I rarely write about products or food, but I’ve recently begun a love affair with all things coconut. From post-workout coconut water to non-dairy coconut milk to coconut oil, I’m in love — especially with coconut oil. At the risk of sounding like a yoginfomercial, coconut oil isn’t only healthy alternative for your face and your food, but organic fair-trade coconut oil is super versatile, affordable and eco-friendly. Yogarific.
I discovered coconut oil in teacher training when I really started to dig into the ingredients I was putting into and on my body. What I learned about the stuff changed my life. I use Dr. Bronner’s Magic All-One! Fair Trade & Organic Fresh-Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil (whew) it all the time now in everything for it’s benefits to me and the environment. What’s the big deal with coconut oil, you ask? Here are just a few CO uses and benefits.
5 benefits of coconut oil:
- It contains heart-friendly fatty acids (myristic)
- It’s made primarily of lauric acid (a fatty acid found in breastmilk) which, studies reveal, exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties.
- It has a higher smoke point than other oils like Olive oil which means it’s better for high temperature cooking
- It’s rich in polyphenol antioxidants
- It’s vegan. Coconut oil is gaining favor with vegans, who prefer getting their saturated fat from plant foods.
Note: coconut oil IS made primarily of plant-derived saturated fats, so moderation is definitely key. “Coconut oil is better than butter and trans fats but not as good as liquid vegetable oils,” says Penn State University cardiovascular nutrition researcher Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD.
5 uses for coconut oil:
- Facial cleanser. I was skeptical about this one, but because it’s both moisturizing and has anti-bacterial properties, my skin feels and looks great. I thought I would break out because it’s oil, but no siree.
- Head to toe moisturizer. It heals dry heels and elbows; saves cracked cuticles and makes a great post shower oil to seal in moisture.
- Hair deep conditioner. If you have split ends, dry hair or maybe some damage from the sun, massage some coconut oil into damp or dry hair, wait for 30 minutes and wash out. For a deeper condition, you can leave it on over night.
- Eye make up remover. If you still feel weird about washing your face with oil, use it to take off your make up naturally before washing your face.
- Lip balm. If the coconut oil is in it’s solid state, scoop a bit onto your finger and use it to moisturize your lips.
If you’re looking to make a change to a more natural, organic beauty or cooking regimen, coconut oil is awesome. The scent of coconut is a natural stress reliever too. Averie Cooks has a cool website, “Love Veggies & Yoga,” and she’s got some great coconut & coconut oil recipes.
- Your Charmed Yogi