September 2nd is World Coconut Day! It’s a day to celebrate that tropical wonder which has swept health and beauty aisles in huge numbers over the past few years. The swathe of information and hype over the beautifying magic of coconut oil was not simply a fleeting fad, it’s well founded. Using coconut water has also been incredibly popular due to its hydrating, mineral-packing properties. But there’s more to the coconut than hangover curing water and skin-smoothing oils…
Here are 6 reasons to get obsessed with coconut all over again on World Coconut Day – and beyond!
Coconut oil is an awesome energy source
Coconut oil contains a special kind of fat called MCT’s, Medium Chain Triglycerides. You may have heard of MCT’s in the ketogenic field. This is because MCT’s are absorbed super quickly and easily so they can be used for energy.
Keto dieters choose MCT’s because they provide effective energy without the need for carbs. Coconut oil is the best source of MCT’s.
Another great benefit of coconut oil/MCT’s is that they help to speed up the fat burning process! If you have a weight loss goal and you’re cutting down on the carbs, coconut oil is a great ingredient to add to your morning coffee or smoothie to really give you a kick.
Using coconut oil is affordable and moisturizes well
Coconut oil can also replace many expensive beauty products in your bathroom cabinet, especially moisturizing products. Not only is coconut oil extremely moisturizing to the skin, but it also has antimicrobial abilities.
If you are prone to acne on the body, or infections such as cellulitis, coconut oil can help to stave off such infections, all the while giving you silky smooth skin. By using coconut oil as a whole-body moisturizer, you can avoid irritating fragrances and ingredients found in many mainstream moisturizing products.
Coconut oil can multitask as:
- A body moisturizer
- Makeup remover
- Night cream
- Eye cream
- In-shower body scrub
- Hair treatment
Coconut oil is a natural hair-softener
Dry, brittle and frizz-prone hair benefits greatly from one solo ingredient… coconut oil. If you have a dry, itchy or flaky scalp, you might benefit from applying coconut oil.
Coconut oil moisturizes, softens and soothes an irritated scalp, while nourishing the hair at the root. As always, speak with your doctor if you’re experiencing any discomfort or issues with the scalp or skin in general.
To soothe frizz and give your hair a smooth and glossy appearance, apply coconut oil onto dry hair and leave to soak in overnight. You can also rub a small amount of oil into your fingers and rake them through the hair as you style it, to keep the hair soft and frizz free throughout the day.
If you’re looking toward a weekend of swimming in a chlorinated pool, it’s a good idea to apply a coconut oil mask before you go. Doing so can stop those drying chemicals from soaking into your hair.
Scooped too much out of the jar for your hair alone? Just apply the rest on your body or extra dry patches such as knees and elbows.
Coconut oil loves your brain and heart
We’ve already learnt about MCT’s for weight loss and general energy levels, but it’s also an incredible fat for supporting the brain and cognitive function. MCT’s from coconut oil are sent to the brain cells super quickly, giving the brain energy to thrive.
It’s interesting to note that MCT’s can be converted to ketones, which are also great for supporting the brain and treating cognitive issues such as Alzheimer’s. Coconut oil can help to boost:
- Cognitive agility
- Mental alertness, and even
- Slow the aging process in the brain
That last one on the list is thanks to the presence of antioxidants in coconut oil.
There are two kinds of cholesterol, good (HDL) and bad (LDL). Too much LDL is bad news for the heart, while sufficient HDL is good for the heart. HDL can actually get rid of excess LDL, helping to keep the heart healthy and keep the arteries free of dangerous clogs.
Coconut oil is a great source of HDL and is therefore an awesome natural supplement or cooking ingredient to use in order to support the heart and longevity.
Using coconut water is hydrating and nutrient-dense
Coconut water blew up in popularity over the past few years. Is it just an empty trend?
Well, no, it’s actually well founded. 1 cup of coconut water will provide you with 3 grams of fiber and 10% of your daily RDI of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a crucial vitamin for supporting the immune system, promoting healthy skin, iron absorption and collagen production.
If you’re a regular gym bunny who loves a hardcore HIIT workout or strenuous longer cardio session, coconut water may be the right choice for your post-workout hydration.
Coconut water contains potassium, an electrolyte which helps the muscles to recover after strenuous activity. If you tend to feel nauseated, cramped, and foggy after a long run or heavy sweat-inducing workout, and you usually reach for a sugary sports drink, you may find coconut water to be more effective and less calorific than other liquids.
Coconut meat is a low-carb treat
Lastly, unsweetened coconut meat is a tasty treat that can be eaten as a snack. Or, add it to:
- Homemade granola
- Overnight oats
- Chia pudding
- Other desserts
For people on a low-carb diet, it can be a go-to treat to provide fat and fiber without adding too many unwanted carbs.
One cup of fresh coconut meat will provide you with 10 grams of carbs, but 7 of those grams are made up of fiber! This gives us a net carb count of 3 grams… That’s very low.
You also get 27 grams of healthy fat, and 60% of your daily recommended intake of manganese. So the next time you’re looking for a tasty low-carb treat to nibble on for energy, give fresh coconut meat a try.
Conclusions about using coconut
Get yourself a jar of virgin coconut oil and try it out as a body moisturizer and hair treatment. Then watch for great results!
If you’re on a ketogenic or low-carb diet, don’t forget to take your daily dose of coconut oil to reap the energy-giving benefits of those powerful MCT’s. Source some fresh coconut meat and experiment with different recipes so you can harness the high-fiber, low-carb goodness of this remarkable nut.
Read on here for 52+1 other reasons to love coconut oil!