20 Uses & Benefits of Coconut Oil
Did you know for many years coconut oil was considered unhealthy because it contains saturated fat? It was believed to contribute to heart disease, high cholesterol, and Alzheimer’s and many other health issues. However, coconut oil can actually help these health conditions.
Coconut oil is one of the best known secrets because it is good for your hair, digestive health, and skin due to its antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties thanks to lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid that is converted into monolaurin in the body, helping provide these benefits.
The medium chain fatty acid (caprylic acid, lauric acid, capric acid) found in the medium chain triglycerides AKA MCT’s in coconut oil is smaller than other fatty acids and is utilized quickly by the body for energy without creating an insulin spike such as is the case with sugary foods. It can actually boost your metabolism by helping the body use fat for energy instead of storing it, therefore, can help you become leaner!!
BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL
Supports digestion function - MCTs are easily digested and improve digestion by helping to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, magnesium, and calcium.
Lowers the risk of heart disease - It has been found that coconut oil raises HDL, the good cholesterol and the total cholesterol goes up too, balancing the ratio.
Lowers the risk of diabetes - Coconut oil can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance over a period of time. It can help with insulin resistance and regulate normal blood sugar levels, therefore, helping prevent Type II Diabetes.
Helps thyroid function - Research shows that most people who have a low functioning thyroid is due to inflammation. Coconut oil regulates the immune system and therefore decreases inflammation.
Increases blood circulation - Coconut oil increases body temperature (and blood pressure) due to the increase in metabolic rate from the effect of medium chain fatty acids being burned.
Optimizes immune function - Coconut oil contains antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties that help strengthen the immune system.
Accelerates healing - Coconut oil can help reduce swelling and pain in no time thanks to the Medium Chain Fatty Acids. MCTs feed the cells quickly and have a potent antimicrobial effect, minimizing potential infection.
USES FOR COCONUT OIL
Eye cream – dap under your eye.
Body moisturizer – use instead of lotion, about the size of a quarter and apply more as needed.
Hair gel – for those with fine to medium shiny hair and for dry or coarse hair argan oil is best; start with about the size of a quarter.
Hair conditioner - mix 2/3 cup of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil, 1 tablespoon of vitamin E oil, 5-10 drops of lavender, chamomile or clary sage oil and mix in a glass bowl with a mixer until well mixed; you only need to apply about 1-3 teaspoons on your hair and let it sit 3-5 minutes before rinsing.
Body scrub – mix ½ cup of white organic sugar and ½ cup of oil, add a few drops of lavender or frankincense oil in a glass jar (a mason jar) and scrub skin with about 1 tablespoon while in the shower or tub; when storing make sure jar is tightly shut.
Energy boost – eat by the spoonful or mix with your favorite nut butter, maca, and cacoa powder.
Massage oil – add lavender essential oil for a calming relaxing massage.
Natural deodorant – make your own by using ¼ cup of baking soda, ¼ cup arrowroot powder, 4 tablespoons coconut oil and 3-5 drops of essential oils like lavender or sandalwood; mix all ingredients and pour into empty deodorant container or small glass container.
Skin problems (liver spots & blemishes) – use a small amount (dime size) on skin in mornings and evenings; an added benefit is 1 drop or frankincense or lavender essential oil.
Toenail fungus, yeast infections, ringworm – apply directly on the skin, great anti-fungal properties.
Thyroid function – cook or eat it by the spoonful (5 tablespoons per day)
Head lice – use a jar of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar (ACV); rinse hair with ACV and when it’s dry pour the coconut oil in hair, place a shower cap and leave in all day or night, comb hair to get eggs and lice out and shampoo as normal.
Pre-shave – use as a shaving cream without razor irritation.
Aftershave – after finishing shaving, wash up with a cloth and apply coconut oil to skin; it leaves skin soft and smooth.
Stretch mark cream - apply during pregnancy to prevent stretch marks, helps moisturize, soothe and heal skin.
Cooking oil - great for eggs, fried chicken, pancakes and baked goods.
Enhance nutrient absorption - certain nutrients require fat for absorption like lutein, Vitamin A,D, E, K, beta-carotene and minerals like calcium.
Tea – add 1 tablespoon with hot water, lemon, and raw honey.
Dr. Linda's Tip – Buy Organic, Cold-Pressed, Unrefined, Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
Sources: www.mercola.com; www.naturalnews.com; www.organicfacts.net; www.healthimpactnews.com; www.coconutreasearchcenter.org, “Eat Fat,Get Thin by Mark Hyman,MD.