I’m going a little cuckoo for all things coconut oil. It’s been a kitchen staple for a few years – and not just because it tastes good; it has outstanding health benefits, too!
Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids, including lauric acid, which are metabolized differently. They can increase your energy expenditure, reduce your appetite and have been shown to fight bad bacteria. Coconut oil is also high in saturated fat, which raises the good cholesterol (HDL) and keeps your heart healthy. When shopping, look for pure virgin coconut oil.
Aside from the array of health benefits, coconut oil works wonders around the house. Here are a few unexpected uses for this affordable and versatile oil.
1. Get Cookin’
Sauté veggies, eggs, chicken or turkey in a tablespoon of coconut oil (my favorite is sweet potatoes!). It has a high smoking point, meaning it doesn’t emit harmful free radicals. Or, add a tablespoon to a smoothie for an energy boost thanks to its medium-chain fatty acids.
2. Face + Body Moisturizer
Slather it on your skin while in the shower to keep your skin soft. Another bonus: It can also help improve acne and minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Go ahead – dab a little under your eyes!
3. Hair Repair
Add a teaspoon or so to the ends and then shampoo to keep your tresses shiny and healthy (bye-bye, dry hair!). For a deep conditioning treatment, run a bit more through your hair and let it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing.
4. Teeth Whitener
Mix a bit of coconut oil with baking soda (until it’s spreadable) for an all-natural toothpaste for your pearly whites.
5. Sunburn Soother
If you’ve spent a bit too much time under the sun, coconut oil makes a great sunburn soother. Apply a generous amount to moisturize and help reduce peeling.
6. Makeup Remover
Forget harsh make-up removers. Dab a cotton ball or Q-tip with coconut oil and wipe your make-up away – even waterproof mascara.
7. Lip Balm
Not only does it soften your lips, coconut oil also has an SPF of 4 to help protect from sun damage.
8. Chafe Preventer
Coconut oil prevents chaffing and treats skin that’s been rubbed raw. It’s even gentle enough to sooth diaper rash on your little one!
9. Goo Be Gone
Mix coconut oil with equal parts baking soda and apply to the sticky area. Let sit for a minute and then scrub the sticky away.
10. Insect Repellant
Mix it with a little peppermint essential oil, and voila: instant bug repellant. It also helps stop bug bit itching.