Crazy for Coconut Oil

I'm sure you've heard about the amazing benefits and uses for coconut oil, but most people still run to the drugstore to purchase chemical laden products to cure every day problems. My family has been using coconut oil for years. Even though this oil has been trending recently, some people still don't realize it's unbelievable virtues. Mother Nature makes the most outstanding natural "products" and below are my top 5 favorite uses for this oil. 

Keep in mind that coconut oil is a solid when it's temperature falls below 76°F, and it is a liquid at temperatures above 76°F. Living in Southern California, my jar of coconut oil is generally always in liquid form, which makes it easier to use. To quickly liquify your solid oil, just zap it the microwave for a few seconds. Use organic virgin coconut oil, which is cold-pressed and unrefined, for the greatest health benefit. 

Here are my top 5 uses for Coconut Oil:

Natural Beauty Treatments:

• Coconut oil is an inexpensive conditioner for your hair and excellent when used as an overnight hair treatment. If you're short on time, try rubbing the oil into the ends of your hair before shampooing to keep your locks from drying out. It can also be used sparingly for an easy hair finisher that adds shine and tames those frizzy flyaways.
• The same holds true for your face and body. Use coconut oil as a night time moisturizer on your face, neck and décolleté several times a week. However because it's an oil, it does not work well under makeup. For daytime use try rubbing a little coconut oil onto your face and neck after cleansing, let it absorb for 5-10 minutes, then wipe off excess with a clean dry washcloth and proceed with your normal day cream and sunscreen. It can also be used as a make up remover.
 For strong nails and healthy feet, rub coconut oil into nails, toe nails and on the bottoms of your feet. Because coconut has natural antifungal properties, it's a good idea to apply in between your toes and on your toe nails to prevent or treat a common form of nail fungus or athletes foot.
 Whiten your teeth naturally without damaging the enamel by mixing baking soda and coconut oil together, then gently brushing it on your teeth. You can also rub coconut oil directly onto your gums daily. Coconut oil destroys the bacteria that causes bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. 

Internal Health - Good health starts from the inside, so naturally a spoonful a day can go a long way. It can fight off fungus in your intestines, reduce inflammation, boost your immune system and increase energy without added weight gain. Despite the high calories of coconut oil, the medium chain triglycerides in this oil are easily burned, can increase metabolism and is not stored as fat. 

First Aid - The antibacterial and antifungal properties of coconut oil make it good for disinfecting cuts, soothing rashes, bug bites, sunburn and promoting the healing of wounds.

Pet Care -  The same benefits that human experience using coconut oil can also help your pets. Most dogs and cats love the taste of coconut oil and will happily lap up a spoonful. Or you can try putting a spoonful in their food. It's great for their coats and dry skin but also helps with digestion, joint health and can improve their breath! It's also useful when applied topically to hot spots and can kill fleas if lightly brushed into their fur. However, be careful because the oil can get on your furniture if you use too much.

In the Kitchen: Virgin coconut oil is unrefined and has a lower smoke point (350°F) than refined coconut oil, which means that it is not meant for high temperature cooking. It can be used for a light sauté but keep in mind it gives your food a coconut flavor. Try using coconut oil on toast in place of butter and in coffee instead of creamer. It's great mixed into smoothies or in your morning oatmeal. My favorite use for coconut oil in the kitchen is in baking and candy making. Here are links to some of my favorite sweet treat recipes: Dark Chocolate, Coconut and Almond Hearts of JoyCacao Coconut Healthy HeartsChocolate Chip Cookies, and Carrot Cake

I always recommend doing your own research to educate yourself on natural products. There are many other health conditions that benefit from the use of coconut oil, so if you have a particular condition, look it up and see if coconut oil is for you.

Don't forget that coconut flesh, coconut milk and coconut water are also wonderful additions to your diet. 

To our health!

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