Coconut Oil Health Benefits.
Arguably one of the best ingredients on earth, coconut oil can do almost everything. Seriously. It’s amazing. It also has some health benefits. Below I’ve shared my favorite uses for coconut oil (everything from food uses to body uses) and shared a few suggestions for what to look for in coconut oil and how to use it!
(Parts of this post are also featured on Michaela’s website, The Bohemian Mermaid).
Coconut oil has grown in popularity over the years, especially in the health world. Research is still underway on the exact health benefits that coconut oil has, as much of the research on this oil deals with its effects on cholesterol.
However, nutrition researchers at Healthline Media recently noted that coconut oil does have impressive health benefits. It can help you burn more fat, kill harmful pathogens and reduce your hunger with its fatty acids. Cosmetically, it can function as a natural sunscreen and as a skin and hair moisturizer.
Main Types of Coconut Oil:
- Refined – In order to clean the coconut, this type of oil has been bleached and deodorized (Livestrong). This process can damage some of the chemical makeup and nutrients found in coconut. It’s often cheaper than unrefined coconut oil.
- Unrefined (or virgin coconut oil) – Chemicals are not needed to treat the oil and more of the nutrients remain because the coconut meat is mechanically pressed quickly (without being stored and then having to be cleansed).
Profile of Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, which scares many people away from using it in food or drinks. However, it is made up of the acids lauric, caprylic, and capric, which have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, as well as immune boosting properties. The oil is also known to have medium chain triglycerides which are quickly metabolized into energy by our bodies, therefore there is minimal fat storage of the oil’s compounds in the body (which is why some reports say it can help you lose weight).
Body uses for coconut oil:
- Body lotion
- Face moisturizer (also naturally helps with acne!)
- Hair ‘mask’ (put coconut oil on ends of hair, leave in for 15-30 minutes, then rinse out)
- Eye-makeup remover
- An ‘after-sun’ sunburn healing and soothing cream
- As a body scrub – check out my previous post on a super simple 2 Ingredient Coffee Body Scrub
- Oil for cooking and sautéing veggies/meats (substitute for butter or vegetable oil)
- Ingredient for making homemade chocolate (mix 2 teaspoons coconut oil with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and [optional] honey). Pour over ice creams, baked goods, fruits etc. Or place in the fridge to solidify.
- “Creamer” for coffee (mix in about a teaspoon)
- Smoothie addition – great dose of energy for your metabolism
In terms of food, coconut oil pairs great with sautéed veggies and spices. Or mixed in with desserts or breads. If you are ready to make some delicious coconut-oil infused dishes, EatThis, NotThat! created a list of 20 unique and healthy recipes that all feature coconut oil. There’s even some sweet desserts, like Raw Coconut Banana Cream Pie and Greek Yogurt Lemon Bars offered. Perfect for a girl’s night party!
- Look for unrefined and cold pressed coconut oil. Try to find the cleanest version you can. Also, make sure to read labels so that you can avoid buying coconut oil products that are only made for cooking (some of these aren’t the cleanest/most natural for putting on your body).
- Coconut oil is quite effective, so for body and face creams use only a little as it goes a long way!
- When you’re traveling, coconut oil isn’t the easiest product to bring because it’s oily, can spill, and could stain clothes/bedsheets. Try looking for natural lotions and face creams with coconut oil if you are worried about traveling with a container of oil.
Looking for more coconut oil uses? Here’s a fun post to read about 101 uses for coconut oil by Wellness Mama. You’ll probably be surprised by many of the uses!
What are your favorite uses for coconut oil? Let us know in the comments below!
An aspiring journalist and world traveler from Florida. I love to be outdoors, try new things, take pictures, and did I mention I want to travel the world?Michaela Garretson