Find out the benefits of coconut oil for your hair and skin
Coconut oil has been widely publicised in recent years, due to the wealth of benefits it can offer. It is a superfood with multiple uses both for consuming and using as part of your skincare routine. It is one of the few foods that offers such a wide range of benefits and the beauty of this is that it saves you buying multiple products.
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is the oil taken from a coconut – or the ‘kernel’ of the coconut. You’ll find that there are a lot of different types of coconut oil on the market, both refined and unrefined. It is better to use virgin coconut oil and organic, if possible. Coconut oil is usually solid and a saturated medium-chain fatty acid.
These are some of the benefits of coconut oil and why it might be the best investment you ever made.
Benefits of coconut oil
1. Weight Loss
It is thought that coconut oil can aid weight loss, especially since fats can be more filling. If you add it to your diet, it could help you feel fuller for longer. It is also thought that coconut oil can increase the metabolic rate, which means you burn more calories. If weight is an issue for you and you want to shed some pounds, coconut oil together with a healthy diet could really help. The recommended amount of coconut oil to consume will vary, but around two tablespoons is the average. You may want to start smaller though, with a teaspoon and work your way up. If you consume too much straight away, it might cause you to feel sickly. There are many ways to take coconut oil, depending on what you prefer. Coconut oil is thick in consistency so you may not want to take it in its current form, although many people find it is easy to do this. These are some easier ways to consume it:
* Stir fry – if you are frying eggs, meat, fish or vegetables you can use coconut oil as an alternative to olive oil or vegetable oil. All you need to do is take out a spoonful and it will soon melt on the frying pan. Delicious and healthy!
* Baking – another way to consume coconut oil is to coat your meat with it, then add your seasonings to give it great taste.
* Smoothies – smoothies are a great way to take coconut oil, especially if you are not too keen on the taste. You can mix it together with your fruit and you’ll hardly know it’s there, but you’ll get all the lovely benefits from it.
* Salads – coconut oil in liquid form may also be added directly to salads as a garnish, or you may want to combine it with homemade sauces.
Don’t forget that coconut oil has calories, so add these on if you are managing your calories!
2. Make your hair smooth and shiny
Coconut oil is widely recognised for its ability to improve the condition of hair and aid hair growth. It helps reduce protein loss and damage to the hair. It’s particularly useful if you are often dyeing your hair or you use a lot of heat on it from a hairdryer and/or straighteners. Organic extra virgin coconut oil is the best for positive results. There are various ways to use coconut oil on your hair, depending on the results you are looking to achieve.
* Deep conditioning – it is a good idea to put a deep conditioner on your hair once a week and coconut oil is a great alternative to more expensive options on the market. The way to use it is to wash your hair and then massage some oil throughout your hair, especially at the ends and leave it for an hour to overnight on your hair, a small towel or shower cap may help here.
* Dandruff – if it this is a problem for you, as it is for so many, it might be worth trying coconut oil to ease it. Melt the coconut oil in your hands and smooth it through your hair. Wrap your hair up in a towel and leave it on overnight for the best results.
* Longer hair – there are plenty of vitamins and essential fatty acids in coconut oil, which helps to keep it nourished. If you use it in much the same way as you would for dandruff, leaving it set overnight, once/twice a week, you should start to notice a difference in the length and condition of your hair. You might want to use it on your eyebrows too, if you are looking for some growth here
3. Moisturise your skin
Coconut oil can also have positive effects on the skin, due to the plant oils. It is a good antioxidant and can help with the effects of aging, as well as helping support would healing. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the skin conditions which can benefit from coconut oil include, eczema and psoriasis, dermatitis, skin wounds, dry skin and burns.
Here are some ways to use coconut oil as part of your skincare routine:
* Moisturiser – if you want to keep your skin smooth, just allow the coconut oil to melt in your hands and apply it to your face and body. You can do this as often as you want, but 1-3 times a week and you will really notice the benefits.
* Body/Facial Scrub – it is important to get rid of the dead skin cells on your body and face, which you can do with a scrub, made together with a mix of coconut oil and coconut sugar. Apply it to the face or body, rinse off and you’ll soon notice the benefits.
