Have you heard about one of the latest trends that is sweeping the nation—coconut oil? Chances are you have probably heard about it. This natural product has been getting a lot of attention. As a former professional athlete, I have continued to strive to keep myself healthy, which has led me to test out the benefits of coconut oil. And, I have to admit—I'm a fan. There are few amazing things that coconut oil is good for.
I cook with it
It's been found that coconut oil is good for your heart. So many people think they need to avoid all fat, but there are healthy fats that you need to include in your diet and this is a good source of it. Scientific studies have confirmed that the saturated fats in coconut oil can actually improve cardiovascular health and prevent vascular damage.
You can simply swap coconut oil in for other oils, such as vegetable oil. You can also use it in baking in place of butter or shortening. There are elaborate recipes that include coconut oil or you can simply use it as the oil in your pan when you make popcorn on the stove. It's truly something everyone can benefit from in the kitchen.
I use it for my dog
That's right, animals can benefit from coconut oil too. You simply add it in with their food. It has been found that it helps make coats shinier, minimizes odor (we can all appreciate this), reduces allergies, and aids in itchy skin and flea allergies. Talk to your vet and do a little research on the right amount to use with your dog's specific breed.
It makes a great beauty product
I use coconut oil on my skin and my hair. Apparently, Polynesian people have been using coconut oil for years on their skin and hair. Now the rest of us are finally catching up. Coconut oil can help moisturize hair, make it stronger to prevent it from breaking, improve dandruff, and actually improve the growth of hair. If you have a baby it is also a natural and effective way to treat cradle cap.
When you put coconut oil on your skin it helps moisturize it. There have also been studies that have found it helps protect it from damaging UV rays from the sun. If you like the smell of coconuts you will love making it your go-to beauty product. Some people think it smells like the beach and others think of cookies. Either way, it is a refreshing smell compared to many of the beauty products you can buy at the store.
Not only does it replace hair and skin products, some people have even reported that it is a great product to use in place of shaving cream. The trick is you need to get the coconut oil to its liquid form before using and rubbing it on your skin is a great way to make this happen. Others use the oil to remove their makeup at the end of the day.
A few other health benefits
Coconut oil has some powerful antiviral, antimicrobial, and antibacterial effects. Who doesn't want to be healthier? Especially with the crazy cold and flu season that is happening all over the country. When you are sick they say to take coconut oil with your food or melted into hot tea throughout the day. It will help you recover faster. Or, if you want the scientific explanation—it breaks down the lipids around some viruses faster so the body can fight it off easier.
Coconut oil can be used as a natural remedy for ear infections. You can use it on its own in liquid form or infuse it with garlic cloves to take advantage of the health benefits of garlic. But, I have to advise you that adding garlic will include a strong smell and it can be hard to handle if your stomach is also bothering you.
The best thing about using coconut oil is it's just one ingredient which is much better than the long list of crap made in a lab you find on the back of other products. It performs many of the same roles, only better, and it's way better for you too. It also allows you to purchase one big tub of coconut oil instead of multiple different products for health, beauty, cooking, and pet care. Give it a try—I dare you.