I'M CRUSHING ON COCONUT OIL - FIND OUT HOW COCONUT OIL CAN BENEFIT YOUR HEALTH
One of my new found favourites is a big old jar of organic virgin coconut oil. More and more we are seeing healthier oil alternatives to cook with and coconut oil is high up there but did you know that there is so much more that you can do with coconut oil beyond cooking?
This week i've listed my personal favourite uses and why they're so great - have you given any of these a go?
I absolutely LOVE using coconut oil when I cook. It is great for stir frys but also SO tasty if you roast vegetables in it. It will take your dinners to another level.
Experts were quick to class coconut oil as a "superfood" but is the food industry jumping on this purely so that they can charge more for it? Below are just some of the benefits of swapping your vegetable/sunflower oil for something more natural.
Coconut oil is high in healthy saturated fats - these have real health benefits that differ from most of the other fats that appear in your diet. They can actually boost fat burning, provide your body and brain with quick energy as well as raise good HDL cholesterol in your blood which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Here's the sciency bit: Most fats in the diet are called long-chain triglycerides, but the fats in coconut oil are known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which basically means that the fatty acids are shorter. MCTs go straight to the liver to be used as a quick source of energy or turned into keytones.
Keytones have some amazing benefits - they positively affect the brain (and are currently being studied for reducing the symptoms of epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and other brain related disease) they also can help in reducing hunger which can aid in weight loss.
Yep, you read that right! Before my wedding I really wanted to get brighter, whiter teeth. I had heard years ago of coconut oil pulling but never really fancied trying it. After briefly looking at professional teeth whitening and almost fainting at the price(!) I opened my cupboard, grabbed a spoonful and popped it in my mouth!
Just as a side note: it is WIERD and will take some getting used to!
Oil pulling has actually been around for thousands of years and is the process of swishing oil around the mouth ( a bit like mouthwash ) for 15-20 minutes.
The main benefits are that it reduces the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth which can aid in improved dental health and reduce bad breath, gum inflammation, gingivitis and cavities. But the whitening is a real bonus and is the easiest way to brighten your smile.
So much so that my husband kept commenting on how white my teeth had got!
Make Up Removal & Skin Care
A lot of high street makeup removers are alcohol based which can irritate and dry out the skin. Others that are oil based can block pores and cause breakouts. I don't wear much make up and often spend my days make up free - partly because every time I put make up on and then used remover to take it off the next couple of days I'd be fighting with spots and partly because I am the ultimate lazy girl!
On the occasions that I do wear make up I get a small teaspoon of coconut oil and slather it all over my face. It is better than any other eye makeup/makeup remover I have ever used and because of it's anti-bacterial properties it leaves your skin feeling really clean and healthy.
All you need to do is apply the oil, rub it in and then wash it off with warm water and a clean flannel. Finish by splashing your face with cold water. You can do this to cleanse your face as well.
To use coconut oil as an exfoliant all you need to do if melt some coconut oil to room temperature and mix together with brown sugar (you don't want to dissolve the sugar). Use the mixture to gently exfoliate your face and then wash off in the shower or using warm water and a clean flannel. Finish by splashing your face with cold water. Your skin will be glowing!
There's a surge in shampoos and conditioners containing coconut oil because the beauty industry have realised the many benefits of it. However a lot of hair products claiming to be 'colour safe' or 'conditioning' contain sulphate which takes the colour out of your hair and can also dry it out by stripping out the natural oils.
I have found the most INCREDIBLE hair products that are sulphate free and enriched with natural ingredients. But if you want to pamper your hair you can use coconut oil to really give it a treat.
Deep Conditioning: Coconut oil is more effective when penetrating hair (and prevent protein loss) than mineral and sunflower oil so it is great to use as an overnight hair mask. Use a tablespoon of coconut oil to your hair and comb it through then place in a loose bun or ponytail. You'll need to wrap your hair up in a towel or use a shower cap to protect your pillow case. Then in the morning wash your hair as normal with a cleansing shampoo.
Tame Frizz & Shine: Use coconut oil on towel dry hair by using a very small teaspoon sized amount for a smooth & polished look. It can also give your hair protection from heat styling tools like straighteners & curling tongs.
Ditch the Dandruff: Don't spend your hard earned money on special shampoos and conditioners try using coconut oil first! Heat 2 or 3 tablespoons of oil over a low flame. Once it liquifies make sure it isn't too hot and then massage the oil into your scalp. If you have any leftover oil, you can use it to coat the rest of your hair. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash it out with shampoo.
What do you think?
Are you already a coconut oil convert or has this post opened up a whole new world of possibilities?
Let us know in the comments! :)