Should I be using Coconut oil?
The idea of coconut oil playing a role in my beauty care regimen was presented to me when I was about 6 months pregnant with my now 8 month old son, Jackson. After I broke out in hives one evening, I called Cyndi, a great friend and a nurse who’s seen it all. Without skipping a beat, she told me to apply organic, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil onto the affected areas for a natural solution for the itching.
Fast forward a year and we now use coconut oil in place of body lotion, as a remedy for diaper rash, for oil pulling, as a natural solution for whiter teeth and to cook with.
Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts and is one of the richest sources of saturated fat you can find, with around 90% of calories coming from saturated fat. Unlike most other saturated fats, coconut oil is built primarily of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These fats metabolize much differently than long-chain triglycerides because they are transported directly to the liver where they are turned into ketone bodies that provide a quick source of energy and are not stored as fat in the human body.
There are four types of medium-chain triglycerides fatty acids, including; Caproic Acid, Caprylic Acid, Capric Acid and Lauric Acid, and they contain between 6 and 12 carbon chains. Lauric acid is prized around the world as a powerful antimicrobial agent, and coconut oil is nature’s richest source of lauric acid!
Coconut oil has been shown to improve overall cholesterol by simultaneously increasing HDL and lowering LDL levels, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease. Full of antioxidant vitamin E, coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that can help to heal damaged, dry skin, reduce signs of aging, fade stretch marks, and sooth eczema. Coconut oil’s antioxidant properties help to offer natural protection from harmful UV radiation. My husband and I use it like mouthwash in a process called oil pulling, which can kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health and reduce bad breath. We exclusively cook with coconut oil since it is highly resistant to oxidation at high heat, making it the perfect oil for high-heat cooking methods like frying.
We buy large containers of organic, virgin cold-pressed coconut oil from our local Costco and keep one in the kitchen and one upstairs. When we travel, we put some in a small container to take with us. Coconut oil is versatile and depending on the temperature in your home it may go from a solid to liquid and back again. This doesn’t harm the oil and you can continue to use it. If you are new to using coconut oil, buy a small jar from your local grocery store and try it for cooking or in your beauty care regimen.