5 Uses for Coconut Oil Other Than Cooking
Written for and published in Rodale Wellness
We’ve all used a little coconut oil when making our favorite coconut curry dish or even as a regular substitute for olive oil. But what other household items can you replace with coconut oil? I have, personally, stopped using lotion and moisturizer altogether. I have stopped buying anti-frizz hair products. I have stopped buying makeup remover. And for you mommies out there, I have stopped buying baby wipes.
Deborah Orlick Levy, MS, RD, Health and Nutrition Consultant at Carrington Farms and Debbie Shandel, Executive Vice President, gave us some insight on the uses for coconut oil other than cooking. Here are our top selections:
Coconut oil is great metabolism booster. Since it’s made up of MCFAs, or medium chain fatty acids, it’s easily digested and absorbed into your body for it to be used as energy- and not stored as fat. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study stating that MCFAs increased metabolism by more than three times than that of LCFAS, or long chain fatty acids. As an added bonus: these MCFAs, or “good fats,” even help burn stored fat.
The lauric acid (one of the MCFAs mentioned above) in coconut oil has natural antimicrobial and antiviral properties, which work together to stop the growth of microorganisms and ward off viral infections. In addition, coconut oil can improve your white blood cell count which will lead to a boosted immune system and a stronger you!
These same antiviral properties bring us to our next pro-tip: coconut oil can be used as a natural disinfectant. Yes, we said disinfectant. Whether you are literally disinfecting a wound or just trying to prevent chafing in the New York City heat- coconut oil is properly armored to fight this fight for you. Even more, if you are looking for something natural and sensitive to relieve diaper rash, clear up acne, or just replace an everyday moisturizer- coconut oil is good for that, too!
Now, for the real fun stuff! We all know coconut oil tastes delicious, but now we know it’s good for us also. Not many foods can fit both sides of this venn diagram, so why not add it to your regular diet? Coconut oil is great for giving your foods an extra boost. For example, it gives smoothies and coffee a delectable creamy consistency. All the while it’s working to provide your body with good fats (MCFAs) that will not be stored in your body, but instead used as energy and aid in boosting your metabolism. I mean, this sounds too good to be true! We promise, it’s not.
If you’re looking for a relaxing night in, then look no further. Grab your coconut oil, brown sugar, and about two drops of your favorite essential oil and watch the magic happen. Mix the three in a small bowl and apply the combination to help get rid of dead skin and any accumulated dirt from the day. This natural scrub will also help you moisturize and heal your skin while you exfoliate. (Red wine not included).