Coconut oil has become pretty popular over the last few years and for all the right reasons. It has been dubbed for being an amazing product used in both cooking and on our bodies as well as having many nutritional health benefits. As it is loaded with healthy fatty acids (more than any other oil on the market) and has more health benefits than I can count on both hands, makes it a pretty sensational product – in my opinion.
And here is a brief reason why….
Stops sugar cravings and stabilises the body
Instead of reaching for sugary snacks during the day, try a tablespoon of coconut oil to curb those sugar cravings. If you don’t like it by itself then try adding a little bit of cacao through it to give it a choc-lately flavour. The reason coconut oil works so perfectly is because it is a healthy and good quality fat source, which not only controls blood sugar levels, but leaves us feeling full and satisfied, unlike chocolate or cake that cause sugar spikes.
Healthy skin and hair
Coconut oil doesn’t just have uses in cooking; in fact it makes a wonderful skin and hair treatment too! It is incredibly hydrating for the skin and can help prevent fine lines and wrinkles and can be applied to the face and body as moisturiser or body lotion.
As for hair, coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrients for your hair and can help in healthy hair growth and gives your hair a shiny quality. Pop coconut oil on the ends of your hair or use as a hair treatment for smooth and rehydrated hair – it works wonders.
Nail and beauty treatments
Like skin and hair care, coconut oil can have amazing effects on hydrating our hands and feet. Rub oil onto fingers or toes and over cuticles to keep them nourished and in good condition. If you wax, coconut oil can make a great post waxing lotion for soothing and treating the area after getting hair ripped out.
Helps weight loss and balances hormones
Coconut Oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a healthy saturated fat, that can be absorbed and burned up as energy, making it less likely to be stored as fat in the body. Unlike MCF’s, trans fatty acid consumption is linked with heart problems, depression and increased cholesterol levels, which is why coconut oil is so great.
Furthermore, coconut oil has been shown to help with weight loss, particularly around the waistline, and balancing out hormones that reduce stress and anxiety – two of the leading causes of excessive stomach fat.
Increased metabolism and better insulin
Studies have shown that including coconut oil in your diet on a daily basis can boost your metabolism and improve insulin levels – which is great as an increased metabolism improves the function of insulin and as already stated above, helps with weigh loss.
Coconut oil can be used in so many ways in cooking. Unlike many oils that are unsafe to cook with at high temperatures, coconut oil is ideal as it can be heated at high temps so is a great alternative oil for everyday use. It is also a great substitute in recipes that contain vegetable oil or butter, or simply as a salad dressing, sprinkled over veggies, used as a topping… and the list goes on!
Great for digestion
If you often feel bloated or don’t digest food well, consider adding coconut oil to your everyday diet as the fatty acids in coconut oil contain anti-microbial properties which have been found to benefit digestive problems. These are said to have a soothing effect on bacteria, candida, or parasites that cause poor digestion.
Other uses ?
– Homemade soaps
– Used to fight cold sores
– Soothes insect bites and can act as a repellent
-Exfoliating body scrub – use the oil as a base ingredient with sugar or something grainy and you have yourself super smooth skin.
– Massage oil
– Reduce Dandruff/ flaky dry scalp
– Prevent stretch marks
– Can help sooth psoriasis or eczema
– Improves insulin levels
– Makes the best sugar free chocolate!
What kind to buy?
Firstly, it is important to recognise that there are two different kinds of coconut oil: refined and unrefined.
Refined typically undergoes various levels of being deodorized and bleached and processed with very high heat.
Unrefined will usually be labelled virgin or extra virgin and is generally obtained directly from the coconut and is unrefined, unfiltered and without any additives.
Both oils have their own advantages and disadvantages…while studies show that unrefined remains the more popular choice of the two as it is less processed and chemically touched, on the other hand, refined has less of a coconut flavour due to the processes it has been through and remains the cheaper price. You can buy both varieties in organic.
Where to buy it?
Coconut oil is very easily available in most grocery and health food stores – particularly if you live in more tropical regions of the world. For special varieties of coconut oil or in countries which don’t product the oil may need to search in larger department stores or order online and get it delivered to you.
Storage and use by
Coconut oil is best kept in the pantry or cupboard, away from direct sunlight, and can last for up to two years. Depending on the climate and temperature you live in will determine whether the oil will stay in liquid form or turn solid. It should be used in liquid form, so if it is not liquid it will transform very quickly just by heating it before use.