Part of the appeal of coconut oil is that it’s a natural substance, but what is it about this oil that makes it so good for our hair, skin and internal systems? The answer is in the combination of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacterial and hydrating properties. No other oil is quite like it. While researching this topic, we found a wealth of alternative uses for coconut oil that will surprise you and hopefully make your life a little easier. Coconut oil, it’s not just for stir-fry dishes anymore!
What is coconut oil made up of?
Coconut oil is a plant-based oil and as such contains more antioxidants and other substances than animal-derived fats and oils. Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat. That’s more than butter (about 64% saturated fat), beef fat and lard (about 40%). Saturated fats are grouped based on how many carbon atoms are in the molecule. Half of the saturated fat in coconut oil is a 12-carbon type, called lauric acid. That alone sets coconut oil apart from other saturated oils, which probably makes up for some of the unusual health benefits derived from coconut oil alone.
Why is coconut oil good for hair?
Most hair products only coat the surface of the hair to boost its shine, smoothness, conditioning properties. Coconut oil actually penetrate the cortex (the inner part) of hair which lets it improve its strength and flexibility. Coconut oil has staying power, which helps to banish damaged from combing, sun and heat styling well after the coconut oil has been rinsed from the surface of the strands.
Why is coconut oil good for skin?
Coconut oil is primarily composed of saturated fats and contains medium-chain fatty acids, which repair the skin barrier, hydrate the skin by trapping water, and reduce inflammation. We also know that these anti-inflammatory effects are likely related to antioxidants such as polyphenols. Along with hydration and anti-inflammation properties, coconut oil can quench free radicals, probably due to cphenolic compounds (specifically ferulic acid and p-coumaric acid).
Why is coconut oil good for a diet?
Too much saturated fat in one’s diet raises “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, so it would seem that at 90% saturated fat coconut oil would be an unhealthy choice. But coconut oil does the opposite, actually boosting “good” HDL cholesterol.
The medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) found in coconut oil is:
- Easy to digest and creates immediate energy
- Is not easily stored as fat
- Anti-microbial and anti-fungal
Other uses for coconut oil
There are hundreds of other uses for coconut oil that may sound very unorthodox. Some relate to health and beauty but others can help you around the house, from unsticking doors to making your own bug repellent.
- Use it during pregnancy with Fermented Cod Liver Oil to help provide baby necessary fats for development.
- Apply topically to relieve the pain of hemorrhoids.
- Add to baking soda for a naturally whitening toothpaste.
- Stir a tablespoon into a cup of warm tea to sooth a sore throat.
- Mix with salt to remove dry skin on feet.
- Rub into leather to soften and condition it.
- Speed up the healing of a sunburn.
- Create “Homemade Natural Bug-Off Lotion Bars” for hiking and camping trips.
- Sooth painful psoriasis or eczema outbreaks.
- Add to your morning coffee as a metabolism-boosting creamer substitute.
Click on the link provided to see the wide range of coconut oil we have to offer!