There are so many uses for coconut oil I thought I would share with you some of my favorites. It is true that coconut oil is a saturated fat. However, it is a good saturated fat. Because of the lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid it contains, it is beneficial for lowering blood cholesterol, relieving stress and helping with metabolism and digestion. It can also help with high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney function. It also contains antioxidants, which are important to our health because they fight free radicals in our system and help us to cleanse. What may surprise you is that consumption of coconut oil is associated with improved dental health and building bone density.
I use coconut oil for all of my cooking. It holds up well to heat and adds a nice flavor to foods. It also adds richness so you won’t miss the bad fats in desserts and other dishes. When you use coconut oil in your cooking and baking you are not sacrificing taste or texture but you are gaining so many health benefits. Whenever I am sautéing onions or stir frying veggies, instead of coating the pan or wok with olive oil, which turns rancid in high heat, I use coconut oil instead. Use caution though, you need to keep the flame on the stove down pretty low so that you don’t burn the foods as it gets pretty hot.
Earth Balance has also put out a Coconut Spread that can be used on bread as an alternative to butter or cream cheese. I haven’t tried it yet but have heard it is delicious. It is on my shopping list for my next shopping trip!
I also eat a lot of raw foods and coconut oil is a staple in so many of the raw desserts I prepare. It is rich, creamy and holds foods such as ground nuts together when they need to be formed into cookies or patties. You can find some great raw dessert recipes in Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney . Raw desserts are the greatest and most creative foods. You can eat rich, delicious desserts without the guilt or any of the bad stuff. All of the ingredients used to make them are fresh, unprocessed and healthy!
Not only does coconut oil benefit your health internally, I use coconut oil on my skin as well. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I threw away all of the products I used on my skin and went back to nature. I adopted a new outlook – if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin. Your skin is your body’s biggest organ. It absorbs everything you put on it. Why would you put nasty chemicals and additives on your skin only to have it absorbed into your system? After I shower, I rub organic extra virgin coconut oil into my skin and let it sink in.
When I first discovered Nature’s Way Organic Coconut Oil for skin care I was hesitant. I thought that it would make me feel really greasy and oily and that I’d smell like suntan lotion. But, it really doesn’t. Use just enough to moisturize and it will be soaked right up. And because of it’s antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial and soothing properties, your skin will love it. I use it all over my body from my face to my toes. My feet stay soft and free of calluses, which is a huge benefit. I also use a pumis stone on my feet each time I shower which helps with that as well. I will never forget when I was little and I felt my mom’s feet. They were stiff and calloused. I swore I would never let my feet get that way. Coconut oil definitely helps!
So when you are thinking about your internal and external health, there is nothing more versatile with so many health benefits as coconut oil. From baking to cleansing and moisturizing it works in so many applications. I could not live without it!