We are sure you’ve heard about all of the amazing benefits of coconut oil! For thousands of years, people in the Pacific Rim and Asian countries have used coconuts in their entirety for food and syrups, as well as basket and mat weaving.
By pressing the meat of the coconut, they learned to make coconut oil, which is known today for its wide variety of uses. We’re talking Amazon River-wide. One of HealingRadius’s favorites, WellnessMama, has even compiled a list of 101 uses she’s found for the stuff! So just what is the big deal, you ask?
Proven Health Benefits
Coconut oil has a unique combination of fatty acids which have shown positive effects on the health of those who use it regularly. While it used to be a common cooking ingredient in the 1950s, it later started getting a bad rap for being one of the richest sources of saturated fat.
However, we now know the saturated fats coconut oil contains are Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which are metabolized differently than the ones you’d find in cheese or meat. Your body either uses MCTs as a quick source of energy or sends them to the liver, where they’re turned into ketone bodies, which have therapeutic benefits for those with brain disorders like epilepsy or Alzheimer’s.
Additionally, of these fatty acids, almost 50% are something called 12-carbon Lauric Acid, which has been known to kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. By adding a spoonful of coconut oil to your coffee or tea, you can get in on these health benefits. Or, take a leaf from earlier cookbooks and substitute coconut oil for vegetable oil when you cook! Since coconut oil has a higher smoking temperature, you’ll also cut down on a number of carcinogens in your meals.
Coconut Oil as a Beauty Regimen
Those same antibacterial and anti-fungal health benefits we mentioned before are what help make coconut oil an excellent moisturizer for your hands, body, and hair. And since it leaves your skin looking hydrated but never greasy, it’s a great substitute for those conventional (and expensive) shaving creams. It can also be used as a natural alternative to cheekbone highlighters, facial cleansers and eye makeup removers, and exfoliators.
Using Coconut Oil Around the House
If you’re looking for a natural cleaning alternative: yep, you guessed it. It’s coconut oil. Combine it with baking soda for a stain remover for your upholstery and carpets; mix it with distilled white vinegar and lemon juice for a fresh smelling furniture polish. From seasoning your cast-iron pans to repelling insects to removing chewing gum, it might be time to get a tub of the stuff for each room of the house.
Remember that expeller pressed or other refined coconut oils can be used externally, but anything you get for cooking or other internal uses should be unrefined virgin coconut oil. You can usually find a few different types and sizes in the cooking oil section of the supermarket.
How many uses for coconut oil have you tried? Did we miss any important ones? Tell us about it in the comments below!