Confused about coconut oil? Is it good for you, or is this fatty oil one you should stay away from?
Coconut oil has gotten a bad rap in the past, but thankfully that’s now changing due to the many scientific studies revealing the benefits of coconut oil.
Saturated fats have been frowned upon for increasing cardiovascular risk, but even though coconut oil contains saturated fat, it actually increases your levels of good cholesterol.
That’s because coconut oil has a medium-chain triglyceride formation, and we’re now finding that this unique molecular arrangement sets it apart from other saturated fats.
Adding coconut oil to your diet daily can boost your immune function, get your metabolism humming, and protect you from a vast array of health issues. You’ll get bonus energy from this saturated fat, since it’s easily absorbed and quickly converted into energy in your system!
Due to coconut oil having so many amazing health benefits, it can be used for plenty of natural remedies. Since it’s all-natural and non-toxic, it’s something you really should incorporate into your healthy lifestyle. Read on for an incredible list of coconut oil uses!
(Note that all coconut products contain some coconut oil. For the coconut oil uses that require it to be ingested, I recommend using organic, unrefined, food grade, cold expeller-pressed coconut oil).
Coconut Oil Uses
1) Coconut oil on bread
Looking for an alternative to butter on your toast? Try coconut oil!
Lauric acid, the main fatty acid in coconut oil, boosts beneficial HDL cholesterol, while palmitic acid, the main fatty acid in butter, may cause buildup of fatty plaque in your arteries.
It’s worth it to make the switch, and this tasty recipe from Eat Dinner for Cake will convince you to toss your butter.
2) Coconut oil on popcorn
Try popcorn popped with coconut oil for a healthy snack that’s low in calories and full of fiber. Replace your old butter-coated popcorn recipe with this simple, tasty version from Amy’s Healthy Baking.
3) Strawberry coconut smoothie
Reap all the health benefits of coconut oil in a delicious strawberry smoothie. This smoothie is loaded with antioxidants from strawberries and blueberries, and the avocado and coconut oil provide beneficial anti-inflammatory fats. Get this tasty recipe from Edible Perspective.
4) Lemon rosemary coconut oil veggies
Here’s one of my favorite coconut oil uses that fits snugly into my fat-burning diet. Lemon and rosemary add a pop of flavor to this medley of roasted veggies.
Swap out your regular oil for coconut oil to get all the advantages of medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil. Find this easy recipe at Averie Cooks.
5) Almond meal cookies
Try swapping out butter in your baked goods for coconut oil. These almond coconut cookies may be gluten-free, but they’re big on taste! Dark chocolate chunks are scattered throughout these yummy cookies for an irresistible yet healthy treat. Get instructions from Minimalist Baker.
6) Chai almond cashew butter
Make your own nut butter, and add a few teaspoons of coconut oil for smoother consistency. Seriously, you’ll love the creaminess and fresh taste of homemade nut butter, so give it a try! This cashew butter from Fit Mitten Kitchen has a lovely chai flavor from a special blend of spices.
7) Rocket fuel latte
You may have heard the buzz around melting butter in your coffee, but we have a major upgrade—it’s probably the most unexpected item on this list of coconut oil uses! Try adding coconut oil to your coffee to burn fat all morning long! Learn more at Healthful Pursuit.
8) Coconut oil salad dressing
Supplement your diet with coconut oil salad dressing. This ginger coconut salad dressing is perfect with an Asian slaw, but is just as tasty on a simple green salad. Find the recipe at Louana Coconut Oil.
9) Eye cream
Just two simple ingredients, coconut oil and vitamin E, will get you a luxurious, moisturizing eye cream that fights wrinkles, hydrates the delicate skin around your eyes, and gets rid of dark eye bags.
Not only does this cream work wonders, it’s also way cheaper than department store brands. Find the tutorial at Redefined Mom.
10) Lip balm
Some commercial lip balms are full of scary ingredients, which can easily be ingested. This homemade lip balm from Herbal Academy of New England uses coconut oil and other natural ingredients for a safe and effective remedy for soothing chapped and dry lips.
11) Coconut oil pulling
Concerned about your dental health? Try oil pulling with coconut oil. Swishing with coconut oil helps remove toxins from your system as you pull the oil through your teeth and gums.
Coconut oil has both anti-microbial and antifungal properties, making it perfect for killing off harmful bacteria in your mouth. Learn how at Hello Glow.
If you suffer from acne, you may want to try coconut oil. The lauric acid works as an antibacterial agent to tame breakouts and clear your skin.
13) Coconut oil bath melts
Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer, making the skin soft and supple. Make simple bath melts with coconut oil and essential oils for a spa-like experience right in your bathroom. Get instructions at The Coconut Mama.
