Ah, the captivating coconut...
It’s round and grows from a tree. They’re hairy and monkeys throw them at one another in cartoons. This magical nut/fruit conundrum continues into your health food store in the form of bottled water, milk, oil, dried flakes, etc. The hype has some serious merit.
Coconuts are fast becoming the most super of all superfoods. But there is a lot more to them than just water; coconut oil alone is practically a miracle with its many qualities and applications. Prepare to have your life changed by this sweet butter alternative!
Let’s start with the facts.
Coconuts are hairy, fantastic looking nuts that grow approximately three at a time. They’re known to have a high fat content, which is a source of a lot of the confusion surrounding their nutritional value. At one time, coconut oil was considered among the worst fats for you. Today, they’re called ‘good fats’ and everyone from scientists to vegans have proven this ‘bad fat’ theory false.
Nutritionists have long stressed the importance of avoiding saturated fat, but the truth is that healthy fats can sometimes include naturally saturated fats. Coconut oil is unique for its particular balance of medium chain fatty acids, lauric acid, and saturated fats. Also, it’s among one of the few safe oils to cook with, especially at higher temperatures.
So what can be done with coconut oil?
Well, let’s begin with the most obvious: cook with it. Use it as an olive oil substitute, or if you’re dairy-free it’s the perfect butter substitute. Be warned, it is still from a coconut which means it has a distinctive taste that lingers. Think of it as a nutty, sweeter tasting oil that goes well with stir-fries, desserts, shrimp and sweet potatoes. Use your imagination!
Keep in mind that the ‘virgin’ coconut oil has a stronger flavor while the ‘refined’ counterpart is less distinctive. We recommend you stick with the virgin option since this means it hasn’t gone through any chemical extraction process nor has it been deodorized or bleached.
The list of benefits and uses for coconut oil is endless, but here are a few more of our favorites:
- Taken as a nutritional supplement for daily energy*
- Skin lotion (it’s a fabulous moisturizer for your entire body)
- Eye-makeup remover
- Diaper balm
- Prevent stretch marks during pregnancy*
- Naturally SPF 4 sunscreen*
- Topically to kill yeast or yeast infections*
- Lip balm
- Personal lubricant
- Antibacterial skin cream* (oh yeah, coconut oil has natural antibacterial properties)
- Reduce the itch of mosquito bites*
- Help sooth irritation from chicken pox or poison ivy*
- Natural deodorant
*This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.