Saturday, April 6, 2013

Coconut Oil

You may have been hearing or seeing recent trends of coconut oil as the new "super food". I wanted to give a little overview of some of the proclaimed health benefits to it and different uses.  It all sounds worth a try to me!

Coconut oil has been used in ancient medicine and continues to be used that way in some cultures. However, there are all sorts of things you can do with it that you may see benefits from.

Coconut oil is thought to stimulate and recharge your thyroid gland. For me this is appealing as I have a family history of hypothyroidism (not getting enough of thyroid hormone). I tend to exhibit a lot of the same signs and symptoms such as fatigue, temperature intolerance and anxiety. But my levels always come out "normal". So I may just give this a shot.

It also can help increase your HDL (good cholesterol) and lower your overall total cholesterol. This is a good thing.

The fat in coconut oil is considered a medium chained fatty acid, meaning it does not circulate through your bloodstream, rather it is delivered straight to your liver and converted to energy. This can actually help with weight loss.

You can cook with it in place of other oils or butter. It has a higher smoke point, so it can be safer to cook with as well. The tropical cultures that use coconut in their foods and cooking are rarely overweight.

It is a great moisturizing effect. You can rub it into your skin and is quickly absorbed not leaving a greasy film. It is thought to help with wrinkles.  It is also great for your hair. I have actually been using it on my hair and I do see a difference. What I do is section my hair and rub a little oil at my roots. Then I use my fingers to distribute it to my ends. I let it sit for about 30 min or so (as long as you can) then I wash and condition as usual. It leaves my hair soft, shiny and decreases frizz and the appearance of split ends. I don't notice my hair oily or smelling like coconut. It also works great to shave with and as a massage oil. The scent is also helps decrease stress and anxiety.

Coconut oil is thought to boost immunity as it has antibacterial, anti viral and anti fungal properties. It also contains antioxidants.

It can  help regulate blood sugar and insulin response and decrease the stress on your pancreas.

These are the biggest uses for it that I could find. I think it is a very versatile, natural option to help a lot of things we struggle with. It certainly isn't the miracle answer, but I feel everything is worth trying out.

Until next time...
Stay Active!