viruses as well as its positive influence on digestion and skin health, coconut oil makes a great daily supplement. Add a teaspoon to your morning smoothie or lightly cook vegetables with it.
5. Anti-Aging Moisturizer
Coconut oil provide a boost of antioxidants, which are linked to preventing signs of aging skin. Apply a smidgen of coconut oil to your face after cleansing at night and let it do its healing while you get your shut-eye.
6. Sex Lube
Over-the-counter lubes are often packed with harmful chemicals, can affect fertility, and are conducive to infections. Coconut oil in its extra-virgin or virgin state is a natural fungicide and completely devoid of additives and chemicals. And while many brands are relatively free of any scent, the extra-virgin varieties can bring a whole new meaning to sex on the beach.
7. Weight Loss
The fatty acids in coconut oil are called medium-chain triacylglycerols, which are much shorter and thus more soluble in water than the fatty acids found in other oils. For this reason, they are more readily burned for fuel. Replacing other oils, such as canola oil or olive oil with coconut oil can be the subtle change to making a big different in your body.
8. Diaper Cream
Coconut oil is an effective, gentle, natural diaper cream that moisturizes and gets rid of bacteria without piling on the chemicals.
9. Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks
Religiously rub coconut oil on your pregnant stomach as it grows and prevent stretch marks. Many women swear by this ritual.
10. Reduce Frizz
All it takes is a small dab of coconut oil rubbed into your hands and then brushed through your hair to reduce frizz and leave your locks looking soft, healthy, and moisturized. Don’t worry about the greasy look; as long as you apply only a dab, greasiness will be avoided.
11. Prevent Alzheimer’s
According to research, coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acid content has been linked to preventing and reversing Alzheimer’s.
12. Shaving Cream
It’s never fun to shave without something creamy or soft to make the experience less harsh on your skin. Instead of reaching for a store-bought shaving cream, opt for coconut oil. It goes on smooth and works as both a shaving cream and an after-shave moisturizer.
13. Diminish Cellulite
Introduce coconut oil to your daily moisturizing rituals. Apply it on your thighs and bum on a regular basis and you’ll start to notice your cellulite disappearing.
14. Get Rid of Lice
Rinse hair with vinegar and then brush in a generous amount of coconut oil so that the entire head is evenly coated. Put on a shower cap and let it sit for a few hours before rinsing off. The vinegar dissolves the sticking power of lice eggs and the coconut oil smothers and kills the lice.
15. Boost Hormone Health
Coconut oil offers the necessary building blocks for the production of hormones. Fat is very important in the rebuilding and repairing cells, but the wrong balance of polysaturated to saturated and monunsaturated fats can mean bad news for your health. The human body is 97 percent saturated and monounsaturated fats and 3 percent polyunsaturated fat. Most vegetable oils tip the balance towards polyunsaturated fats, which can wreak havoc on the body. Coconut oil keeps the ratio balanced.
16. Tanning Oil
Coconut oil acts as a 4 SPF tanning oil that isn’t cancerous like the brands grazing beauty shop shelves. It’s moisturizing as well, which prevents your skin from getting dry and flaky under the sun.
17. Dry Feet Fix
Mix coconut oil with salt to remove dry skin from feet. The salt acts as an exfoliating scrub that removes dead skin cells and the coconut oil helps to lubricate, moisturize and kill bacteria in the process.
18. Chicken Pox and Poison Ivy Relief
Apply coconut oil to areas affected by chicken pox or poison ivy to reduce swelling, itching, and irritated skin.
19. Hair Care
Store-bought hair masques and moisturizing conditioners are often filled with fragrances, chemicals, and other additives that do more harm than good. Coconut oil works as an excellent masque prior to shampooing. Liberally apply it to the hair, let it stay in for 5 minutes, rinse, and then continue shampooing and washing hair as normal.
20. Massage Oil
There are many organic ways to spice up your sex life, and using coconut oil as a massage oil is one. Mix with other essential oils for desired scents and aura.
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