Lately I’ve been doing a lot of research on the various ways to use coconut oil. Aside from the fact that I’m nuts for coconuts I’m completely intrigued by it’s healthy benefits. Here is a list of some of the things that I’ve incorporated into my daily living and their benefits.

Lower Cholesterol and Risk of Heart Disease: I am always struggling to control my cholesterol. My diet is perfect and yet my bad cholesterol levels are usually too high. Coconut oil is known to boost HDL (which is the “good cholesterol.” I have started to melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil into my morning tea every day. And in addition to helping lower cholesterol, it also helps with constipation (keeping your digestive system running properly) and improves circulation. For me this is the perfect trifecta!

Skin Moisturizer Coconut oil delivers a refreshing, healing, burst of moisture that penetrates your skin and work heal. A little goes a long way and it can replace all of the moisturizers you have piling up in our bathroom. It works especially good on dry cracked heels and elbows and as a nail and cuticle cream. And here’s the best kicker, coconut oil can help prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Imagine all the money spent on expensive anti-aging creams when one of the most effective remedies can be found right in your kitchen. There are two main things that keep the skin supple but firm, collagen and elastin. Collagen production slows as we age, which is part of why wrinkles start to appear, and elastin production is stopped completely-hence your skin no longer snaps back into place if you pinch it. Coconut oil has been shown to increase collagen cross-linking, which is part of why it helps wounds heal faster. This same principle may be why it helps reduce fine lines/wrinkles. Apply twice daily in place of all those fancy store-bought creams, using as little amount as possible and rubbing in thoroughly.

Make-Up Remover: Coconut oil is a great alternative to harsh store-bought chemicals. It gently and safely removes all traces of make-up (and leaves your face feeling healthy and refreshed.) Simply scoop some onto your fingertips (it will melt quickly as you use it) and rub it over make-up in a circular motion, rinsing with water afterwards to remove traces of makeup and patting your face dry. Using a mild soap will remove all traces of the oil.

Aromatherapy: When feeling stressed I add a few drops of peppermint essential oils to some coconut oil and dab it on my temples. You can also use lemon/lime/orange for nausea.

Cutting Board Conditioner: No more need for fancy cutting board conditioner. Just wipe down the cutting board with a damp towel and then dry it. Use a soft cloth to rub in some coconut oil, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Buff with a fresh cloth. 

Oil/Butter Replacement: I have replaced just about all oils with coconut oil (with the exception of olive oil). No more spraying a frying pan with PAM or using canola oil for frying anything. I just scoop a bit of coconut oil and coat the pans. When you are substituting you can use a 1:1 ratio.

Popcorn Topping: This is one of my favorites because I never liked butter. I used to spray my popcorn with PAM and then sprinkle on some spices. No more. Now I melt some coconut oil and drizzle it over the popcorn before adding some salt or other spices.