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Coconut oil is the most used ingredient for my skincare products and I always keep a few jars around the house. Not only is coconut oil easy to find, it is versatile and very affordable. There are literally dozens of uses for coconut oil and I almost feel guilty for only paying $7.00 a jar when I get so much use out of it.
So what’s the deal with coconut oil and its benefits?
Lauric Acid – This is the “magic Ingredient” in coconut oil. Lauric Acid is an anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial compound in coconut oil. In fact, coconut oil is nature’s richest source of lauric acid which is why it is beneficial to the body in so many ways.
Medium Chained Triglycerides (MCT) – Breaking down this type of healthy fat in the liver leads to efficient burning of energy. Most fatty acids consumed in the diet are long-chain fatty acids but medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently. MCT go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick of source energy rather than being stored as fat.
Antioxidants – Especially high in Vitamin E, which proves to be effective for maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. The antioxidants protect us from free radicals. Free radicals are organic molecules responsible for aging and tissue damage. These molecules are very unstable and therefore will bond with other molecules, destroy their health and ultimately damage them. This is especially true for the face. Just think of how much contact our face has with, well, air? Antioxidants prevent free radicals from hitching a ride on our skin and damaging the tissue.
In order to reap the full benefits of coconut oil, you will need to buy a certain kind. Unrefined, organic, extra-virgin coconut oil is your best option. But don’t stress out over finding that specific kind, just start with organic and go from there. I usually buy my oil from a local grocery but here is a whole page of choices for your viewing pleasure.
Different kinds of coconut oil on the market.
Pure: This means that the oil is unrefined without any additives. Pure coconut oil has multiple uses and can be used externally and internally.
Unrefined: Often referred to as virgin or pure. This oil is extracted from the fresh “meat” of the coconut rather than a dry version. The process is quicker this way therefore the oil does not need additives or bleaching. Unrefined coconut oil maintains its coconut smell and flavor.
Organic: Organic oils have been extracted from coconut palms raised on organic manure without the use of synthetic fertilizers. Also, there were no chemical used in the production, giving you pure, chemical free oil. Try to use organic if you are using the oil on your skin. It only takes 26 seconds for our skin to absorb whatever we rub into it. We surely don’t want to rub chemicals and toxins into our skin.
Virgin: One of the most respected and trusted varieties. This version of oil comes from the mild of fresh coconut meat. Little to no heat is used in the extraction therefore, the oil tastes and smells like fresh coconuts. Due to the care of production, virgin coconut oil maintains the most antioxidants and anti-microbial properties.
Refined: This oil has been bleached and deodorized (I’m out on this one). Due to being extracted from the dried coconut meat, the oil has to be purified because of contaminants that arise during the drying process. High heat is used to kill the contaminants and also removes the distinct coconut smell and flavor.
Another interesting fact about coconut oil is that it has a high melting point. I keep a jar in my pantry and in the summer the oil is liquid and the winter, the oil remains solid. The oil will melt quickly once introduced to the heat of your hands or body.
So next time you are at the store, make sure you grab a jar of organic, pure coconut oil. Put it on your list! You will be glad you did. I can’t wait to hear how you use coconut oil.
Check out these posts that use Magical Coconut oil.