I’m addicted to Coconut! Considered by athletes and the health glitterati alike to be the queen of the ‘superfood royal family’, I use it for so much within my daily routine! This post shares some of those tips. It’s fabulously versatile for cooking (think delicious stir-fry’s, breads, curries and desserts), and besides being super-tasty it’s also great to use for nourishing your skin, to balance your digestion, and even as a pre-wash hair conditioner! Read more below… Faya x
Poor coconut! With its high saturated fat content, it often gets a bad wrap, and is wrongly accused of being unhealthy, when in reality there are multiple nutritional benefits associated with coconut oils and their rich saturated fats – they can help protect against heart disease, they profess anti-cancerous properties, anti-microbial properties (to help protect against infectious disease), and they can regulate blood sugar levels to balance glycemic peaks and troughs. The concern about the saturated fats is also somewhat of a misconception; there are so many types of saturates. The three basic categories are long, medium and short chain fatty acids and the majority (c. 97%) in our fat and diet is made up of long chain fatty acids. Coconuts, by comparison, are made up of medium chain fatty acids, to which our body responds very differently. These house unique healthy properties and are significantly different to those fats found in many meats and vegetable oils. Plus coconuts have 0 cholesterol (unusual for fatty foods), very little sugar (with a glycemic load of just 1!), and practically 0 salt, as well as being a great source of manganese (for strong bones, blood sugar regulation, & healthy metabolic function).
USE 1: COOKING WITH IT…
Coconut oil is a great ingredient with which to cook as the oil is stable, and can withstand high heat, whereas vegetable oils oxidise quickly and become rancid at high temperatures ( 🙁 )
Try using it for baking, sautéing, in desserts, or to roast your veggies. I also really love it in my smoothies 😀
USE 2: A DIGESTIF
– Coconut really helps to balance your digestion. The oil has been shown to help those who suffer from digestive disorders, both mild and severe. It may also help to improve conditions such as candida. In addition to the oil, the fatty acids have also been shown to help the body absorb other nutrients as well.
– The coconut fruit itself is quick and easy to digest, is rich in fibre, and retains its nutritional value through the entire digestion process, which is especially important for those people who suffer from digestive difficulties.
USE 3: SKINCARE
Coconut butter is a nourishing, hydrating & healing moisturiser for your skin:
A) Everyday – I use it as a daily facial/body moisturiser. The smallest amount goes a long way, as too much starts to get a little too greasy.
B) Natural – whatever you put onto your skin is absorbed by the body, directly into the bloodstream. So whilst I stay clear of eating too many toxins (colouring, flavouring, propylparabens etc), I try to do the same for my skin. Coconut boasts antibacterial properties too which help to deter spots.
C) The skin is thought to “age” through the oxidation of fats that are housed within the skin; coconut acts as an antioxidant. And whilst it’s not a sunblock, the antioxidant properties help to protect the skin from free radical damage caused by the sun.
D) £££ – it’s natural AND at £9 (which lasts c. 4 months, it’s very cost effective on a per-use basis!
USE 4: HAIRCARE
A) Coconut oil smooths hair, and works as a fabulous ‘pre-wash’ hair conditioner. Just massage a little coconut oil into your scalp and let it sit for 5 minutes, then wash your hair as normal. This helps to improve dry scalp conditions and keep the natural moisture locked in, making hair less brittle.
B) Make hair masks with it! Use a small amount of coconut butter on your hair, leave it in overnight and rinse out in the morning. Voila!