Coconut oil is incredibly popular, and for good reasons. It offers many health benefits, has a delicate flavor and is widely available. It is also an extremely versatile oil with a number of uses that you may not be. Here are 31 practical uses for coconut oil.
1. Sun Protection:
Coconut oil can protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause wrinkles, brown spots and increase your risk of skin cancer. 31 practical uses for coconut oil. In fact, one study found that it blocks about 20% of the sun’s UV rays. However, keep in mind that it does not provide the same amount of protection as conventional sunscreen, which blocks about 90% of UV rays. Another study estimated that coconut oil has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 7, which is even lower than the minimum recommended in some countries.
2. Increase Metabolism:
Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (TCM). These are fatty acids that are absorbed quickly and can increase the amount of calories burned. Controlled studies have shown that TCM can significantly increase the metabolic rate, at least temporarily. One study found that, on average, 15 to 30 grams of TCM increased caloric expenditure by about 120 calories over a 24-hour period.
3. Cook Safely at High Temperatures:
Coconut oil has very high saturated fat content. In fact, about 87% of its fat is saturated. This feature makes it one of the best fats for high temperature cooking, including frying. Saturated fats retain their structure when heated at high temperatures, unlike polyunsaturated fatty acids found in vegetable oils. Oils such as corn and safflower become toxic compounds when heated. These can have detrimental effects on health. There is no reason to fear saturated fats in coconut oil. New studies show that they have no link to the risk of heart disease.
4. Improve Dental Health:
Coconut oil can be a powerful weapon against bacteria, including Streptococcus mutans . This is the bacteria in the mouth that causes dental plaque, tooth decay and gum disease. In one study, rinsing with coconut oil for 10 minutes (known as “Oil Pulling” Oil extraction therapy) reduced these bacteria as effectively as rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash. In another study, rinsing daily with coconut oil significantly reduced inflammation and plaque in adolescents with gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).
5. Relieve Skin Irritation and Eczema:
Research shows that coconut oil improves dermatitis and other skin disorders at least as well as mineral oil and other conventional moisturizers. In a study of children with eczema, 47% of those treated with coconut oil had significant improvements.
6. Improve Brain Function:
The TCM in coconut oil break down in the liver and become ketones, which can act as an alternative energy source for the brain. Several studies have found that TCM have impressive benefits for brain disorders, including epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
“Some researchers recommend the use of coconut oil as a source of MCT to increase ketone production”.
Meet other “nutrients for the brain” in our article: 5 nutrients for the brain
7. Make Healthy Mayonnaise:
Commercial mayonnaise often contains soybean oil, added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. However, it is easy to make your own mayonnaise with much healthier ingredients, including coconut oil or olive oil.
8. Hydrate Your Skin:
Coconut oil is a wonderful moisturizer for your legs, arms and elbows. You can also use it on your face, although this particular use is not recommended for those who have very oily skin. It can also help repair cracked heels. Simply apply a thin layer to your heels at bedtime, wear socks and continue doing it every night until your heels are soft.
9. To Attack Infections:
Virgin coconut oil has strong antibacterial properties that can help treat infections. One study found that it helped stop the growth of Clostridium difficile intestinal bacteria, commonly known as “C. Diff, “which causes severe diarrhea. It could also fight several other bacteria and yeasts – an effect generally attributed to lauric acid, the main fatty acid in coconut oil.
10. Increase HDL Cholesterol:
Coconut oil has been shown to raise cholesterol levels in some people. However, its strongest and most consistent effect is an increase in HDL cholesterol, which is known as the “good” cholesterol. A study in women with abdominal obesity found that HDL increased in a group that consumed coconut oil. In contrast, women who consumed soybean oil had a decrease in HDL cholesterol.
11. Provide Relief from Insect Bites and Other Bites:
The anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil can help relieve the pain or itching caused by insect bites or other bites. It can also reduce swelling and decrease the risk of infection. To test this, gently rub a small amount into the bite and cover with a bandage.
12. Make Dark Chocolate Without Sugar:
Homemade dark chocolate is a delicious way to get the health benefits of coconut oil. Just remember to store it in the refrigerator or freezer, since coconut oil melts at 76 º F. Delicious recipes can be found to prepare sugar-free dark chocolate candy bars made with coconut oil.
13. Reduce Belly Fat:
Coconut oil can help reduce belly fat, also known as abdominal fat, which is linked to greater health risks such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In one study, obese men lost an inch (2.54 cm) of their waist fat by adding 2 tablespoons (1 oz or 30 ml) of coconut oil to their diet. Another study examined some women on diets with caloric restrictions. Those who took 2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day had a decrease in waist size, while the group that took soybean oil actually had a slight increase.
14. Protect Your Hair from Damage:
Coconut oil can help keep your hair healthy. One study compared the effects of coconut oil, mineral oil and sunflower oil on hair. Only coconut oil significantly reduced hair protein loss when applied before or after shampooing. This result occurred in damaged hair, as well as in healthy hair. The researchers concluded that the unique structure of lauric acid, the main fatty acid in coconut oil, can penetrate the hair shaft in a way that most other fats cannot.
