Reasons for Choosing Coconut Oil
It was a rash decision. I told my teenage daughter to grab her shoes and meet me in the car. We drove off to the health food store. We walked in and straight ahead I saw what I was looking for: extra virgin coconut oil.
For the past few months I have been researching for different ways to improve my overall health. The only catch is that I am generally lazy when it comes to setting up any sort of regime. I needed something I could quickly use and see almost immediate benefits. Coconut oil made sense to me because I could use it in cooking and baking - something I do every day - and I love the flavor of coconuts. Keeping it on the kitchen counter, I could also easily eat a spoonful of it for each meal I prepared: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In sight, easy use, and tastes good. These were the perfect qualities of a regime I could actually follow.
Soft Lips and Healthy Skin
One of the first things I did when I opened up the tub of coconut oil was put some on my lips. From that moment on, I haven't used anything else to soften my lips. I no longer have chapped lips and the skin on my lips is soft, smooth, and perfect for those rare occasions I put on a bit of color.
Coconut oil also softens the skin. I began using it on my face the first night by testing out just a tiny amount of coconut oil on my cheeks. I did not break out and the oil was quickly absorbed into my skin. After the initial test, each night I would put a light layer on my entire face and neck, including the skin under my eyes. I could not be more pleased. My skin began to soften within the first week and there have been no acne outbreaks from using the coconut oil. (Other people have experienced pimples when using coconut oil on their face. What you experience my very well different from my own experience.)
Rough patches of skin have also been softened by regular use of coconut oil. At night, I will sometimes rub some coconut oil onto my feet and put on a pair of clean socks. My feet have softened up and my heels are no longer cracked from dryness. My elbows have also softened and no longer pain me from dry skin.
There are many other skin uses you can try out. Extra virgin coconut oil is said to help fade age spots. Use it as often as necessary to keep your hands moisturized. As I've done with my feet, I have also used coconut oil on my hands and then placed a pair of clean cotton gloves overtop to hold in the moisture. This helped with my dry hands and cuticles. You can also use the oil as a makeup remover. The side benefit of this is that the oil seems to help with growing healthier eyelashes.
If you have dry or curly hair, coconut oil is a blessing. Before going to bed, simply place a small amount of oil in your hands and, using your body heat, soften and melt the oil. Massage it into your hair. Comb through and bun or braid your hair back for the night. The next day, wash out the oil. Your hair will feel softer and healthier.
To get rid of static hair on cold winter days, put the tiniest amount of coconut oil on your hands and melt it between them. Lightly run your hands through your hair, focusing mostly on the ends.
Eating Coconut Oil for Better Health
Eating coconut oil has been an easy habit to get myself into. I believe this is mainly because I enjoy the flavor of coconuts. I take roughly 3 teaspoons of coconut oil a day, approximately 1 teaspoon before each meal. From my personal experience, this has helped my curb my snacking habits and it has given me small energy boosts with no crashing experience afterwards, as with coffee.
There are studies that show that the lauric acid in coconut oil can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It is also said to improve thyroid health.
Amazingly, coconut oil also increases the body's absorption of vitamin D and calcium. As a woman in my 40s, calcium intake has been a major concern of mine. I have switched to drinking raw milk for the health benefits and taking natural calcium supplements. I now have the coconut oil working to my benefit, as well.
Fight Off the Flu
Coconut oil is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral. Many people believe that ingesting coconut oil on a daily basis has helped them avoid or overcome the flu more easily than if they were not ingesting the oil. I haven't been taking coconut oil long enough to know whether or not it will help out this flu season, but I am anxious to find out if my new health ritual proves beneficial against the flu.