Coconut oil has been around for thousands of year and has mainly been used by tropical countries, especially in Asia. Coconut oil is very high in natural saturated fats which can benefit your health and beauty in a multitude of different ways.
Here are four ways that coconut oil may help you to achieve that goal.
Four beneficial uses of coconut oil
Grow stronger, healthier hair with volume
Coconut oil contains a high level of saturated fat, iron, and vitamins K and E which helps hair grow at a much more rapid pace. Additionally, coconut oil can strengthen damaged hair by providing it with extra moisture, which prevents dandruff, lice, fungus, and other infections. Furthermore, coconut oil cannot only provide many health benefits to your hair, but it can also help to serve as a natural, organic styling aid used to add volume and shine and combat frizz.
When applying coconut oil on your hair be sure to use only two teaspoons at most and melt it into a cup of warm water. Once the mixture has had time to cool, pour it over your hair, then rinse it out. Be careful not to use too much coconut oil, though, or your hair may end up looking greasy.
Enjoy your favorite baked goods without the guilt
Coconut oil can be used as a substitute for many unhealthy ingredients in recipes, especially when baking. For example:
- 1/2 stick of butter = ½ cup coconut oil
- 1 egg = 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 cup shortening = ¾ cup coconut oil
While coconut oil is a healthy alternative to these ingredients, Kelly Pio, CRNP of Penn Family Medicine Valley Forge, stresses the importance of buying virgin coconut oil. “Processed coconut oil loses its natural properties, therefore limiting its health benefits on the human body.”
This wonderful ingredient can also have surprising positive effects on cholesterol. “Although it is high in saturated fat, coconut oil helps to raise a person’s HDL or “good cholesterol,” which balances cholesterol ratios, leading to overall improved levels,” says Kelly.
Need even more reason to add coconut oil to your diet? Kelly states that “it has the ability to lower blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory effects due to a high amount of antioxidants.”
Coconut oil is also a great food substitute because it’s vegan-friendly, making it perfect to use when cooking for your vegetarian and vegan friends. Additionally, coconut oil has no carbs, so it's great for anyone trying to slim down on a low-carb diet.
Put your best face forward
Coconut oil is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, making it wonderful for your skin. It can serve as a great moisturizer as well as an exfoliator when mixed with sea salt or brown sugar. However, while coconut oil serves as an effective moisturizer, it is still very oily, meaning that those who are acne-prone should avoid applying it to their face. Coconut oil can also be used as a hydrating, chemical-free alternative to shaving cream or even as an all-natural cheekbone highlighter.
Get a picture-worthy smile
Here’s our best kept secret: coconut oil can be beneficial for your mouth, too! One way to use coconut oil for a healthier smile is by using the oil pulling method. This technique requires you to put 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes. This will suck all of the toxins out of your mouth and can help to cure tooth decay, kill bacteria and bad breath, heal bleeding gums, and more.
If oil pulling isn’t quite your thing, don’t worry. You can always use coconut oil as a lip balm for softer, smoother lips, which is especially helpful in these dry winter months.
So, next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to pick up a jar of coconut oil. Your body will thank you!