Superfood Sunday: my top 10 reasons why I love coconut oil
Coconut oil is simply amazing. I really can’t think of another food that hosts the same number of benefits and uses as coconut oil does. So I’ve decided to put together a list of the top 10 reasons why I love the stuff! To ensure you’re getting the highest quality, I recommend buying a brand that is organic, virgin/unrefined, undeodorised, and cold pressed.
1. It’s a natural mouthwash
I use coconut oil for oil pulling every morning immediately after I wake up. What’s this you ask? Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic method for detox and rejuvenation. The process of ‘pulling’ attracts and removes bacteria, toxins, and parasites that live in your mouth or lymph system and lay dormant overnight. It also pulls congestion and mucus from your throat and loosens up your sinuses, which is so good for you. It also helps strengthen your teeth and gums and makes them look really bright and white after!
To oil pull, simply take 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and swish it around in your mouth for about 15 minutes (similar to how you would with mouthwash). Your gag reflexes might kick in at first, but it will get easier over time. Start with a few minutes and work your way up to the full 15. Also be careful not to gargle because the oil mixed with your saliva contains some pretty toxic materials. Once finished, spit it out and brush your teeth after.
2. So good for the skin
Coconut oil is so intensely nourishing and rich that you can literally use it as a moisturiser all over your skin – face, hands, body! It has natural anti-ageing properties which keep the skin’s connective tissues strong and prevents sagging and wrinkles – win!
3. So good for the hair
Here’s a hot tip: rub a small amount of coconut oil into dry hair and wrap with a towel for a couple of hours before washing with shampoo. You will immediately notice how much softer, shinier and smoother it is after washing. You can also use a little on your hair to remove fizz.
4. It’s a good fat
Coconut oil contains short term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a “healthy” form saturated fat. You’ve probably heard a lot about saturated fats being bad for you – but this is in reference to those trans fats that are linked with heart problems, depression and increased cholesterol levels.
5. Gets the weight loss tick
When we ingest MCFAs, our body actually metabolises these fats in the liver, immediately converting this into energy rather than it being stored as fat. Research has found that people who consume two tablespoons of coconut oil per day burned more kilojoules than those who consumed less. The MCFAs in coconut oil are also easily digested which puts less strain on our digestive system. All of which contribute to weight loss.
6. Excellent for cooking
Coconut oil is the only oil that is stable enough to resist mild heat-induced damage. If you’re preparing recipes that require high temperatures you should consider coconut oil for this type of cooking. Unlike other oils like olive oil which will oxidise at high temperatures and create free radicals which aren’t so great for your body!
7. It treats candida and other fungal and bacterial infections
Coconut oil is made up of healthy fats lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid which contain antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties to boost the immune system. Lauric acid contains the highest concentration of MCFA fatty acids, approximately 75 per cent. The body turn this fat into monolaurin which is claimed to help heal viruses, bacterial and fungal infections and candida. You can also rub coconut oil into wounds or cuts to help the healing process.
8. It’s anti-inflammatory
The anti-microbial properties in coconut oil have been found to have a soothing affect on digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, microbial related tummy bugs, candida and parasite related conditions. This is really good news for anyone suffering from an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. I’ve certainly noticed a difference since I’ve started including it in my diet.
9. Stops sugar cravings
Because your body sends the MCFAs straight to your liver to be converted into energy, it gives you an instant boost of an energy – but does not spike your insulin levels like sugary food does. This therefore prevents the typical “post-sugar slump”. Try having a tablespoon of coconut oil in the afternoon, rather than reaching for the tin of bikkies!
10. It tastes freaking amazing!
I haven’t really had a bad recipe with coconut oil… it actually goes with everything! Here’s a few ways to add coconut oil to your meals:
- Cut sweet potato into slices (chip-like), drizzle with coconut oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for about 20 mins – or longer if you like them crunchy
- Make some sweet potato brownies – recipe here
- Add a Tbsp of coconut oil to your morning green smoothie
SO, if you’re not onto coconut oil yet, your missing out!!! 🙂