Nuts About Coconut Oil

Beauty | | April 23, 2010 at 7:00 am
April2010_Coconut_Oil

This is me enjoying a coconut oil massage in Boracay, Philippines.

I was born and raised in the tropics and whenever I think of home, I think about coconut oil. Never a beach trip goes by without my friends and I getting hour long coconut oil massages from the island massage therapists. The smell and texture of coconut oil gliding against your skin is very different from regular massage oils. It’s organic, light and absolutely soothing.

Coconut oil has been around for generations and has been used by millions as a staple in their diet–it’s a great source of fat, does not burn easily and very resistant to rancidity.

But isn’t coconut oil bad for your health? There had been bad publicity about the high saturated fat content of coconut oil, but research shows that the structural make-up of coconut oil in terms of fatty acids is actually very unique and not unhealthy at all. The fat composition of coconut oil is made up of Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA), which make this particular oil behave differently once it has reached the digestive tract: because its particles are considerably smaller in size, it is easily digestible and does not require too much energy to get absorbed, thus putting on less strain in our digestive system. Dr. Nishant also wrote about it in The Skinny on Coconut Fat.

Are you vegan or lactose intolerant? Coconut oil is a great substitute for dairy additives to snacks. For instance, you can toss your homemade popcorn with coconut oil instead of butter. Sounds weird? Bet you didn’t know that coconut oil is actually used in movie theater popcorn here in the US, which gives it its distinct flavor!

Fountain of youth. Coconut oil is loaded with antioxidants and can be a great addition to your beauty regimen. Aside from its moisturizing quality, coconut oil is also composed of Vitamin E, which is a popular ingredient used in many beauty products that help prevent premature aging. My personal favorite coconut oil beauty regimen is rubbing a few drops of it on my nails, which is my organic version of what I learned from my grandmother who would break open Vitamin E capsules and rub the liquid onto her fingers for healthier nails and softer fingers.

Health boost. Coconut oil is composed of lauric acid, which researchers were very excited to introduce as a powerful immune booster. With its antimicrobial properties, coconut oil is a great shield from bacterial and viral infections.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the summer. Coconut oil is a great organic stress reliever. It’s soothing quality makes it a very popular massage oil. It is also extremely gentle even to the most sensitive skin, so don’t be afraid to rub a few drops of it against your temples to cure mental fatigue. It smells great, too!

 

KarlaKarla Mercado lives in New Mexico and is the author of Balancing Tenderfoot. She is passionate about human medicine, nutrition, and writing.

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