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Sunscreen Vs. SunblockJune 3, 2014
Uses of Coconut Oil
So, you may have read the blog article Iris did a couple months ago on the benefits of using oils to maintain healthy and youthful looking skin. But the application of using coconut oil on a daily basis is largely underestimated!
Personally, I love coconut oil. I rinse my mouth with it; I moisturize my face with it; I add it in my morning smoothie; I rub it on my back to clear up stubborn acne. It’s so multi-purposeful!
Not only is it beneficial for your skin externally, it is advantageous to use internally as well.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, a well-known osteopathic physician, states that coconut oil is beneficial for promoting heart health, supporting proper thyroid function, promoting healthy brain function and can aid in weight loss by providing an excellent “fuel” for your body and by supporting a strong metabolism.
This oil offers a truly remarkable range of health benefits when included in your daily diet.
The medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) and monoglycerides found in coconut oil are the same as those in human mother’s milk, and they have extraordinary antimicrobial properties. By disrupting the lipid structures of microbes, they inactivate them. About half of coconut oil consists of lauric acid. Lauric acid, its metabolite monolaurin, and other fatty acids in coconut oil are known to protect against infection from bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi and parasites. Interestingly, it inactivates undesirable microbes while not having any negative effect on beneficial gut bacteria.
Coconut oil belongs to the “fats” food group. Almost all of its fat content is saturated fat, and so regular use of it can increase cholesterol levels; however, it increases both good cholesterol (HDLs) and bad cholesterol (LDLs). Thus, it isn’t going to have a negative impact on someone who does not currently have chronic high cholesterol.
One of the myths mentioned in our previous blog was “Eating too much fat makes you fat.” Fat is essential for many bodily functions such as absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, absorption of phytonutrients mostly found in fruits and vegetables and regulation of certain hormones. Coconut oil will definitely help with these processes.
Coconut oil is easy on your digestive system and does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream, so for a quick energy boost, you could simply eat a spoonful of coconut oil, or add it to your food!
So, going back to my morning routine…I rinse my mouth with coconut oil. But why?
This technique is called “oil pulling,” which is actually an Ayurvedic remedy for oral health and detoxification. Simply take a spoonful of coconut oil, and swish it around your mouth and pushing it back and forth through your teeth for at least 15 minutes (i.e. during your daily shower). Scientists believe that the lipids in the oil both pull out bacteria, as well as stop bacterial from sticking to the walls of the oral cavity.
In addition, here are a variety of uses for this exceptional oil:
• Face wash and makeup remover
• Hair conditioner
• Massage oil
• Spot and stain remover
• Natural sweetener / sugar replacement
• Treatment for rashes
But wait! NOT ALL COCONUT OILS ARE CREATED EQUALLY.
Things to look for when purchasing coconut oil is that if it is refined or unrefined, virgin, and/or cold-pressed. Buy unrefined coconut oil for all uses other than for cooking and baking. Be sure to stay away from hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated coconut oils! These ones have added dangerous trans fats.
Last but not least, coconut oil is great for cooking and baking, however, be sure you use refined coconut oil because it has a much higher smoking point. If you use unrefined coconut oil instead, you make have your whole kitchen smelling like smoke!
Thankfully, coconut oil is very stable and retains its original quality for many months! In fact, its shelf life is about 18 months. This makes it convenient to buy in bulk, although I suggest you start with a smaller jar to see how you like it.