This summer I have a total crush on everything coconut: I am drinking coconut water to hydrate before yoga, I mix coconut flakes to my cereal in the morning over which I pour almond-coconut milk. I also drink coconut milk with my iced-coffee. Coconut makes a much creamier and tastier milk than other cow milk alternatives such as almond or soy milk. I admit that I have a temporary coconut addiction and it probably shouldn’t be consumed as excessively as I do it at the moment. But coconut has a lot of benefits. Recently, I substituted my regular cooking oil for coconut oil. It’s subtle in taste and since it doesn’t smoke as easy as other oils, it’s even healthier than cooking with extra virgin olive oil for example. The smoking point is an important factor to look at as this is the moment when heat turns healthy fats into trans fats and other bad byproducts.
Did you know that coconut oil is not only a tasty ingredient in sweet and savory foods and drinks, but works as antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant? For some time coconut oil was considered unhealthy for containing mostly saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids (polyunsaturated are the good ones). That’s only true for industrially processed coconut oils. When it comes to organic coconut, there’s a lot of research out there refuting this. Also, the saturated fatty acid is Lauric acid which is antiviral according to WebMD.
For the past three days I tried oil pulling with coconut oil. Oil pulling is an ayurvedic method to clean your mouth and pull toxins out of the body promising whiter teeth and prevention of gingivitis, plaque and caries. You will need to swish a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 20-25 minutes, every day before breakfast. The thought of holding oil in your mouth for a relatively long time might seem a little disgusting at first, but it really isn’t that bad at all and you can do it during your morning shower. I feel refreshed and clean afterwards. It’s like soap for your mouth without the soapy taste. So far, I believe in it and I will let you know after a few weeks if I think it works.
Now that I have the oil at my house, I decided to make a scrub by mixing it with coarse sea salt (see picture above). It’s very simple and feels and smells amazing. If you like, you can add an essential oil like grapefruit or vanilla.
Coconut Oil in Cosmetics
Coconut oil is also beneficial for your body. It contains Vitamin E which helps hydrating and rejuvenating your skin. Since I started reading more and more cosmetic labels, I’ve realized that many of the products I’ve written about so far contain coconut oil. Mainstream cosmetic brands such as l’Occitane and Neutrogena have it in their ingredients list as well as smaller companies such as Kiss My Face and Southampton Soap Company.