One of the most versatile of oils, coconut oil is used in cosmetics, skin care remedies, food, even biodiesel! Coconut oil is one of the fattiest of oils – nearly 90% of coconut oil is composed of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), the saturated fats you WANT in your life.
Saturated in fat and Vitamin E, coconut oil is famous for it’s deep moisturizing benefits.
- Mix hard-rock sea salt or sugar with coconut oil; add a few drops of lavender and/or peppermint essential oil for a truly decadent diy exfoliator.
Coconut oil is the primary oil used in the growing practice of “oil pulling”. Used in a similar manner to mouthwash, coconut oil combats gingivitis, gum disease, and is even believed to whiten teeth.
Despite precautions that saturated fats can lead to high cholesterol and heart disease, coconut oil is actually rife with dietary benefits.
Often used in commercial and home cooking, the medium-chain triglycerides that make up most of coconut oil’s fatty goodness is the highly-coveted lauric acid. There’s a reason it’s found in high concentrations in human breast milk – lauric acid is known for its immunity-boosting, infection-fighting properties.
Digested differently than other fats, lauric acid is sent directly to the liver to be absorbed
into the bloodstream, fat is converted into energy (rather than stored) so efficiently it actually boosts metabolism.
- Add one to two tablespoons of coconut oil to smoothies, coffee, or simply injest on it own as a supplement.
Though coconut is high in protein, fiber, and other micronutrients, one should still be mindful of the high fat content and calories. Coconut milk in particular is a high-concentration of all these properties, being squeezed from the meat of the coconut.
Conversely, coconut water is packed with potassium and other electrolyte-nutrients, while skipping out on the high dose of calories and fat. Natural coconut water is also low in sugar, but be wary of the processed versions on the market that can pack a sugary punch.
Because coconut water is so different in benefits, properties, and extraction processes, we devoted an entire article to it here.