14) Coconut oil honey face mask
Coconut oil removes dirt and makeup from your face while moisturizing and keeping harmful bacteria at bay. This brightening mask combines the antimicrobial powers of honey with all the benefits of coconut oil for shiny, glowing skin. Learn how to make this simple, inexpensive face mask at Mother’s Niche.
15) Coconut oil for eczema and psoriasis
Soothe the itching from eczema and psoriasis with coconut oil. Applied topically on the rash, coconut oil penetrates the skin to moisturize and provide relief from the constant itch while enhancing collagen production.
Coconut oil also has antibacterial properties that keep skin infections at bay. Find out more at Skin Disease Remedies.
16) Coconut oil for anti-aging benefits
Coconut oil has natural anti-aging skin care capabilities that help delay wrinkles and sagging skin. It can lock in moisture, repair the skin barrier, and the antioxidants in coconut oil combat free radical damage. The fatty acids help to smooth and revitalize skin, which is just what your skin needs for looking and feeling youthful. Find our more at Agein.
17) Coconut oil for toenail fungus
Yuck! Toenail fungus is an eyesore, and you may feel embarrassed by this unsightly problem. Try a mixture of coconut oil and tea tree oil, both of which have antifungal properties, to get your toenails looking pretty again. Get more information at The Coconut Oil Post.
18) Coconut oil for stretch marks
Pregnant women need to be especially careful about what they put on their skin, as this is a point of entry into the body. Coconut oil is safe for moms and their developing babies, and it works well for belly skin that is stretching. Coconut oil provides nourishment and hydration to the skin, allowing it to expand while being moisturized from deep within.
Head to Stretch Mark Cream Advice for 5 natural stretch mark cream recipes.
19) Coconut oil as natural nipple cream
The first few weeks of nursing can hurt, and nipples can become cracked and inflamed. Make your own homemade nipple cream so you know exactly what your baby is ingesting.
This cream is made with coconut oil, which is totally safe for newborns, as breastmilk and coconut oil both contain lauric acid. Find out how to make this all-natural nipple cream at Just Making Noise.
20) Coconut oil for super healing cold sore lip balm
If you suffer from cold sores, coconut oil can help speed healing time. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has antiviral properties that target the cold sore virus. Learn how to make this super healing cold sore lip balm at The Nerdy Farm Wife.
21) Coconut oil for dandruff
Dandruff is not only unsightly, it’s uncomfortable! Get rid of dandruff with this natural remedy containing coconut oil from Isha.
22) Coconut oil as beard oil
Beards and mustaches come in all shapes and sizes. Use coconut oil as a safe, inexpensive grooming oil. It will moisturize as it helps to keep errant hairs from sticking out. Learn how to make all-natural beard oil at The Manliness Kit.
23) Coconut oil for age spots on face
Coconut oil is high in antioxidants, and applying coconut oil directly to age spots helps them fade by preventing free-radical formation. Find out more at The Beauty Gypsy.
24) Coconut oil for sore throat
Soothe a sore throat naturally with coconut oil and honey. Not only does this pair work together as an anti-inflammatory agent, but both coconut oil and honey also have antibacterial properties to help eradicate harmful bacteria. Get instructions for this soothing throat salve at Blendtec.
25) Coconut oil detox
Cleanse your body of toxins, such as harmful parasites, bacteria, viruses, and heavy metals with coconut oil. The medium chain triglycerides help to strengthen the immune system, and the lauric and caprylic acid have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties that target toxins like mold and harmful bacteria.
Find out how to do a coconut oil cleanse at Living Traditionally.
26) Coconut oil to balance gut flora
Use coconut oil to eradicate harmful bacteria in your digestive tract. Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that kill off the bad bacteria and promote beneficial flora in your gut. Supplement with coconut oil daily for a stable digestive system. Find out more information at Hybrid Rasta Mama.
27) Coconut oil for GERD
Acid reflux results from acid in the stomach moving into the esophagus, causing a painful burning sensation. Use coconut oil to coat the esophagus and lining of the throat, relieving the painful burning.
Due to its natural antibacterial properties, coconut oil also works within the stomach to tamper bacterial overgrowth thought to cause acid reflux and to balance the gut flora. Head to Earth Clinic for more info.
28) Coconut oil for constipation
Some of the causes of constipation include dehydration, lack of fiber-rich foods in the diet, stress, and changes in routine. Hardening of the stool may affect movement through your digestive tract, and coconut oil can be used to soften the stool, resulting in ease of movement with the stool.