* Bath – nothing beats a good soak in the bath to unwind after a hard day and with the use of coconut oil, you can not only relax, but also enjoy the benefits of silky-smooth skin after it. The perfect way to make your bath is with a mix of coconut oil and Epsom salts. You may even want to add some essential oils to make it even more enjoyable!
* Dry Hands – if you suffer from dry hands, it may be time to try using some coconut oil. Rub it on your hands until it softens, and your hands will feel silky soft for the rest of the day.
* Sunburn Relief – suffering from sunburn is never fun, but if you want to ease the pain, apply some coconut oil to the affected area. The coconut oil should soothe it and take some of the sting out of it.
4. Take care of your teeth
You may have heard of the term ‘oil pulling’ by now, as this process has been widely publicised. There are many companies who have even designed their own forms of oil pulling, although all you really need for this process is coconut oil. These alternatives are often overpriced but do the same job as a jar of coconut oil. Oil pulling is used to help clean the teeth and gums and is known to improve the appearance of teeth by fighting bacteria. The process of oil pulling involves swishing the coconut oil around your mouth for around 20 to 30 minutes, spitting it out and rinsing the mouth with water. It is usually done before eating meals and for best results, before every meal.
5. Helps digestion
It is thought that coconut oil can also improve digestion, as it enables the body to absorb vitamins, calcium and magnesium. It can destroy bad bacteria which affects digestion and causes problems, as well as candida, which can also cause digestion problems, if there is an imbalance. Adding some coconut oil to your diet daily should help to ease any digestive problems you are suffering from.
6. Helps fighting Urinary Infections
The best way to fight off any urinary infections is to drink more water but adding some coconut oil to your diet can also help. If you already have an infection, the coconut oil may help to treat the UTI as it acts as an antibiotic, and most importantly, it’s all natural. The way coconut oil works is to get to the harmful bacteria and dissolve it, which can help to clear up the infection. You can take the coconut oil in any of the ways mentioned previously, or if you’d prefer, just take it straight from the jar. Some people find it difficult to take it this way, while others manage to do it without problem. No matter which way you consume it, it will offer the same benefits and hopefully, over time, clear up any infections you may have.
7. Treat Sore Throat
If you are suffering from a sore throat, your first instinct will probably be to reach for the painkillers, but coconut oil can offer a natural remedy to this problem. Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to reduce swelling in the throat, as well as irritation. It can also be helpful if your mouth just feels dry, as it offers some extra lubrication. The best way to take it is to drink a glass of water, then take a spoonful of coconut oil straight after which will help to keep lots of moisture in your throat. This should help to ease the pain of a sore throat.
8. Improve Cardiovascular Health
Coconut oil is also known for its ability to increase good cholesterol and turn bad cholesterol into good. When good cholesterol is increased, your cardiovascular health can improve which can reduce your risk of heart disease. It is important to ensure you only use virgin coconut oil though and organic if you can find it. It has lots of antioxidants which can reduce the likelihood of suffering from heart attacks or strokes. If you want to take good care of your cardiovascular health, it might be worth considering adding some coconut oil to your daily regime.
9. Improve Arthritis
Another useful benefit of coconut oil is its positive effects on arthritis. As coconut oil contains anti-inflammatory fatty acids and antioxidants, it can help both to treat and prevent arthritis. The absorption of vitamins A and E, together with calcium and magnesium are also increased through using coconut oil which helps with the maintenance of bones and connective tissue. Whether you suffer from arthritis already or you want to reduce risks in the future, adding coconut oil to your diet could really help.
10. Reduce body odours
No one wants to suffer from that dreaded stench of body odour and unknowingly, deodorants with chemicals could be causing more damage than good to our bodies. As coconut oil is natural, it is often the preferred choice for those who want to reduce body odour but prefer to go down the natural route. There are many factors which can contribute to body odour, including stress, diet or a problem with liver and kidney function. Coconut oil is known to have incredibly positive effects on the body, which can help ensure you smell better. Even adding a small amount of coconut oil to your diet could contribute positively to your internal health, with positive results on your body odour. Alternatively, you can just rub the melted coconut oil onto your body, and it will keep you smelling and feeling refreshed. Ditch the deodorant and take the ‘au natural’ approach instead!
