The health world is crazy over coconut oil, but there are more uses for coconut oil than just downing it with a spoon. Coconut oil is one of the most overlooked ingredients that can enhance your nutrition plan, skincare regimen, and self-cleansing routine. While coconut oil is in fact delicious but it is also beneficial to your overall health. I use it in my cooking, on my skin, in my hair, and as a part of my oral hygiene. The brand that I use is from Trader Joe's but Virgin coconut oil can be found in most grocery stores and in all health food stores. Here are some benefits of and ways to use coconut oil that you probably haven’t heard of or tried yet.
One of the most impressive health benefits of coconut oil has to do with the heart. Years ago it was a common belief that all fats and oils were bad for the heart. Now we know coconut oil, along with a few others, can actually improve your heart health by reducing cholesterol. Consider using coconut oil when cooking and baking. You can even use it to make your own salad dressings.
If you have hypothyroid disorder, this health benefit of coconut may interest you. Coconut oil is said to restore normal thyroid function. Those who use coconut oil have reported improvements in body temperature, tiredness, and hair growth. Have you tried coconut oil for your thyroid disorder?
A research study found that women who consumed 2 tablespoons of coconut oil every day for 12 weeks had decreased the amount of fat in their abdomen. This is significant because belly fat is typically harder to lose than other body fat. It is also directly related to heart problems.
Because coconut oil has anti-infective properties, it is known to boost the effectiveness of the immune system. In fact, The American College of Chest Physicians found coconut oil used on patients with pneumonia had a faster relief from symptoms and reduced hospital stay. I’m sure you will agree that this one amazing health benefit of coconut oil.
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy which cleanses the mouth along with toxins from the mouth. This is best done first thing in the morning. Simply put 1 tbsp. coconut oil in your mouth in the morning and swish around for about 20 minutes, like you would mouthwash. DO NOT swallow. If your jaw gets tired, spit it out and start again. After 20 minutes, spit the oil out and toxins from your mouth will go with it, without the need for chemical-filled mouthwashes. Swish some water in your mouth after you spit the oil out to make sure your mouth is washed out well and spit again. Many people note that they feel better overall when doing this, and notice whiter teeth in about a week. I've been doing this on and off for the past 6 months and I can honestly say that my gums and teeth are indeed healthier and whiter.
One of the best uses for coconut oil is for your teeth as a natural toothpaste. This will save you money, and help you avoid nasty additives in commercial pastes without shelling out tons of dollars for the all-natural kinds. Coconut has anti-bacterial and whitening properties which make it an excellent base to use for toothpaste. To make your own, simply add ½ cup coconut oil, 3 tbsp. baking soda, 1 tbsp. tea tree oil, and 1/16th tsp. peppermint oil if you want that minty taste. Mix all ingredients together and store in a glass jar and it will last for about 2 months. I've been using this specific toothpaste recipe for a few months and I've got to admit that it's minty fresh and my oral health is so much better. Don't forget to floss though.
ONE-STEP MAKEUP REMOVER
Yep, that’s right, coconut oil is an excellent way to take off your makeup. Simply rub about one half tbsp. on your face and massage all over. This moisturizes and cleanses your skin in one step. It will not cause your skin to be oily and can, in fact, be a great way to get rid of acne from skin irritation. After massaging over your face, take a hot cloth and wipe clean. It works extremely well at taking off eye makeup, which can be stubborn at time. Don't have any coconut oil at hand? It's okay; I also use extra virgin olive oil and it works wonders as well. As someone with extremely oily/ acne prone skin I can recommend the use of oil as a cleanser. Most people tend to believe that using oil would cause even more acne or skin issues. That assumption is incorrect for most people.
CONSUME WITH FOOD TO ENHANCE NUTRIENT ABSORPTIONWhile technically any type of oil can be useful for enhancing nutrient uptake because of the healthy fats’ ability to absorb nutrients, coconut oil is extremely beneficial for a couple of reasons. First, coconut oil has abilities to speed up your metabolism and by doing that, certain nutrients from your foods may be absorbed faster than other fats. Also, coconut oil does not change structure with temperatures, making it great to take with hot foods like soup. Just stir it in your meals and enjoy. The fats in coconut oil are not damaged when exposed to high heat like other vegetable oils so they are safe for your body.
Coconut oil is very hydrating to the skin, which makes it an excellent night cream. Simply rub a little under your eyes and eye lids before you go to bed. It won’t irritate your eyes, but it will make your skin soft and supple. It is also much less expensive than most skincare items.
USE IT INSTEAD OF BUTTER
One of the most fun ways to use coconut oil is to eat it! Most people don’t think of slathering it on toast, pancakes or muffins, but coconut oil makes an excellent alternative to butter. Use it as a topping, not just for cooking. Coconut oil has been proven to keep your blood sugar from spiking after a meal, especially one higher in carbohydrates. Whenever using coconut oil, be sure to use in small amounts and not go overboard, as it is still high in calories as all natural fats are, but you should not fear it. Coconut oil’s fats are quite unique and proven to ward off weight gain, depression and poor digestion when used in moderation.
LIGHTEN AGE SPOTS
One of the biggest uses for coconut oil that a lot of people don't know about is that it can actually lighten up any age spots that you have on your body. Just a little dab on the spot, rub it in and let it sit! You can also use it overnight if you really want to see results! It takes about a week or two to see any results, so give it time.
PREVENTS STRETCH MARKS
I actually had no idea that you can prevent and smooth out stretch marks that you have on your body simply by rubbing in a bit of coconut oil on them. Just a dab, rubbed onto your stretch marks, can go a really long way. Give this treatment a few weeks to work, but you will see results!
DE-FRIZZES SPLIT ENDS
Do you have a lot of split ends that you have no idea how to get rid of? Just use a little coconut oil! How do you use it? Well, you put a bit of oil on your hands, rub it together to melt the oil and comb through your hair. Make sure that you are concentrating on the ends, but still use a little bit near the roots of your hair to keep your scalp healthy. Let the coconut oil stay on for at least an hour (the longer the better – you can sleep in this!) then shower and shampoo all of the oil out! You usually have to shampoo twice to get all of the oil out.
STIMULATES HAIR GROWTH
Using a bit of coconut oil along your scalp can actually help make your hair grow. So if you've been dying to have long, long tresses but don't want to wait for them to grow in, try the steps above (same as getting rid of split ends!) and you'll see awesome hair growth!
HELPS NAILS GROW
I've always wanted really awesome, long nails but mine break all of the time! If you have the same problem as me, it's time for a little dose of coconut oil! Just rubbing coconut oil along your cuticles can make all of the difference in the world!
NATURAL BUG REPELLENT
If you mix a bit of the coconut oil with some mint, rosemary or catnip essential oils, you'll see a huge decrease in the amount of bugs that are around you! This natural bug repellent doesn't have any of the harsh chemicals that other bug repellents have in them, which is awesome.
HOW TO USE COCONUT OIL? I’m sure after reading about all these wonderful health benefits of coconut oil you are wondering how to use it for yourself. The good thing is coconut oil is available at your local grocery store or health food store. Remember to look for organic coconut oil. It can take a little heat which makes it great for cooking. Sauté your favorite vegetables with it or try using it when you bake.Use it in your smoothies or even in your morning coffee. You can also use it to apply to skin or hair as a moisturizer.
Now that you have learned about all the many health benefits of coconut oil and the different ways to use it, how do you plan to add coconut oil into your life? Did any of these health benefits of coconut oil have a special interest for you?