Get your coconuts out!
Who would have thought that the snow white contents of those hairy hard nuts offer such wonders? Since I started a detox candida diet, back in 2014, I’ve been amazed at the versatility of this amazing plant and it’s nuts. From health food and cooking oil, to anti-bacterial treatment, even to help with a bit of naughtiness between the sheets! It’s just amazing what you can do with it and the benefits it promotes.
I’d like to share with you some of the things I use coconut for in my day to day living. These things have made a significant difference in my health and life regime. The simple act of substituting this amazing source of goodness for some of the things we have maybe become a little lazy about, can make significant improvements for you too.
10 life nourishing ways you can use coconut
- My first introduction to this amazing plant resource was when I was substituting wheat in my diet. I trundled down to ‘Wild Oats‘ in Bristol and bought a pouch of coconut flour. This product is fairly expensive, but makes really good light yet dense bread that is perfect for recipes such as bread and butter pudding! I was also cutting out sugar in my diet at the time, so any excuse to find a healthy wheat and sugar free pudding was a definite motivation! Check out some of these great recipe ideas using coconut flour and enjoy experimenting.
- Purchasing the flour led on to cooking with coconut oil. This is a nice substitute for olive oil. Both have various health benefits so it’s a good idea to alternate between the two. But the reason I like having coconut oil in the cupboard is because it’s so handy for all the other uses below!
- The first time I grabbed my pot of coconut oil out the cupboard was because my wisdom teeth were cutting through and causing an abscess in my mouth. My dentist had suggested a course of antibiotics, but I luckily remembered about the benefits of oil pulling. I researched this Ayurvedic process and to my amazement, within 3 days my abscess was cleared, antibiotic free! Coconut oil has natural antibacterial qualities, so it helps combat bad breath, fight gum disease, remove plaque and reduce tooth decay. It basically detoxifies the mouth by absorbing all the badies! Just pop a desert spoon size lump of coconut oil (solid form) in your mouth and it will melt quickly. Swirl it around your mouth, sucking it in between your teeth and then after about 5/10 minutes, spit it out onto some toilet roll or tissue to dispose of it in a bin. Note, if you flush it away it may clog up your pipes!
- Oil pulling has another benefit, it can also help naturally whiten your teeth! Many of the products on today’s market are unpleasant to use. They contain bleach and you need to wear teeth impressions or shields overnight. Worse yet, the dentistry processes can leave your teeth extra sensitive to hot and cold food and drink. So this natural alternative is fantastic. I’ve got into the habit of oil pulling when I wash my hair 3 times a week. I leave the tub of oil near the shower door so I remember. I swirl it around in my mouth for 10 minutes while I wash my hair and get all the added benefits in one! Think about what existing daily routine you can link it to – then it will just become second nature and part of your health regime.
- Ever questioned why you are spending so much money on expensive moisturisers? Coconut oil is a cost effective and efficient way to moisturise your skin. You can melt a small amount in your hand and use it to cleanse and moisturise your face and body. It’s especially good for elbows, knees and feet. For a special aromatic boost you can add your favourite essential oils. Frankincense is great for adding anti-aging properties and I like to use lavender to make a night oil before bedtime. This helps promote good sleep as well as the added moisturising effects of the coconut oil. You can even use it in small quantities to treat split hair or as a deep hair treatment oil.
- This amazing oil can also help us with those more intimate moments in between the bedsheets! Many of the lubricants found today contain unnecessary chemicals, and who would want to be putting those on our most delicate areas! I used aloe vera gel for a while, but a friend suggested I tried my trusty coconut oil. Needless to say a pot now sits in my bedside drawer and I’ve never looked back! It is a wonderful lubricant and because it holds antibacterial and anti-fungal properties it’s also the perfect way to keep thrush at bay by harmonising the candida levels. Please note however, do not use any oils with contraceptive latex products as it will corrode the latex.
- Another use for this oil is as an ingredient for a wound salve. Mix coconut oil with lavender oil, tea tree oil, and Frankincense. This will create a potent healing balm for any cut, graze, rash or open wound. Coconut oil also has a natural SPF 4 so it will provide a light protection against UV rays. It’s also excellent for the treatment of nappy rash, shaving rash, athletes foot and cold sores – amazing!
- Mosquitos love me..so I was very pleased to find out that you can make your own insect repellent using coconut oil. If you combine it with rosemary oil, tea tree oil and peppermint oil, the combined properties are effective in warding off all those nasty bugs. This combination is completely DET free, so much safer and healthier for your summer kissed skin.
- If you struggle to drink enough water every day, it may be beneficial for you to supplement your liquid intake with a glass of coconut water. This can be especially helpful after a gym workout. Coconut water is a great way to hydrate quickly because it contains electrolytes such as sodium, magnesium and potassium. This aids the absorption of water into the blood stream and so hydration is quicker to achieve. There are mixed views on whether it is better than filtered water, but I say listen to your body. If you like the taste and if you feel you benefit, then trust it.
- Finally, I would recommend substituting cows milk for coconut milk. I started making my morning porridge with coconut milk a few years ago. Personally, I was never keen on cows milk, and I had concerns about the suspected hormone levels found in it. Coconut milk is far healthier and brands often add calcium and other minerals to help combat osteoporosis. I tend to use a mixture of coconut milk and almond milk, so play around with options until you find a formula that works for you.
As you can see coconuts offer so many health benefits in all their forms, whether you are using the oil, water, milk or flour. I would recommend trying out those remedies that resonate with you and your lifestyle. At the end of they day, every one is an individual and your body is unique. So listen to your intuition, learn what works and feels right for you and start implementing some new healthy habits and routines.
On a final note, coconut oil is available in different forms. You need to use the virgin coconut oil as this contains all the goodness. Refined coconut oil (although sounding good) actually contains bleaching agents and other nasty chemicals. So make sure you avoid it!
The Science Bit
Much of the reason coconut oil is so amazing and a superfood is down to it’s medium chain fatty acids (MCFA’s). Namely Caprylic Acid, Lauric Acid and Capric Acid. These fatty acids are easier to digest and metabolise by the kidneys. They provide more immediate energy and are not readily stored as fat. They are also antimicrobial and anti-fungal.
If you would like to read more about the scientific studies that help to prove why coconut oil is so beneficial for our health then please read further.
I hope this article has been interesting and useful to you 🙂