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Tag: coconut oil

Coconut Oil: Good or Bad for Your Health?

Lately there has been some noise in the press about coconut oil being unhealthy and even poisonous due to it being a saturated fat. I am here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth as coconut oil is good for you in so many ways.

I thought we had begun to accept that fats are necessary for health and not the demons that we had been taught from the flawed studies released in the 1980s regarding heart health and saturated fats.

Not only have traditional tropical communities have eaten coconut oil without toxic effects for millenium, but recent studies have looked at coconut oil’s benefits for diseased like Alzheimer’s, autism, and even gingevitis. Unless you are sensitive to coconut in general, it’s a safe and effective moisturizer for hair and skin, and can even help heal from a sunburn.

Coconut oil is super beneficial due to its unique make up of medium chain triglcerides (MCTs). Unlike other fats, MCTs are metabolized quickly by the liver and turned into ketones that are utilized by the body in many ways to support health.

The type of coconut oil we want to avoid is “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” coconut oil. Stay away from this stuff for sure.

But coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature and is the only plant-based saturated fat, is definitely healthy and good for you. So eat up.

Of course, some people are sensitive to coconut, and they should stay way from it to avoid sparking inflammation in their bodies. If you’re curious and want to find out if you could be sensitive to coconut, shoot me an email and I’d be happy to talk to you about it!


Relieve a Sunburn with Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil

As hard as I try to help my kids avoid a sunburn, there have been a couple of times over the years when they’ve gotten sunburned regardless of my best efforts. Learning about this surprising use for apple cider vinegar that helped my daughter recover quickly and comfortably from a sunburn after a day spent bike riding in the Colorado sun.

This month my teen and tween are both enrolled in a fantastic bike camp where the kids bike to various parks all over the city while learning bike safety, maintenance, and urban navigation along the way. Being in the sunshine is unavoidable when biking –and of course, good for absorbing vitamin D– and I encourage them to lather on a chemical-free, mineral-based sunscreen in the morning before they leave the house. And mostly they do.

However, sometimes the sun is so strong that they burn anyway. Especially my blue-eyed daughter, who will be nicely tanned by the end of the summer, but now, in early June, is still pretty fair-skinned. Which is why what happened yesterday when she rode fourteen miles with her camp group and came home with reddened arms.

By bedtime, her arms were hot and burning. I suggested she rub aloe vera gel on them, which she did, but it wasn’t enough.

A true child of the computer age, she got online and searched for sunburn remedies and found this one that had been recommended by many people. So we tried it… and lo and behold, it worked! Within just a few minutes her pain diminished, and by the next morning she rejoiced in how significantly the redness had faded.

Here’s what she did.

Apple Cider Vinegar Sunburn Remedy

  1. Soak a small washcloth in a bowl of apple cider vinegar to saturate the cloth.
  2. Place the washcloth on the sunburned area for a one to three minutes. Allow skin to dry.
  3. Slather coconut oil over the sunburned area and allow to soak in. Do not rinse off. The coconut oil will moisturize, nourish, and heal the skin.
  4. Repeat every twelve hours (morning and night) or as desired until redness and pain are gone.

Alleviating the inflammation from a sunburn quickly translates to reducing the cancer risk from a sunburn.

Skinny & Co Coconut Oil

Believe it or not, all coconut oils are not the same.SkinnyCoconutOil

Some are heat extracted, some contain pesticide residue, and some are actually adulterated with other oils. It’s a buyer beware situation.

Skinny & Co Coconut Oil, on the other hand, is a small batch, extra virgin, cold pressed coconut oil, made with nothing but 100% pure, raw, pesticide free, wild coconuts from the pristine jungles of Vietnam. When they sent me a sample, I was surprised at how it actually smells like fresh coconuts when you open the jar.

I love to cook with coconut oil for its many health benefits –easily metabolized, feeds the brain and the heart, helps build the immune system, helps even out blood sugar levels, cushions the organs, etc.– but also because it adds a delicious flavor to foods. When Skinny & Co sent me a sample of their coconut oil to try, I could tell immediately that it was different than other coconut oil. For one thing, it has a lighter, more delicate, and more appetizing aroma than typical coconut oils.