Coconut oil also contains medium-chain triglycerides, which boost your metabolism to stimulate bowel movements. Read more about how coconut oil eases constipation on Fussybody.
29) Coconut oil for healthy bones
The insides of our bones are made up of a network of collagen fibers. Calcium and magnesium attach to this collagen network, resulting in strong bones.
Where does coconut oil fit into all of this?
Saturated fats such as coconut oil are critical at helping calcium and other minerals to be incorporated into this collagen network. Learn more about coconut oil and bone structure at Nutritional Weight and Wellness.
30) Coconut oil for thyroid function
The thyroid controls the body’s metabolic rate, and contributes to heart function, digestive health, muscle control, bone maintenance, and mood. Coconut oil contributes to a healthy thyroid by preventing high blood sugar levels, which cause insulin swings and can lead to hypothyroidism. Head to Body Ecology for more information.
31) Coconut oil and anti-cancer properties
Coconut oil has high levels of lauric acid. This acid is transformed into monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin has antimicrobial properties as well as anti-cancer effects. In addition, virgin coconut oil is very high in antioxidants, preventing the formation of harmful free radicals thought to cause cancer. (1)
32) Coconut oil for weight loss
Coconut oil is high in medium chain triglycerides, and these fatty acids are metabolized differently than most other fats, having the ability to boost metabolism. Coconut oil also satiates the appetite, ensuring that you’re not hungry right after your last meal. Learn how much coconut oil you’ll need each day to help with weight loss at The Healthy Home Economist.
33) Coconut oil for lowering cholesterol
Virgin coconut oil contains saturated fats that raise HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce total cholesterol. Learn more at Wellness Mama.
34) Coconut oil for brain health
In the body, the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil are converted into energy, otherwise known as ketones. These ketones are the energy that feeds your brain. Get more info at Thinking Mom’s Revolution.
35) Coconut oil to lower bad cholesterol
One group of Polynesian islanders consumed large amounts of coconut in their diet, and were found to have normal and healthy cholesterol levels. A group of those islanders moved to New Zealand and were found to have increased levels of bad cholesterol after switching to a diet lower in fat. (2)
36) Coconut oil and blood pressure
A recent animal study found that a combination of exercise and coconut oil reduced blood pressure in rats compared with the saline control group. (3)
37) Coconut oil for removing gum
Some people say peanut butter can help you remove gum from your hair, but between peanut butter and coconut oil, I’ll take the latter! Coconut oil gets the job done with less mess than peanut butter and moisturizes your hair as well. It also works for glue and sap. Learn more at Apartment Therapy.
38) Coconut oil for squeaky door hinge
No need for toxic grease spray when you can use a common pantry item. Coconut oil works beautifully and naturally to quiet a squeaky door hinge. Find instructions at Dani Dearest.
39) Coconut oil for greasing bike chains
Go green with bike maintenance. Yes, you can grease your bike’s chain with coconut oil! Find out how at Die Hard Survivor.
40) Coconut oil as furniture polish
Steer clear of toxic furniture polish and use coconut oil on your wood furniture. Coconut oil and lemon juice make a simple, safe, and effective furniture polish. Get the recipe from Living Traditionally.
41) Coconut oil to polish and revive houseplants
Revive your old houseplants with dull, dusty leaves. Rub coconut oil on the leaves to make them shiny and vibrant. See for yourself how amazing this works at What’s Ur Home Story.
42) Coconut oil as rust remover
Avoid toxic rust removers and give coconut oil a try! Apply coconut oil to the rust spot and let sit for a few hours before wiping clean.
43) Coconut oil to prevent hairballs in cats
Cleaning up hairballs is not a great way to spend your afternoon.
If your cat leaves these around the house, it’s time for an intervention. Coconut oil improves digestion and allows your pet to absorb more nutrients from meals, decreasing the frequency of hairballs. Find out how much coconut oil to give your cats at Meow Lifestyle.
44) Coconut oil for dermatitis in pets
If your dog suffers from dermatitis, an uncomfortable itching and skin irritation, coconut oil may help. Introducing coconut oil into your dog’s diet can alleviate symptoms.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which helps decrease the body’s production of yeast, and the fatty acids suppress the inflammatory response. Learn about coconut oil for your dog’s diet at Dogs Naturally.
45) Coconut oil as moisturizer for your dog’s dry nose
The sun, allergies, and dehydration can all cause dry nose for dogs. Applying coconut oil on your pet’s nose is a safe and effective way to relive dryness. Learn more at Earth Clinic.
Though this list of coconut oil uses is quite long, it’s really just the tip of the iceberg. Try to come up with some coconut oil uses of your own; there’s so much you can do with this magnificent oil!
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Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.