Public opinion has shifted: Bad old coconut oil of the past is actually now considered a superfood.
Coconut oil contains saturated fat, which turns people off because of its artery-clogging properties. And while it is high in saturated fat, coconut oil also gives “good” HDL cholesterol a boost because half of the fat content is lauric acid—a powerful virus and gram-negative bacteria destroyer that also metabolizes faster than fats found in dairy products or meat.
So a whole new generation has come around to the many great ways to fit coconut oil into their lives. It not only has hundreds of healthful uses, it has many uses as a tried-and-true beauty tool, as well.
Here are just seven uses for coconut oil.
- You think olive oil is good in cooking? Witha high smoke point, coconut oil works in recipes, too. It’s also good for baking, stir-fries or as a dairy-free replacement to butter.
- Nits and lice are a parent’s greatest enemies (well, among a parent’s greatest enemies). But the one-two punch of apple cider vinegar and coconut oil will knock those little bugs out without using chemicals. Read the directions here. A bonus: Coconut oil will make hair lustrous and soft and helps promote hair growth.
- It works as a natural toothpaste and tooth whitener, along with turmeric and peppermint oil. Here’s a recipe and tips. It also clears out your mouth bacteria in what’s called oil pulling. You can find out how it works in this video, at 2:24. Just don’t swallow it after pulling—it’s full of toxins. Despite some debate about whether oil pulling actually works, experts seem to agree that it does, and that it doesn’t need to take 15 to 20 minutes each day.
- Think your hair’s thinning? Rub a little coconut oil into your scalp daily with some select herbs and you have a hair growth serum.
- Say goodbye to cracked heels and calluses. Mix coconut oil with salt and rub away ugly cracks and hard skin on your feet. Or simply rub the oil on cracked heels, put on white cotton socks and leave overnight for softer feet.
- One of the best health benefits of coconut oil is that it helps burn fat because the lauric acid helps rev up your metabolism.
- Mixed with peppermint oil or other essential oils, coconut oil becomes a super bug repellant. This blog offers a recipe and warnings about using it as a natural repellant. Some citrus oils are phototoxic and could lead to skin burning when exposed to UV light. Unlike bug repellants with DEET that you can spray on once and forget, natural repellants must be reapplied throughout the day for effectiveness.
One more word of caution: Although many websites say coconut oil is a natural tanning agent, others warn that no sun exposure is safe and that a powerful sunscreen is the best protection against harmful rays.
Interested in the many ways you can use coconut oil for good health? Talk to your physician about the options and subscribe to our blog for more healthy living tips!