Benefits of Coconut Oil

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Lately, it seems like everyone we know has been banging on about the amazing benefits of coconut oil. We sifted through our foodie friends in the know and asked Melanie May to explain herself and her addiction to this totally-tropical-smelling product

My love affair with coconut oil began in 2001 when I lived in East London and watched my stunning flatmate slather herself in the stuff head to toe, literally, hair and all. Convinced if I did the same I would look like her I have never been without a tub since.

For millennia, folk around the world have used coconut oil in their beauty regimes. Used as both moisturiser for the face and body it leaves your skin so incredibly soft, I smother my legs in it after shaving, leaving them silky and calming any redness. It also makes a great hair treatment and can be applied to wet hair as a mask or dry hair as a serum to control the havoc the winter weather can cause to our beloved barnetts. It also makes a great lip balm, cuticle cream, rough heel treatment and acts as a highlighter when applied to cheekbones, move over Miranda Kerr.

Speaking of the Victoria Secret model, did you know that she has been using coconut oil for years and adds it to her juices, smoothies, and salads? Well, if it’s good enough for her! Coconut oil is very versatile as it is solid at room temperature and then liquefies when heated just like butter. It has a high smoke point meaning it’s great for cooking with as is doesn’t burn and go rancid like many other oils. It also makes a tasty butter substitute in many baking recipes, I use it when making scones as it gives a lovely creamy taste and doesn’t burn.

What’s that you say? Isn’t coconut oil high in saturated fat? Well, yes it is and this is why for years coconut oil was deemed an unhealthy food.  However, research has advanced our knowledge that not all fats are created equal and coconut oil is now being praised for its anti-inflammatory properties, its ability to reduce appetite and cholesterol and to aid brain function, hooray for science! But as with all fats coconut oil contains 9 calories per gram so even though it has many health benefits it stills needs to be incorporated in to our diets in moderation like any other oil.

But wait, there’s more, coconut oil is great for around the house too. Put some on a cloth and polish leather sofas and clothes, clean soap scum (or get someone else to), loosen up chewing gum stuck in hair or on carpet and rub it on utensils such as kitchen scissors before cutting sticky foods. Its uses are never ending.

So as you can see coconut oil is the best thing since sliced bread, speaking of which it goes great on toast!

Photo Credit: PhotoPin

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