(Photo Credit: coconutoil.com)
The Coconut Oil Craze
My mornings are hectic. A typical day starts with three little ones coming in to wake me up, a rush to make breakfast, finish homework, make lunches, and get everyone dressed and out the door. My saving grace? A nice cup of green tea with a teaspoon of coconut oil in it to wake me up.
The rest of my morning goes something like this… I take a shower using a natural body wash containing coconut oil as an ingredient, I brush my teeth and oil pull with coconut oil, followed by moisturizing with coconut oil straight out of the jar, which leads to an application of deodorant, which, as you guessed, contains coconut oil. I then cook my breakfast in coconut oil, just as I did for the kids, and then I start cleaning. Yes, that’s right, even my all-purpose cleaner has coconut oil in it.
Coconut oil. Surely, you’ve heard of it since there’s been a craze around it for a few years now. Perhaps it’s destined to be a fad, but it shouldn’t be. The health benefits of coconut oil are quite impressive and its uses are extensive.
Before delving into the benefits and uses, it’s important to note that not all coconut oil is created equal. Organic, cold pressed, extra virgin is the kind you want. You want organic so as to forgo the chemicals that come with the pesticides used on non-organic coconuts. You want cold pressed, extra virgin (or virgin) because it means that the oil was extracted without the use of chemicals and is closest to it’s original form, thus containing more of the nutrients and healthy properties.
Why Coconut Oil?
For starters, here’s a list of some of its benefits:
- Unlike most other saturated fats, coconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides, which means that instead of being stored as fat, they are converted, quickly, into energy.
- It’s a powerful anti-microbial, which means it kills viruses and bacteria, making it ideal for cleaning the house, as well as for cleansing the body.
- The beneficial chain of fats helps to reduce hunger and cravings.
- Coconut oil has been shown to improve cholesterol, helping the body to achieve better nutrient absorption and aiding in stabilizing the thyroid.
- Coconut oil naturally contains vitamin E, which makes it great for healing any skin ailments.
And now for some uses:
- Coconut oil is a great substitute for any vegetable oil when cooking, not only because it’s healthy, but also because it has a higher smoking point and can withstand higher temperatures without breaking down.
- It’s great for adding to smoothies and teas for increased energy and to ward off cravings.
- Topically it can be used as a moisturizer, a salve on cuts and scrapes, a barrier against the cold air or anything that can cause a rash, and as an ointment to kill any infections, such as yeast or bacteria. I have even used it on the eyelid to get rid of pink eye.
- It has a naturally occurring SPF, making it a great base for a homemade sunscreen or as a sunblock on it’s own for those with a base tan or darker skin. If you get a burn, it’s also great to use to soothe and heal it.
- It’s great for diluting essential oils before placing them directly on the skin.
- It can help to remineralize teeth and can be used as toothpaste and for oil pulling.
The best part (in my opinion)? Like other healthy fats, it aids in sleep. Healthy fats, like those found in coconut oil, help provide the body with the necessary building blocks that produce sleep hormones. Bring on the coconut oil and bring on some sleep 😉