Over the last eight years of trying various natural products on the market, there is one product that, for me, stands out from all the rest – coconut oil. I love it. I love the taste, the smell, the feeling of it on your skin and I love the fact it literally has hundreds of uses and health benefits – what's not to love?
What is the deal Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is a superfood made from the flesh of the coconut – the white meaty part or kernel, which coconut milk is also made from.
Now here’s the science bit… although coconut oil has a saturated fat content of 90% – don’t let that put you off. Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid (MCFA) – as opposed to a long chain fatty acid (LCFA) that is found in the saturated fat found in animal sources. The MCFA's are made up predominantly of lauric acid, which can also be found in human breast milk, and is helpful in dealing with viruses and diseases. MCFA’s are metabolised very differently than LCFA’s and research has shown that MCFA’s can actually help with weight loss and reduce obesity.
Now if that wasn’t amazing enough – there are so many day to day uses for coconut oil, and here’s just a few of my favourites.
Coconut oil can be used as an all over body moisturiser, it makes the skin feel amazing and surprisingly doesn’t have a really oily feel. It’s also a fabulous lip balm and keep the lips soft and supple, even during the coldest days. It can be used for your hair and scalp – you can massage it on your scalp to treat dandruff, promote hair growth and kill bacteria, or apply to your hair and leave on for 20 minutes or so before rinsing to promote healthy lustrous locks. It can be used to remove make up, even eye make up – and it’s even been reported to restore elasticity to the skin as well as help reduce wrinkles. It’s also gentle enough to be used on a baby’s delicate skin, so can be used as a bum cream, or for any little dry patches your baby might have.
Making delicious food/drinks:
Coconut oil is a stable oil, which means it doesn’t break down easily at high temperatures, so it retains its nutritional qualities when heated for cooking. It can be used to replace your cooking oils – even butter, and it tastes amazing on toast with sliced banana. I also like to add it to smoothies, I really love the flavour it adds – not to mention the abundance of nutrients and healthy fats. I’m not a coffee drinker, but apparently it tastes lovely when you add a teaspoon to your favourite coffee – perhaps worth giving it a go?
Your pearly whites:
Swishing coconut oil in the mouth and rinsing (also known as oil pulling) has been practiced in ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years. This is a fairly new concept to me as it’s claimed to be one of the best ways to remove bacteria, promote healthy teeth and gums and is also supposed to be a great way to naturally whiten the teeth. The more I read, the more I know that I have to put this to the test. So, I’m going to oil pull with coconut oil every day, for the next month and will report my findings in a later post – I’m excited to see what happens.
There are so many different kinds of coconut oil; if you do decide to buy some, make sure you buy the organic, raw virgin, cold pressed coconut oil to ensure its GM free. Not the refined and bleached oil that is also on the market. My favourite to use is Lucy Bee – click here to buy.
These are just some of the many many uses for coconut oil – if you have a favourite that I haven’t mentioned, please let me know what it is, I’d love to hear it and maybe add it to my repertoire! x