If I had to pick my #1, can’t-live-without-it natural product, coconut oil would absolutely top the list. (Or at least tie with honey and apple cider vinegar)! I use coconut oil every single day. Without fail. And it’s one of the best things you can possibly put in or on your body! Score!
Don’t Believe the Lies
You might have heard that coconut oil falls into the category of unhealthy, calorie-laden, fattening foods and you should avoid it at all costs. It’s a lie, people! Don’t believe it! While coconut oil is indeed comprised of over 90% saturated fat, this is good since over 60% of your brain and nervous system are made of fat. Your body requires these (very healthy) saturated fats to function properly (balanced hormones, anyone?). It’s also a fallacy that eating fat will make you fat. On the contrary, eating these healthy saturated fats found in coconut oil will actually help train your body to be a fat-burner instead of a sugar-burner. You can check out the book Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price Foundation for even more great information on how eating fat (like the kind found in coconut oil) can help you lose weight and more. And you can read more research from the Weston A. Price Foundation on saturated fats here.
Why Coconut Oil is Amazing
Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which don’t require special enzymes for our bodies to use them. They are sent straight to the liver where they are converted to energy instead of fat. This also helps boost metabolism, aiding in weight loss. Coconut oil can also increase activity in your thyroid, which can be a possible culprit in excess weight that can’t seem to be shed.
Coconut oil is also chock full of lauric acid. Where else is lauric acid found in abundance? Your mother’s breast milk. Once inside your body, lauric acid is converted to monolaurin and it contains amazing anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-protozoan properties. Pretty cool, huh? This means coconut oil can be effective in fighting off measles, herpes, parasites, and influenza (who needs a potentially dangerous and mostly ineffective flu vaccine when you have coconut oil?!).
You’ll get lauric acid from eating dried coconut or quality coconut milk, but the most concentrated source is coconut oil — about seven grams per tablespoon. That’s good to know when the recommended daily intake is right around 10 – 20 grams per day for children and adults (source).
Because of it’s anti-microbial properties, coconut oil makes a great salve for healing wounds. I quite often use it on bug bites or scratches for protection and faster healing.
Coconut Oil is One of the Best Oils for Cooking
Most conventional cooking oils are made from toxic, GMO corn or canola crops and they have already turned rancid. That’s why I recommend people toss their vegetable and canola oil ASAP! Even cooking with olive oil is a no-no. Extra virgin olive oil is fantastic when used raw on salads, but it’s not as heat stable as coconut oil (or grapeseed oil – my other favorite cooking oil).
So Much More Than Food
Coconut oil is always in my kitchen pantry, but it’s also always in my bathroom (of all places)! I use coconut oil as a moisturizer, anti-frizz hair gel, make-up remover, and as a mild sunscreen. Don’t forget that whatever you put on your skin will be absorbed right into your body. Always read the ingredients label on any personal care products, but if you’re like me then you don’t even bother with expensive quasi-natural products. You just put food on your face! Coconut oil (along with honey and apple cider vinegar) is one of my favorite, most-used products all through the house.
Always Buy Unrefined!
You want to make sure you buy and use an extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil. You can order it online from places like Amazon, Vitacost, or Tropical Traditions. There are also many local co-ops where you can buy in bulk and get the best value for your money. If you’re in Tennessee or surrounding states you can order with Bulk Natural Foods.
Do you have a unique way that you use coconut oil? Please share!