By now you have heard a lot about coconut oil.
You're likely aware that its uses go way beyond the kitchen. Here are some quick facts on coconut oil so you can make the best use of this gift from nature.
3 Reasons Your Body Loves Coconut Oil
1. Best fats: Coconut oil gives you the best fats your body needs. Although it contains saturated fat, most of it is lauric acid. Lauric acid differs in its composition from saturated fats derived from animal sources.
Studies show that lauric acid helps to lower cholesterol and promotes health. It also contains medium chain fats, which boosts your body's fat burning ability. Just keep in mind that you still want to eat fats in moderation.
2. Boosts the brain: Coconut oil is different from other fats that are high in long chain fats. The presence of medium chain fats makes it easy for your body to absorb. Your liver uses this fat and converts them to ketones.
Ketones are a crucial source of energy for your brain and boost brain activity. They're also beneficial for people with Alzheimer's and memory loss. The compound cytokinin helps prevent the protein aggregation that is common in Alzheimer's.
3. Antioxidants galore: If you take coconut oil every day it improves your body's antioxidants. A study on rats found that polyphenols in coconuts are responsible for this. Better antioxidant defense from coconut oil means better immune function and lowered cancer risk.
3 Surprising Ways to Use Coconut Oil
1. To battle bacteria:
Studies show that coconut oil can be a natural antiseptic.
One study showed that coconut oil is effective against candida (yeast). As if that weren't enough, it also concluded that virgin coconut oil changed the cells of bacteria and slowed their growth.
2. To beautify you: Coconut oil is good for your hair and skin.
Dab a few drops of coconut oil on your skin after a bath to enjoy soft, supple skin even in harsh winter.
Use it as a lip moisturizer to prevent chafing. Coconut oil's vitamins and fats help to nourish your hair from its roots. It nourishes the scalp and promotes the growth of shiny hair.
3. To clean your house: Use coconut oil as a non-toxic cleaner around your home.
You can use it to sanitize and condition leather goods. It's great to use to season your cast iron pots and pans. Use it to clean the inside of your car, it also conditions it. Coconut oil is a safe, gentle way to clean your hands after using oil-based paints.
When using coconut oil in combination with other ingredients like baking soda do a patch test. To do that, just rub your mixture on a small, less easily seen area of the item you're cleaning to ensure it doesn't discolor the material.
3 Tips on Shopping for Coconut Oil
There are a LOT of brands out there and it can get confusing to zero down to the best. Here are few tips to help you choose the right one.
1. Choose unrefined virgin oils: Refined coconut oils come from dried coconuts. They undergo chemical treatments and don't carry the beneficial compounds of fresh ones. Unrefined, virgin oils have coconut's characteristic aroma as they are less processed.
2. Choose cold-pressed oils: In general, extracting oil from coconuts involves heat. This can destroy vital nutrients in coconuts. This is why it is best to choose cold pressed coconut oils. The process occurs in heat-controlled conditions. This ensures, less harsh processing and most nutrition.
3. Choose organic: Coconut is a crop that is never genetically modified, so that is not a concern with coconuts. Even though coconuts generally aren't grown with as many chemicals as many crops, it's still the best idea to choose organic, for both your health and the environment.
This keeps away the use of dangerous chemicals in the extraction process. When labeled organic, manufacturers have to adhere to industry standards in its extraction process.
So there you have it. And not only is it great for us humans but your pets as well. Our dog gets a heaping tablespoon every morning to help with his skin and fur and he comes running when he hears me opening the jar!
If you have any questions about coconut oil don't hesitate to leave me a comment.
Here's to good health!