Coconut oil is amongst the healthiest, most versatile natural oils on earth. Although one of the few plant based foods high in saturated fat, studies have shown that it promotes heart health, and has many other significant health benefits.
What you may not have know is that aside from consuming coconut oil in it’s raw form, it has a many other practical uses, five of which will be outlined in this article.
#1 – Cooking & Baking
Many plant oils such as sunflower and canola contain high amounts of polyunsaturated fats which oxidize when heated. Oxidized fats have been linked to numerous health problems ranging from arthritis to cardiovascular disease.
From a study titled “Health Effects of Oxidized Heated Oils“:
Considerable evidence has accumulated over the past two decades that heated cooking oils, especially polyunsaturated oils, may pose several types of health risks to consumers of fried foods and even people working near deep fat fryers. Heat degrades polyunsaturated fatty acids to toxic compounds; saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids are resistant to heat-induced degradation. Several types of diseases may be related to the exposure of humans to food- or air-borne breakdown products of heated oils including atherosclerosis, the forerunner to cardiovascular disease; inflammatory joint disease, including rheumatoid arthritis; pathogenic conditions of the digestive tract; mutagenicity and genotoxicity, properties that often signal carcinogenesis; and teratogenicity, the property of chemicals that leads to the development of birth defects.”
Coconut oil contains primarily saturated fat and remains stable at high heat, making it one of the healthiest choices for cooking. It’s also relatively neutral tasting, so it works well in most recipes.
If baking, us it as substitute for recipes that require butter, shortening, lard, or margarine.
#2 – Natural Moisturizer
Most commercial moisturizers contain a long list of ingredients that you probably can’t pronounce. If that isn’t enough of a reason to stop using them, take a look at some of the benefits of using coconut oil instead:
- Contains vitamin E and other antioxidants, which helps repair and nourish the skin
- Protects the skin from UV rays (SPF 4)
- Doesn’t leave you feeling oily (contains medium-chain fatty acids that penetrate deeply)
- Is gentle and safe for all types of skin
- Chemical free!
All of this, for an extremely reasonable price when compared to most quality commercially available products.
#3 – Toothpaste
Coconut oil makes a great base for toothpaste. In addition to adding flavour, it also helps kill harmful bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Want to make your own and avoid all of the chemicals found in commercial toothpaste? Try this simple homemade toothpaste recipe that uses coconut oil and a few other natural ingredients. It’s as effective as the commercial brands, tastes great, and contains no chemicals!
Most commercial deodorants contain aluminum (which may be linked to cancer), so making your own chemical-free version is a healthy choice.
To make your own deodorant with coconut oil and a few other natural ingredients, simply mix the following ingredients together in a bowl:
Coconut oil – 4tbsp
Baking soda – 1/4 cup
Corn starch – 1/4 cup
Tea tree oil – 5 drops
Lavender – 5 drops
Once thoroughly mixed, remove ingredients from bowl and place in jar. Store at room temperature, and apply by hand.
It doesn’t get much easier than that! But does it work you ask? Give it a try and you’ll be pleasantly surprised…
#5 – Treatment for Head Lice
Yes, you can even use coconut oil to treat head lice!
Here’s how (follow this routine for 5 days):
1. Rinse hair with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil, and let dry
2. Apply coconut oil liberally to hair and scalp
3. Apply shower cap and leave in overnight
4. Comb hair with nit comb, and wash hair with shampoo
After 5 days those pesky head lice should be obliterated!
Regardless of it’s use, the type of coconut oil you use does make a difference. Choose virgin organic, as this is the most potent, unprocessed form.
What do you use coconut oil for? Please let us know by commenting below!