Over the past few years, coconut oil has become a big deal among the health food community and more recently has made its way onto big supermarkets shelves too. The sweet-smelling tropical trooper is used for everything from roasting vegetables to smoothies to ‘bulletproof coffee’ as well as being used as a beauty product for smooth, soft skin and hair.
But what is it that’s got everyone so coco-nuts for this stuff?
Here's a list of my favourite benefits of coconut oil...
Hair, Skin and Nails
Coconut oil has become a key ingredient in beauty regimes, providing moisturising benefits for the skin, making an outstanding hair conditioner and helping to strengthen your nails.
Coconut oil is rich in vitamin E, antioxidants and a high level of lauric acid that helps revitalise your skin, leaving you feeling softer and looking younger.
A safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin, coconut oil delays the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin, keeping you looking healthy and youthful. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections.
Coconut oil is said to be one of the best natural nutrients for your hair. It helps stimulate healthy growth and adds lustre, shine and softness to the hair. It is also highly effective in reducing protein loss, preventing hair breakage, split ends and dandruff.
Coconut oil is said to reduce appetite and boost metabolism - by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby burning more energy. Containing short and medium-chain fatty acids that aid in taking off excessive weight, it is also easy to digest andhelps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system.
The best way to use coconut oil to aid weight loss is to have 2 tbsps daily - Ideally, 20 mins before mealtime is the best time to take your coconut oil as it will significantly reduce appetite and help you to feel full more quickly and be satisfied with smaller portions.
If you suffer from poor digestion or tummy bloating try adding coconut oil to your diet. Coconut oil helps to improve the digestive system and has been found to prevent various stomach and digestion-related problems including Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion.
Dental Health - Oil Pulling
Used primarily in Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling is an amazing oral detoxification procedure that is simply done by swishing oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. Oil pulling works by cleaning your mouth in a similar way that soap cleans dirty dishes. It literally sucks the toxins out of your mouth and creates a clean, antiseptic oral environment.
Many people swear by oil pulling as a cure for many dental problems and I have personally used it to relieve wisdom tooth pain and swelling and found it to be an absolute miracle worker. I would also suggest oil pulling as a hangover aid as it totally helps with that horrible next day dry mouth and unpleasant after tastes!
Which Coconut Oil To Buy:
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (Raw): Produced from organic coconuts, in an organic way, virgin coconut oil is derived from the milk obtained from fresh coconut meat, and not from copra, by processes like fermentation, centrifugal separation and enzyme action. Care is taken to use no or as little heat as possible in the extraction of this oil. Produced in this way, the oil tastes and smells best and is laden with antioxidants and medium chain fatty acids. It also has remarkable anti-microbial properties.