15. Massages for Newborns:
It has been shown that massaging newborns with oil promotes normal weight gain and growth. One study suggests that coconut oil may be the best type of oil to use for this purpose. Premature babies who were massaged with coconut oil for 30 days gained significantly more weight than those who were massaged with mineral oil for the same period of time.
16. Reduce Hunger and Food Intake:
The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil can help reduce hunger, leading to a spontaneous decrease in caloric intake. In a small study, men who followed a diet high in TCM consumed fewer calories and lost more weight than men who ate diets with low or medium TCM content.
17. Improve Wound Healing:
One study found that rats whose wounds were treated with coconut oil had a reduction in inflammatory markers and increased production of collagen, an important component of the skin. As a result, his wounds healed much faster. To accelerate the healing of minor cuts or scrapes, apply a little coconut oil directly on the wound and cover it with a bandage.
18. Increase Bone Health:
Animal research suggests that the antioxidants in virgin coconut oil can protect bone health by neutralizing free radicals, which can damage bone cells. A study in 6-week rats showed that the group that received 8% of their calories from coconut oil had significantly more bone volume and improved bone structure.
19. Make a Non-Toxic Insect Repellent:
Some essential oils can be a natural way to keep insects away and avoid mosquito bites and other bites. However, instead of applying these oils directly to your skin, they should be combined with a carrier oil. In one study, the combination of Thai essential oils with coconut oil provided more than 98% protection against the bites of certain mosquitoes .
20. Fight the Candida Fungus:
The Candida albicans is the fungus responsible for yeast infections that commonly occur in warm, moist areas of the body such as the mouth or vagina. Test tube studies suggest that coconut oil can help fight candida infections. The researchers found that coconut oil was as effective as fluconazole, the antifungal medication typically prescribed for candida infections.
21. Remove Stains:
Coconut oil can be used to get rid of stains, including spills on carpets and furniture. Combine a part of coconut oil with a part of baking soda and mix to form a paste. Apply to the stain, wait 5 minutes and clean.
22. Reduce Inflammation:
Several animal studies show that the consumption of coconut oil provides strong anti-inflammatory effects. Human studies suggest that eating coconut oil can reduce the markers of oxidative stress and inflammation, especially when compared to highly unsaturated oils.
23. Natural Deodorant:
Sweat itself has no smell. However, bacteria that live in your skin can produce undesirable odors. The strong antibacterial properties of coconut oil make it a great natural deodorant that does not contain chemicals. Easy recipes can be found for an effective natural deodorant made with coconut oil and other natural ingredients.
24. Fast Source of Energy:
Coconut oil contains fats called medium chain triglycerides, which are digested differently than the long chain triglycerides found in most foods. These fats go directly from the intestine to the liver, where they can be used as a quick source of energy that will not raise blood sugar levels.
25. Cure Irregular Cuticles:
Coconut oil can be used to improve your cuticles, including raised cuticles. Simply apply a small amount of coconut oil to your cuticles and massage for a few moments. Do this several times a week for best results.
26. Relieve Arthritis Symptoms:
Arthritis is characterized by pain and immobility of the joints due to inflammation. Animal research suggests that antioxidants called polyphenols found in coconut oil may be able to relieve some of the symptoms of arthritis. A study in arthritic rats found that treatment with coconut oil polyphenols reduces swelling and several inflammatory markers.
27. Make Wooden Furniture Shine:
Coconut oil can help keep furniture looking bright and well maintained. In addition to highlighting the beauty of natural wood, it can act as a dust repellent. It also has a pleasant and delicate aroma, unlike many commercial furniture powders that contain strong fragrances.
28. Remove Eye Makeup:
Coconut oil is a gentle and effective eye makeup remover. Apply with a cotton pad and gently clean until all traces of makeup are gone.
29. Improve Liver Health:
Animal research has found that saturated fats in coconut oil can help protect the liver from damage caused by exposure to alcohol or toxins. In one study, mice treated with coconut oil after exposure to a toxic compound had a decrease in inflammatory markers of the liver and increased activity of beneficial liver enzymes.
30. Smooth Chapped Lips:
E l Coconut oil is a natural lip balm ideal for lips. It glides smoothly, leaves lips moist for hours and even provides some protection from the sun. You can find recipes to easily make your own lip balm with coconut oil.
31. Make Homemade Salad:
Commercial salad dressings are often loaded with sugar and preservatives. There are some recipes for coconut oil salad dressings that taste delicious and are made with nutritious ingredients. Meet “salad recipes” in our article: 10 easy, healthy and delicious salad recipes
Bring the Message Home:
Coconut oil has several health benefits, but it also has many other smart and practical uses that you may not have considered before. Make sure you always have plenty of coconut oil on hand. You never know when you will need it.