Even though coconut oil is a saturated fat, it is not like the saturated fats found in animal products. Cultures that use coconut oil extensively tend to be leaner and healthier, with fewer cardiovascular issues than Americans. I’ve even seen health advice advocating eating tablespoons of coconut oil daily to boost immunity and increase brain function.

I know that I enjoy the flavor and aroma of coconut oil and especially like to use it when cooking seafood and fish as it gives dishes an extra boost of flavor. I’ve also spread Skinny & Co Coconut Oil on toast in place of butter, and in fact, like to substitute it in for butter on things like popcorn, too.

Coconut oil as hair conditioner

I love cooking with coconut oil for it’s healthful benefits, but I never thought of using it as a hair moisturizer until I read Dr. Mercola‘s suggestion to do so. He recommends applying the coconut oil on dry hair as a pre-wash treatment. When the hair gets wet, it expands and absorbs the saturated fat, retaining moisture for longer.20120423-143427.jpg

Dry, fly-away hair has plagued me for most of my life. In high school some called me “Frizzy Lizzie,” and it was for good reason. In an attempt to control the frizzies, I’ve long been a fan of oil treatments and have used almond oil, rosemary oil, avocado oil, and even hot olive oil on my hair, not to mention commercial products like Alberto VO5 Hot Oil Treatment. I decided to give the coconut oil a try. I used enough coconut oil — emulsified between my palms in small batches — to saturate my dry hair, and rubbed it into my scalp as well, then rinsed it out in the shower and finished with my regular conditioner.

I got a lot of compliments on my hair that day, even though I did not style it at all. It did feel like the hair held onto the coconut oil longer than it does with other oils, and I liked the silky effect on my curls. The hair did feel weightier, which is a desirable effect for me — maybe that was from the hair shaft absorbing the oil? My curls also stayed intact well throughout the day and my hair felt soft rather than stiff and crunchy, like with some hair products.

You can also use coconut oil as a styling lotion for setting hair.

Natural Remedies for Itchy Skin, Eczema

Along with the crocuses I see popping their heads through the snow in my neighborhood, I see dry, scaly patches on my daughter’s knuckles, and hear complaints about itchy legs and torsos. Yep, spring brings dry skin along with allergies to help us enjoy the season.

I’ve been experimenting with different lotions, oils, and salves for my daughter’s eczema patches to see what is most effective for her body. I’ve found a few things to be extremely helpful in hydrating her skin and restoring it to a comfortable and balanced condition.

A friend of mine gave us some Weleda Skin Food – For Dry and Rough Skin, a heavy-duty lotion that does a great job overnight when I rub it into specific spots of eczema as well as over her whole body.

We’ve also had good results with Weleda Calendula Diaper Care. This was one of my favorite baby care products: you slather it on a red baby bottom and it works like magic! When we use it on her knuckles, however, it’s a bit too oily to be exposed during sleeping so we pull on cotton gloves while it absorbs. It still works like magic, though sometimes it takes repeated applications.

My friend’s husband saw great results battling his eczema using Tea Tree 100% Pure Essential Oil. Tea Tree oil has wonderful anti-bacterial properties as well as healing components, and should be the first line of care for eczema patches that have been rubbed raw and/or have open wounds.

Many people use pure coconut oil to moisturize their skin with great results. While not a sunscreen, coconut oil is a great after-sun skin saver, too.

When I lived in Italy, I noticed that the Italians used olive oil to moisturize everything from lips to skin and hair. I did a few hot olive oil hair treatments while I was there, though my roommates complained about the oily residue I left in the shower. The price of beauty!
The most amazing eczema cure I’ve witnessed came from homeopathy. My poor friend suffered terrible eczema for years all over her face and body. She would be so miserable that all she could do was take oatmeal baths to get some relief. Finally, she spent some time working with a knowledgeable homeopath and they were able to find the right remedy to bring her body back in balance. You’ll need to work directly with a homeopath and/or naturopath to get these kinds of results as homeopathy takes many factors into account and each person is different. She has had clear skin now for about a decade.