Rub on a little oil… coconut oil.

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Coconut

I love coconut. I love coconut water. I love coconut milk. I love coconut meat. Perhaps most of all, I love coconut oil.  As I was down in the Caribbean for my little holiday, one of the things I loved most is getting fresh coconut right off the beautiful palms!

Coconut oil got a bad wrap back in the 80′s with margarine marketing boards bad mouthing the tropical fats.  Is it merely a coincidence that since tropical oils have become commonly regarded as dietary nightmares and heart attack inducers, essentially oils to avoid at all costs,  obesity rates and cardiovascular disease continue to rise?

Cold pressed, extra virgin coconut oil is a miracle food. It is incredibly nourishing, healing, protective and delicious. When my friend Vanessa discovered its use as an underarm deodorant, I was again reminded of the dozens of ways I use coconut oil on a daily basis- in hot water as a tea, for cooking at high temperatures, in smoothies, as a moisturizer, in my hair, to balance my blood sugar when I feel an afternoon crash coming on. Coconut oil is amazing.

The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.

Coconut oil contains less calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries and helps in boost energy and endurance.

Add this oil into your diet. Replace vegetable oil, butter or margarine with coconut oil. Replace your fancy moisturizers with coconut oil. Replace your morning cup of tea with hot water and coconut oil. Get it in there. It is delicious and uber healthy!

Health benefits of coconut oil include the following:

Hair Care: It helps in healthy growth of hair providing a shinny complexion. Regular massage of the head with coconut oil ensures that your scalp is free of dandruff, lice, and lice eggs, even if your scalp is dry. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth and nourishing of damaged hair.

Stress Relief: Coconut oil is very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying coconut oil to the head followed with a gentle massage helps in removing mental fatigue.

Skin Care: It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skins. Coconut oil is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections.

Heart Diseases:
It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as it happens in case of other vegetables oils and does not lead to increase in LDL levels (bad cholesterol). It also reduces the incidence of injury in arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.

Weight Loss: Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy.

Digestion: Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Immunity: It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria associated with disease like  herpes, flu, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria and h.pylori (common cause of stomach ulcers), and harmful parasites such as giardia.

Healing: When applied on infections, it forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil is most effective on bruises as it speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues.

Infections: Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, etc. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, etc. Coconut oil is also effective on fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, etc.

Liver: The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids helps in preventing liver diseases as substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, thus reducing work load on the liver and also preventing accumulation of fat.

Kidney: Coconut oil helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases. It also helps in dissolving kidney stones.

Diabetes: Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also helps in effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.

Bones: Coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium and magnesium which are necessary for development of bones. Thus coconut oil is very useful to women who are prone to osteoporosis after middle age.

31 Responses to “Rub on a little oil… coconut oil.”

  1. Jeremy

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    Works great as massage oil too!

    Reply
  2. Kari

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    I was talking with a friend last night about coconut oil. I looked for some at the grocery store today. Wasn’t entirely sure which part of the store I would find it in. Checked in a few different places with no luck.

    Reply
  3. Meghan Telpner

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    Jeremy- Thanks for the tip ;)

    Kari- I get mine in the health food store. You want to make sure you get cold pressed, extra virgin coconut oil. It should be with the other oils. Some places keep it in the fridge but since it is incredibly stable at high temperatures this is not at all necessary.

    Reply
  4. Ricki

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    I’ve also read about the praises of coconut oil for several years now, and I must admit I do love coconut everything (well, except coconut water!). I had no idea the coconut oil has fewer calories than other oils!

    Reply
  5. Meghan Telpner

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    Really? You don’t like coconut water? I could fast on coconut water for days and days and be a very happy (hydrated) girl.

    Reply
  6. Coconutgal

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    Well this is my kind of post :-)
    I am so jealous you’ve had fresh coconut & coconut water before…. ahhhh I bet it’s divine!!
    Do you reccomend to stay away from the young coconuts at the health food store since they are traveling from so far away?

    Reply
  7. Coconutgal

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    P.s. I have almost everything I need to make your Ultimate Healthy Cookie recipe but am wondering when you call for 1/2 cup ground nuts, would almond meal work or does it need to be so ground it’s like almond butter? Also- do you use 2 TBL’s raw Cacao nibs or powder? And where do you get it?
    Thanks :-) I can’t wait to try them!!!

    Reply
  8. Meghan Telpner

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    Those sweet young coconuts in the store are delicious- but as a treat once in a while because they do come from very far away. As for the almond meal- yes- that works just perfect. I used ground cacao that I got at a local farmers market. That ingredient is totally optional so if you can’t find it- don’t worry. Shouldn’t stop you from trying them.

    Reply
  9. LivStar

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    You have RE-INSPIRED me to play with the jar of coconut oil in my fridge.

    What do you think is the best way to store it? It hardens in the fridge, and is super oily in the cupboard, i suppose it would depend on your use of the oil, right?

    xo.

    Reply
  10. Usha

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    This is an amazing article. There are regions in southern India that in the past used only coconut oil for all their cooking and because coconut oil got maligned so much, most families have begun to switch to other oils. I even stopped buying it completely, now I read a lot about coconut oil and its health benefits, and I have begun to cautiously venture back into using it again. Thanks for this post.

    And I am with you about tender coconut water, I could live on that for days happily :-)

    Reply
  11. Banana Coconut Almond Heaven « Making Love In The Kitchen

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    [...] more ingredients but the health benefits of this treat are rather astounding. The base is made of coconut oil (which I have shared the super powers of) and carob, with a little vanilla extract and omega 3 [...]