11. Sharpen the Mind
If you want to reduce your caffeine intake, but need something to give you a boost, you may find that coconut oil will help. The benefits of coconut oil include the ability to help sharpen the mind and improve alertness and clarity. As it is natural energy booster, it is much better than drinking coffee and the effects last longer. It is common to find that you start to dip quite quickly from caffeine, after the initial burst of energy and the effects of coconut oil often lasts a lot longer. This is due to the medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil, which stimulates the brain function. Whether it’s a quick pick up during the day or an energy boost for those early mornings, adding a couple of teaspoons to your diet could have positive effects on your brain function. Although there is nothing definitive, it has been reported that, due to the positive results on the brain function, regular use of coconut oil could also help reduce the likelihood of suffering from mental conditions, such as Alzheimer’s. It is worth a try anyway, as whether it helps in this way or not, it has plenty of other benefits.
12. Boost Immune System
We all have different types of immune systems, some people seem to catch every cold and flu going around, while others never get anything! If your immune system falls short and you need a boost, it might be worth considering coconut oil as a natural booster. Coconut oil has plenty of antibacterial properties, which can ward off infections and the flu. Adding some coconut oil to your daily diet, could be a great way to give your immune system a boost and help you feel better, even at times of the year when you would normally be fighting off a cold or flu.
13. Beat Sugar Cravings
We all know that sugar isn’t good for us, particularly in excessive quantities but what happens when you have cravings that are difficult to resist? Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar though, why not try a healthier approach by adding some coconut oil to your diet. Coconut oil contains saturated fats, which help support the function of your brain and body. A need for sugar is usually down to a slump in energy and this is where coconut oil can help. Take it on its own or pop a teaspoon into your cup of tea when you feel those sugar cravings start and you’ll be less likely to want to reach for the bad stuff!
14. Regenerates the cells
As coconut oil helps increase your metabolic rate, it can also help with cell regeneration. Old cells are replaced with new ones, which makes you healthier overall. Adding a bit of coconut oil to your diet will have plenty of benefits in the long term.
15. Improve the functioning of the thyroid gland
Thyroid issues can cause all sorts of problems, including weight gain and organic coconut oil has been known to help improve the functioning of the thyroid gland. This can overall help to improve your energy levels, the health of your skin and improve the metabolism, helping to reduce weight gain. The use of coconut oil can also ease moods which are often cause by thyroid problems.
16. It’s an Insect Repellent
A strange but true benefit of coconut oil is its ability to act as an insect repellent. If you want to keep those bugs away and save yourself from getting nasty stings, coconut oil may be the perfect solution. The oil should not be put directly onto the skin but combine it together with a carrier oil and you will get positive effects. Many mosquito bites can be prevented or at least the swelling reduced through the application of coconut oil.
17. Improve Cuticles
As cuticles act as a barrier to bacteria, it is important that they don’t become too dry. Unsightly cuticles are also never a great look! If you want to improve the condition and appearance of your cuticles, you can use a bit of coconut oil to make them smooth and soft again. All you need to do to achieve this is to rub a small amount on your cuticles and massage the coconut oil for around 10 seconds. If you do this a few times a week as part of your routine, you’ll notice a difference in no time.
18. Sore Lips
Sore lips can be painful, especially in the cold weather and this is another of coconut oils many benefits. It can act as a lip balm and keeps moisture on your lips for hours. Just let it soften a little and apply to the affected area. It can also protect from the sun.
Where do I buy Coconut oil?
As you can see, it’s always worthwhile to have coconut oil handy, as you never know when you might want to use it. It’s easy to add it to your diet in some way every day, without even really noticing it, but you’ll soon get the benefits from it. The great thing about coconut oil is that it has so many uses, it can save you buying multiple products, such as moisturisers, lip balm and eye make up remover. If you choose organic virgin coconut oil, it is totally natural, so you won’t be dealing with any harsh chemicals either, which is often the case with other products. You never really know what damage these other products are doing to your body, so it’s always a good idea to go down the natural route, wherever possible. There are lots of different coconut brands, our favourite is called Biona. Biona is an ethical brand, selling organic and tasty food.
Start adding Coconut oil to your beauty routine today! You can buy Coconut oil from Biona by clicking here