Coconut OilJuly 6th, 2013
On Saturdays HSK will publish an article on diet, nutrition and general well-being, written by nutritional consultant and chef, Laura B. Leff. Know why? because a healthy body with a spiritual mind is a blessed soul.
Pacific Islanders pegged coconuts as the “tree of life”. Technically, they are seeds, and the largest ones in the world! The oil extracted from coconuts has been used as a source of food and medicine, by numerous cultures, for thousands of years. Here are a number of ways that coconut oil may be used for it’s health benefits:
1) A moisturizer for the skin and hair. Because coconut oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamin E and polyphenols, it helps to prevent premature aging. It also helps in treating various skin conditions, such as psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema. If you have a wound, apply a thin layer of coconut oil over the wound, which will shield it from outside contaminants. It is naturally antifungal, antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral. Therefore, great for any other conditions of the body that are viral, bacterial or fungal.
Most likely what’s good for the skin, is good for the hair. Apply coconut oil to your hair for at least 30 minutes, wash out and style hair as normal. It may also be used to smooth out any stray or frizzy hairs, once it’s styled.
2) Consuming coconut oil has many health benefits. Coconuts are fatty; they contain a certain type of fat, named lauric acid, which is a medium chain fatty acid. At the cellular level, these fatty acids are more easily digested and burn up very efficiently in the body; metabolizing instead of being stored as fat. Ingesting coconut oil is known to assist in a healthy thyroid, increases whole body metabolic rate, lowers cholesterol and increases HDL (the healthy cholesterol), wards off heart disease, aids in kidney problems and aids in brain health.
3) Using coconut oil for cooking is great because it is moleculary very strong and able to withstand high-heat cooking. Using sensitive oils, such as olive oil, for high-heat cooking isn’t good because the heat changes the molecular structure, making it carcinogenic. It may also be used in place of vegetable oil for a baking recipe.
4) For some rather “thinking out of the box uses”, you may:
- -polish wood furniture–add a little lemon juice and polish
- -clean and moisturize leather products
- -mix with baking soda for homemade toothpaste
- -use as make-up remover–just a cotton swab and a dab of coconut oil and voila
- -use as deodorant–may be used on it’s own, or in combination with baking powder/arrowroot or cornstarch
- -use as massage oil
- -use as a lubricant
- -use as a body scrub–mix with some sugar and apply all over
- -use on bug bites
***Expeller pressed coconut oil may be used for anything and virgin coconut oil is best for cooking and baking.
Laura B. Leff, Nutritional Consultant and Chef