I am always somewhat skeptical when I first learn about a new healthy trend that starts to form. I try and do some research first before I jump on the bandwagon to spread the word and even more research before I try it myself. That was definitely the case when coconut oil started to get really popular on the fitness and health scene. I just kept thinking “Coconut oil? Really?” But, as it really started to pick up steam and folks started raving about it, I sort of gave in.
And I’m SO GLAD I did! I absolutely LOVE this stuff! I have started to use it pretty much everyday is some kind of way and I figured I’d share with you all. If you’re not already using it, have been skeptical or don’t know how to use it, here’s 5 reasons to LOVE it:
1. Your skin will love it!
Most moisturizers and lotions are water-based. So, when you put them on your skin, it may feel great and moisturized at first, but after that water dries, your skin gets dry again. Also, many moisturizers (for your face as well) are petroleum based, which clogs your pores. Coconut oil does the complete opposite. You can use coconut oil as a body and face moisturizer to help strengthen your skin’s tissue and lift any dead skin cells. It’s also a great make-up remover, sunscreen, treatment for rashes or eczema, psoriasis, burns. I just used coconut oil yesterday as a moisturizer for my face after I washed it and I think it changed my life.
2. Your hair will adore it!
The natural hair movement has fully embraced coconut oil as an amazing moisturizer. And it is! I use it on my locs after I wash my hair and it absorbs into my hair so well. I love it! If you’ve got dry, kinky or coily hair, use coconut oil right after washing or during your styling process to add shine or to seal your ends. I also use it in my niece’s hair every weekend when she comes over to get her hair washed, blow-dried and styled. She really enjoys the smell and I love what it does for her hair. One of my health and beauty idols, Francheska from HeyFranHey lists coconut oil in her hair regimen and favorite products video (along with some other really awesome stuff) Love it!
3. You can cook with it!
If this isn’t one of the best reasons, I don’t know what is! In a few recipes, I have swapped coconut oil in for butter. And to me, it tastes exactly the same! Not to mention, it’s healthier than butter. Most recently, I put a dollop of it in my oatmeal along with a tiny bit of brown sugar and some pumpkin pie spice. I was in HEAVEN. Coconut oil in your food provides a healthy fat alternative. It is easily digested and actually boosts your metabolism which helps your body use fat for energy, as opposed to storing it. Coconut oil heats better than olive oil and doesn’t become dangerous when ingested.
For a really extensive look at how coconut benefits you when you eat it, check out this post from Dr. Joseph Mercola from The Huffington Post.
4. You can clean your teeth with it!
Have you ever heard of oil pulling? It’s a method of cleaning your mouth and teeth by “swishing” oil around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes every morning. The oil interacts with enzymes inside your mouth and “pulls” the bacteria away. Resulting in whiter teeth, a cleaner mouth, fresher breath and an overall better state of health. I was oil pulling for a while with sesame oil after reading my good friend Afrobella’s blog about her experience with it. I will say, it’s not an easy practice to get into, but the benefits are awesome! I definitely plan to pick up the habit again very soon.
5. You can clean your house with it!
Yup! You read that right. Not only can we use it on and in our bodies but we can use it around the house too! Use coconut oil to clean leather and remove rust from knives or tools. Dab a few teaspoons on a clean cloth and use it as polish for your wood furniture. Use it as a stain remover for ink on plastic or vinyl. Rub a little bit of it onto bronze items to bring back the shine and darken the color. To remove a sticky label, rub some coconut oil onto it and let it sit for while. After a few minutes, the label should come right off. Or use a towel to wipe off any residue. Cool, huh?
What should I look for when I buy coconut oil?
- Organic or non GMO – Obvious, right? You want coconut oil that has not been genetically modified or grown with pesticides.
- Unrefined or virgin – You want the coconut oil to be pressed only a few times. Sometimes if it’s pressed too many times, heat gets involved and that kills the nutrients.
- Cold Pressed or Expeller Pressed – Cold Pressed means the oil was extracted and pressed out in conditions less than 45c, which would in turn be the best method for preserving nutrients and taste.
There you have it, folks. Coconut oil in SOME of it’s glory. There are plenty more way to use it, but I found these to be my top 5. It is an amazing superfood that benefits us to no end. Try some!
If you already use coconut oil, let me know in the comments below what you use it for and why you love it!