OK so we've all been through the January 'must get fitter' phase, which includes the 'I will eat so much more fruit and veg' and 'definitely no chocolates'. Well, this week I have been reading up about, of all things, coconut oil.
Strange but true – this seems to be one of the latest super foods that does wonders for the body. Apparently, the structure of coconut oil is very different to the other oils we cook with, making it much easier to digest. This means that as your body is working less to digest it, you digest food quicker, which helps metabolise faster thus losing weight for some people. I won't go into the technicalities, but the suggestion seems to be to consume between 1-3 tablespoons a day in varying ways – cooking with it being the easiest, followed by shakes and spreads on toast (ok but my main preference).
The other great thing is that it is meant to do wonders for anyone with a sluggish thyroid, as anything that speeds up metabolism helps. So cutting out the other types of fats (vegetable oil, soya oil, corn oil etc) and replacing them with coconut oil overall is a great change apparently. Supposedly soya oil has now been found to be one of the least beneficial, and indeed suppresses some of the body functions, sometimes on ingredient lists it is merely shown as 'vegetable oil'.
You can still enjoy extra virgin olive oil and organic butter in moderation, but all other fats seem to have had 'human involvement' and extremely high temperatures rather than someone pressing the oil out of them. Supposedly once the fats get into the body, the oxidise (rust) in your cells, wheareas a more natural fat like coconut doesn't and in fact helps the body along with lots of processes (the liver benefits a lot).
It is a natural antibacterial product and can also help with digestive products.
It goes without saying that you can then use the coconut oil in beauty regimes – it works really well as a make-up remover (rub some between hands and once melted delicately apply to eye area, then remove with a damp warm cloth). Also for full beauty treatments, melt some in hands, massage on face and leave for 2-30 minutes depending on skin condition, then remove with a damp warm cloth. In the shower you might also use it as a body treat for soft skin,
A small amount can also be applied to lips as a lip balm.
Apply to hands and once melted apply to ends of hair and work up to around half the length of the hair. Wrap hair up in a towel and leave for an hour or overnight, then rinse out with some shampoo.
I imagine it could also be used to make soap, perhaps combining it with dessicated coconut or ground almonds for an exfoliating treat. It is so natural and so good for skin, plus would add a scent of the tropics to your shower. A few drops of lime might add a nice zing…
Buying coconut oil
If you buy some, a large jar will cost around £7 but can of course serve more than 1 purpose. I would also recommend you buy it in a glass jar rather than plastic. It should keep well for 2-3 years if kept cool and in the dark.
Make sure you buy Extra Virgin/Raw or cold pressed – this means that no bleaching / high temperatures were applied to extract the good stuff.
Whilst some may be skeptic, I am going to give it a go – have had some for a few days now and my energy is up but this may just be because the sun is out and Valentines is coming!
Lots of people on Youtube swear by it so see these links for more information to make up your own mind or type 'coconut oil benefits' for example into Youtube:
A study on coconut vs Soya oil: