By Kacey Bradley:
Coconut oil has boosted in popularity as of late, with many classifying it as a “superfood.” But does it really have as many benefits as people say?
Oil from coconuts is high in the healthy type of saturated fats. These fats come with plenty of benefits, from an increase in natural energy to a reduced risk of heart disease. Good fat from coconut oil goes straight to the liver, delivering a quick burst of energyand turning into ketones, which are undergoing studies as a potential treatment for epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and other disorders.
The triglycerides in coconut oil also increase how much fat you burn. One study found 15-30 grams of triglycerides from fatty acids in coconut oil boosts energy by five percent, which consumes an additional 120 calories per day.
Best Ways to Use Coconut Oil
If you want to incorporate coconut oil into your routine and start reaping the benefits, there’s plenty you can do to get started today.
1. Moisturize Your Skin
One simple way to start using coconut oil is to use it as a moisturizer. The oil will absorb quickly and won’t leave behind any residue. Before bedtime, wash your face as usual and pat dry. Then, gather a dime-sized amount of oil in your hands and let it warm. At room temperature, coconut oil is solid, but it will quickly melt when cupped in your hands. Once liquid, rub it into your skin in a circular motion, sit for five minutes and then use a cloth to wipe off any excess.
2. Treat Damaged Hair
If you have frizzy, dry or damaged hair, coconut oil could be your miracle cure. The fatty acids in the oil can trap moisture inside hair follicles, softening each strand. To use coconut oil, start by rubbing a small amount between your hands. Apply it to your hair starting at the roots and working to the ends. Once you’ve covered as much as possible, wrap it in a towel and rest for 15 minutes. Afterward, rinse gently with water and shampoo.
3. Easily Remove Makeup
It can be hard to find a makeup remover that works for your skin. Some are harsh, causing dryness and peeling. Others don’t properly remove stubborn makeup, like waterproof mascara. But with coconut oil, you can use just a small amount to liquefy makeup, making it easy to wipe off. Once all your makeup is removed, clean your face with a warm, damp cloth. As a bonus, coconut oil will help hydrate the skin around your eyes.
4. Sweeten Your Coffee
If you’re a coffee drinker, you may be accustomed to using lots of sugar and cream. But a daily coffee habit can make it hard to work off those extra pounds. To reduce calories and sugar, substitute your regular coffee additions for coconut oil. It will add flavor and creaminess to your drink, making it a better fat-fighting option than black coffee. Coconut oil also has the benefit of curbing appetite, making it easier to avoid mid-day cravings.
5. Help Sick Pets
The health advantages of coconut oil don’t stop with humans. Plenty of furry friends can also see positive effects. Pets with digestive issues can benefit from a teaspoon of coconut oil added to their dry or wet food. Coconut oil used topically can also aid animals suffering from skin conditions, such as allergies, irritations and wounds. Unlike traditional ointments, coconut oil is non-toxic, meaning it poses no health risk if ingested or licked off fur.
6. Cut Out Acne
Pimples are an unappealing issue for both teens and adults, often caused by bacteria trapped on the skin. Coconut oil is a natural antibiotic, able to kill harmful overgrowth which can lead to annoying and painful breakouts. For the best home acne remedy, try mixing coconut oil with your favorite essential oil, such as lavender oil, which comes with additional soothing effects.
7. Aid Natural Digestion
Not only does coconut oil destroy harmful bacteria on your face, but it can also prevent bad growth in your digestive tract. Similar to a natural probiotic, taking coconut oil orally — such as mixing into a beverage or adding it to food — can promote a healthy gut system and relieve constipation. The antibacterial and antimicrobial traits also prevent the contraction of parasites while aiding in the absorption of necessary nutrients.
8. Repel Pesky Insects
What’s interesting about this superfood is it’s able to make many aspects of everyday life easier. For example, if you want to avoid the harmful chemicals that come with bug repellent, use coconut oil as a natural alternative. Just a tablespoon of oil mixed with essential oils like tea tree oil and peppermint will repel flies, mosquitoes, gnats and even bees. In fact, most bug sprays made with coconut oilhave been found more effective than repellents made with DEET.
9. Substitute for Detergent
Are you running low on laundry detergent? Or maybe you’re looking for a completely natural alternative? To make coconut soap, you’ll need to combine coconut oil with lye, water and your favorite essential oils. The solution is entirely safe, won’t damage fabric and is guaranteed to feel great on your skin. Coconut oil detergent is an ideal option for those who have sensitive skin and are prone to rashes and allergies.
10. Reduce Rusting
Get the most out of your coconut oil use by reducing the amount of rustyou have to deal with around the house. Coconut oil can be used on almost any type of metal, including outdoor furniture, silverware or vehicles. Spread a thin layer of oil over your chosen metal and let it sit undisturbed for one to two hours. After, wipe the oil off with a cloth and notice the unmistakable new sheen.
Using Coconut Oil in Your Routine
If you haven’t jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon, now’s the time to get started. Besides all the fantastic health benefits, like boosting energy and increasing fat loss, coconut oil also has many practical uses around the home. Use the tips above to incorporate this miracle food into your daily routine.