Coconut Oil...I LOVE this stuff. You can cook with it, eat it straight, use it as shaving cream. It's incredibly versatile and has numerous health benefits. The best part is...it costs around $10. My favorite is Dr. Bronner's Magic All One (Pictured). I've tried several brands and this one has the best taste, smell and texture. Make sure you look for the words virgin and unrefined when you pick a coconut oil. Dr. Bronner's is also organic and fair trade.
Here are a few of the main benefits:
1) Helps you shed belly fat
Coconut oil has special fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These fats help the liver to burn energy more efficiently. A 2009 study asked a group of women to consume 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks. After the 12 weeks these women had decreased amounts of abdominal fat. Abdominal fat is extremely difficult to lose and contributes to major health issues like heart problems. Here is a link to the study:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058
2) Lowers cholesterol and helps your body fight infections
Coconut oil contains a saturated fat called lauric acid. Lauric acid increases the good HDL cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels and increases your immunity to help your body fight off infection. Coconut oil also helps your thyroid to function at it's peak. When the thyroid doesn't do it's job, it can lead to higher levels of bad cholesterol.
3) Turns back the hands of time
Coconut oil contains ferulic and p-coumaric acid. These acids fight free-radical damage and help your body prevent damage to healthy fats and tissues. That's fancy talk for "coconut oil prevents and reduces the appearance of wrinkles." Consuming coconut oil will literally make you glow from the inside out! Apply topically for extra moisturizing benefits.
4) Boosts metabolism and energy levels
A study in the journal of nutrition found that consuming coconut oil boosts metabolism. Participants that consumed 2 tablespoons a day burned more calories than those who didn't. Remember how coconut oil contains MCT's? Medium Chain Triglycerides provide a long lasting energy source for the body. Try coconut oil instead of coffee for an energy boost that won't leave you crashing soon after.
Okay, now that I've convinced you of how AWESOME coconut oil is, here are some practical ways to incorporate it into your diet:
1) Put a couple tablespoons of coconut oil in your favorite smoothie recipe.
2) Add a spoonful of coconut oil to your morning cup of coffee--sounds funky, but a lot of people love this dairy free alternative to creamer!
3) Man up and eat it straight! If you love the flavor of coconut try eating it straight from the spoon.
4) Cook with it. Replace butter , margarine and olive oil with coconut oil. It's a healthy swap that can save you from the unhealthy fats and give you a healthy dose of omega 3's. Melt some coconut oil on a skillet before scrambling eggs or spread it right on your morning toast.
Other ways you can use coconut oil on the reg!
1) As a lotion. You can apply directly to your skin during or after your daily shower
2)As an eye-makeup remover. Rub a small amount on your eyelids then slowly massage off with a clean, damp cloth
3)To prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Apply to the your belly a few times a day!
4)As diaper cream. Don't worry, there have been studies done to ensure this is a safe alternative to regular diaper creams.
5)Coconut Oil has antibacterial properties so you can use it topically to help clear up yeast infections or to help soothe and naturally cure cold sores
6)As an intense nighttime facial moisturizer
7)Feed coconut oil to your dog to kill bad breath and make their coat shiny. I melt coconut oil and pour it over my dog's food...he goes crazy for CO!
8)As a natural remedy for heartburn and nausea. Just add to ginger tea.
9)As a whitening toothpaste. Just mix with baking soda.
10)As a deoderant. Just apply to your underarms!
11)As a natural treatment for skin issues. Whether you suffer from eczema, psoriasis or if your dog has an inflamed itchy patch on his skin, just apply directly to the irritated area to soothe and heal.
12)As a lip balm.
13)As a deep conditioner. Apply to hair, leave on for 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
14)As an all-natural, personal lubricant. Many older woman suffer from vaginal dryness. Applying coconut oil topically will keep you ultra moisturized all day long.
15)As shaving cream. Apply a very thin layer to skin before shaving. Make sure to rinse your razor blade well to avoid clogging it up.
16)As a leather conditioner. My frye boots had a terrible grease stain from someone accidentally setting a greasy bag of popcorn on my foot! I cleaned it with dawn, but that only left a horrible looking light spot. I massaged a small amount of coconut oil onto the spot and it instantly darkened it. That's when coconut oil became my best friend...after it saved my expensive boots
17)As a frizz tamer. Rub a tiny amount onto the palms of your hands then run your hands through your frizzy spots to help keep those fly-aways at bay.
18)As a face wash. Because of it's antibacterial properties, you can actually cleanse your face with coconut oil. This will moisturize while fighting wrinkles, acne and eczema!
19)As a sugar scrub! Recipe Below!!
There are so many more ways to use coconut oil. Google it for hundreds of other ideas. Check out my favorite sugar scrub recipe to keep your skin silky smooth!
Sugar Scrub Recipe
*Easy, cheap and takes minutes to make!
Those expensive sugar scrubs you see in stores like Sephora or fancy spas...they cost pennies to make! I've put the basic recipe below. Pour the mixture in a cute jar, tie with a ribbon and voila! This makes the most adorable gift to give to friends for birthdays or as a "just because you're a GREAT friend" gift! The recipe can be used on your face or body to exfoliate and moisturize. Oh...and it smells yummy too.
Here’s The Basic Recipe:
2 cups sugar (white or brown sugar) to
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp Vitamin E oil or the gel from a few capsules (*optional)
Mix together in a big bowl. It helps if you melt the oil in the microwave first. This will make mixing and jarring so much easier and it will return to the thicker consistency as it cools.