    Reply
  12. Jessica

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    Nice post, i have never used coconut oil, so i just wonder for the weighloss purpose, how do i use the coconut oil?

    thanks

    Reply
  13. Jessica

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    Thanks Meghan, i also have thyroid and very bad metabolism so i will try it out.

    I really want to start to eat more healthy and i am so happy i came across your blog. Will check it out more now. Thanks

    Reply
    • Loxomo

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      80% of woman have thyroid issues starting at age 35. Try Kelp drops daily for thyroid issues and iodized sea salt. A simple addition of iodine in the diet is usually all it takes to gain strength. And make sure you have good forms of iron (lentils, parsley, blackstrap molasses, fortified hot cereals) w/plenty of Vitamin C from fresh fruits for proper absorption. And for anti-yeast problems, get some Grapefruit Seed Extract to make sure candida-albicans hasn’t overwhelmed your system.
      happy preventative health!! I’m macrobiotic, mainly vegan, and never, eer sick-60 yrs old and feeling 18! loxomo

      Reply
  14. Lovely Bunch of Coconuts « Making Love In The Kitchen

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    [...] just had to cover all coconut bases. I have talked about the coconut water, and I talked about the coconut oil, even gave you a recipe for coconut milk ice cream but an actual coconut had not yet made an [...]

    Reply
  15. The Green Smoothie Formula « Making Love In The Kitchen

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    [...] 1 Tbs of 3-4 of these Raw Cacao, Flax Oil, Hempseed Oil, Walnut Oil, Almonds, Goji Berries, Dates, Coconut Oil, Bee Pollen, Coconut (fresh or dry), Hempseeds, Chia Seeds,  Spirulina, Ginger, Cayenne, Stevia, [...]

    Reply
  16. angela

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    Can I use coconut oil on top of my cobbler instead of butter?

    Reply
  17. Donna

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    I usually apply coconut oil (with a bit of vitamin E oil) on my skin after I get out of the shower and I will mix it with brown sugar as an exfoliant.
    For use on your scalp…do you just warm it up and massage in and then shower out later?

    Reply
  18. kelly

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    I have been using coconut oil and loving it for about three years now … it is a miracle food and it makes me sad that so few people, including even nutritionalists, let folks know about the huuuge value of including this amazing oil/fat in our diet. One word of caution, though, be sure to get the UNREFINED variety, you don’t want to use the refined version of it – kinda defeats most of the purposes of it!! It is availabe at Whole Foods and most Health Food stores and vitamin stores.

    Reply
  19. Chandra

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    After reading one of your smoothie posts I bought some coconut oil and I use it in every smoothie I make. I’m going to have to try using it when cooking as well.

    Reply
  20. Chris

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    Not sure if this was mentioned but coconut oil makes THE BEST LUBRICANT!
    I’m not kidding, it’s great. My spouse and I use it in the bedroom and it’s fantastic!

    Reply
  21. Making Love in the Kitchen » Blog Archive » Milk Those Coconuts

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    [...] Health benefits of coconut oil [...]

    Reply
  22. Week 5: Body Conditioning by Dancers Challenge « Julianna Yu's Blog

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    [...] Virgin Coconut Oil from Noah’s – it’s something I’ve wanted to try since I read about coconut oil’s amazing healing powers last year. The two benefits that piqued my interest were coconut oil’s ability to aid in [...]

    Reply
  23. Marijuana chocolate | ganjadrink.com

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    [...] from oven and pour coconut oil over the plant matter, just enough to cover. (you can use any high heat oil, but this goes well [...]

    Reply
  24. Vera

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    Hey Meghan, I just go some Coconut Oil at an Indian Food store, by the brand KLC…it said 100% pure coconut oil but I read on the Internet that it is refined …can i still use it or will it be more bad than good? Thanks

    Reply
    • Meghan Telpner

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      I would suggest keeping that one for skin care until it’s all used up and then get the good stuff next time around.

      Reply
  25. A Comparison of Organic Coconut Oil Brands and Recommended Recipes - Go Dairy Free

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    [...] in a single bound. But seriously, one of our favorite blogging nutritionists, Meghan Telpner, sings the praises of coconut oil nicely. For information on coconut oil's health benefits, enjoy her post in its entirety. [...]

    Reply
  26. Organic Coconut Oil – Artisana, Tropical Traditions, and Nutiva (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free) - Go Dairy Free

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    [...] in a single bound. But seriously, one of our favorite blogging nutritionists, Meghan Telpner, sings the praises of coconut oil nicely. For information on coconut oil's health benefits, enjoy her post in its entirety. [...]

    Reply
  27. Meghan Telpner

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    Keep the oil in the cupboard. It’s melting point is around 20 degrees so depending on the season (and the temp in your kitchen) will affect whether it is liquid or solid. Mine is liquid in the summer and solid in the winter. No need to refrigerate coconut oil as it is totally stable at high temperatures- one of the most stable oils to use for cooking.

    Reply
  28. Meghan Telpner

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    I would suggest putting a couple teaspoons in hot water and having as a tea between meals and using it in you cooking in place of vegetable oil and butter. As you know- there are no secret weigtloss solutions though :)

    Reply
  29. kelly

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    you can .. but I would mix it w/ butter instead of all coconut oil, not sure you’ll enjoy the flaver if not? – you have to experiment in some baking with how much to add – usually they say to cut the amount of oil in half or even a third when using Coconut oil. For example, if it calls for 1/2 cup vege oil, I use like 1/4 cup coconut oil – and then sometimes add applesauce, yogurt, water, etc, to add more moisture to the baked good …

    Reply

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