Coconut oil has gotten a bad rap in the past, but researchers continue to discover new evidence that suggests it is much healthier than we thought. It contains special compounds responsible for many of its unique benefits. The oil boasts lauric acid (also found in mother’s milk), which helps kill harmful bacteria and viruses. Secondly, caprylic acid, also found in coconut oil, is thought to be a potent antifungal agent and may hold promise for treating athlete’s foot, Candida, and other fungal conditions.
One of the most exciting properties of coconut oil is its fat-burning power. The credit goes to the oil’s concentration of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which appear to be digested differently than other fats. Instead of being packed away into fat cells, MCTs are used to produce energy. This boost in energy production stimulates metabolism.
What’s The Difference Between Virgin Coconut Oil & Others?
Virgin (unrefined) coconut oil tastes and smells like coconut and is great for cooking and baking where you want that flavor. It will impart a coconut taste (mild) and odor (pleasant in my book)! Unrefined coconut oil retains the most nutritional value and is superior to refined oil.
Expeller pressed (refined) coconut oil is used for many things. It does not smell or taste like coconut. It is still outstanding to use but does lose some of it’s health properties during the refining process.
Always use food grade.
Recommended Coconut Oil Daily Dosage
Here are the numbers, outlining the recommended daily dosage of virgin coconut oil for persons over the age of 12. It may be consumed by children under 12 but it is advisable to check with a healthcare practitioner on the proper dosage. Any good naturopath will have the information at the ready. For example, one mom said starting at 12 months of age, she gave her daughter one teaspoon per day and she weighed about 16 pounds at that time.
Weight in pounds and number of tablespoons of recommended daily dosage:
- 175+, 4
- 150+, 3 1/2
- 125+, 3
- 100+, 2 1/2
- 75+, 2
- 50+, 1 1/2
- 25+, 1
What Are The Uses for Coconut Oil?
1. Body Scrub – mix coconut oil and sugar together and rub all over! Rinse off and your skin will be super soft! Add in essential oils if you would like a specific smell.
2. Bug Bites – when applied directly to a bug bite, coconut oil can stop the itching and burning sensation as well as hasten the healing process.
3. Burns – apply to burn site immediately and continue applying until healed. Will reduce the chances of permanent scarring and promotes healing.
4. Chapstick – just rub a little into lips and it not only acts as a softening agent but it also has an SPF of about 4 so you get a little protection!
5. Dandruff – coconut oil soaks into the scalp moisturizing dry skin and relieves symptoms of dandruff. It helps to control oil secretion from the scalp, another leading cause of dandruff.
6. Exfoliator – coconut oil mixed with sugar or sea salt is a very nourishing and effective exfoliator and safe to use all over the body.
7. Eye cream – apply under the eyes to reduce puffiness, bags and wrinkles. Use on the lids in the evening.
8. Hair conditioner/ Deep Treatment – use as a leave-in hair conditioner by applying a teaspoon of coconut oil to your ends and then running your fingers through your hair to distribute the rest! For a deeper treatment, rub in a tablespoon onto your dry scalp and gently work through to the ends. Put a shower cap on to prevent transfer onto bed linens and leave on overnight.
9. Healing – when applied on scrapes and cuts, coconut oil forms a thin, chemical layer which protects the wound from outside dust, bacteria and virus. It also speeds up the healing process of bruises by repairing damaged tissues. Plus, it smells a heck-of-a-lot better than anything from the pharmacy.
10. Massage Oil – pretty simple; grab some and rub!
Uses For Coconut Oil in Cooking
New studies are ongoing regarding the health safety risks associated with coconut oil’s very high saturated fat content. However, many worldwide government and advisory agencies still recommend against regularly ingesting it at this time (namely, the World Health Organization, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Food and Drug Administration, American Dietetic Association, American Heart Association, British National Health Service, British Nutrition Foundation, Dietitians of Canada).
1. Butter Substitute – use 1 cup to 1 cup ratio when replacing butter in recipes with coconut oil.
2. It is a substitute for butter/lard/Crisco/PAM in its solid form for greasing pans, pie crusts, etc.
3. It is a good replacement for various oils in liquid form – baking, cooking, sautéing, etc.
What do YOU use coconut oil for and why?