Coconut: Benefits & Uses!

 

My love for all things coconut started about a year ago when I was dabbling with a few healthy diets; yes I know our Instagram account doesn’t exactly inspire health but I do try to keep a balance.


How are they produced??

Coconut water comes from the coconut when it is still green, the water is colorless, slightly cloudy and sweet. In the more mature brown coconut you can also find water but in a smaller quantity and although it is very nutritious it is not as nutritious as the water from the young green coconut.

Coconut milk is a creamy liquid extracted from the grated fatty white meat of a mature coconut like the brown ones we find in supermarkets. Now unlike the water this is not easily done at home, it takes some time and a little effort!

Coconut oil is made using the milk extracted from the grated flesh of the matured brown coconut. There are many ways to separate the coconut oil, it can be filtered and kept in a jar in a cool room until it separates, it can be done by heating the coconut milk until the oil surfaces, it can be juiced from dried coconut flesh and kept in a cool room until the oil solidifies and can be removed from the cream and the list goes on ..


What are the benefits you ask ??

Coconut water is super nutritious as it is rich in natural sugars, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes & amino acids and so much more. It is hydrating especially after a work out to replenish your body’s electrolytes and minerals. It also flushes out all the toxins in the body among many other great health benefits not to forget that it is a delicious and nutritious substitute for sweets and soft drinks.

Coconut milk  I absolutely love it. It can be used as a milk substitute for people that are Lactose intolerant, vegans or if you just don’t like the taste of cow milk, it adds a little somethin’ somethin’ to smoothies and of course delicious curries!
It has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. I’ve also read It is super conditioning for the hair, I never used it myself as a hair mask but I can imagine it’s good.

Coconut oil  My oh my! where do I start! This little baby can be used in so many different ways I just get all giddy when I think of the endless possibilities.
I’d like to say first that not all coconut oils are created equal, as mentioned above there are different ways of extracting the oil which is why it is very important to read the label. Usually, refined and hydrogenated coconut oil does not offer any health benefits, it is usually used for cooking/baking as it has a high smoking point.
What I usually get is Virgin coconut oil, or unrefined. This shouldn’t be used in cooking because it will burn quickly (not good) but it can be added to smoothies and whatnot and a gem when it comes to personal care.
Coconut oil is one of the best multipurpose health product and I love to use it on my body, face, and hair.
I know the idea of putting oil on your face might sound crazy and counter-intuitive, especially for people with oily skin, thinking it will break them out and clog their pores, but that is not true at all!
Coconut oil, along with many other oils, are actually very good for you and will help heal and improve your skin.
Coconut oil has antiinflammatory properties so it will help to minimize breakouts and it will help break through the oils that are clogging the pores and remove them, leaving your skin feeling clean and soft.


A few of my favorite uses of coconut oil!

  • Makeup remover | Take a dab of coconut oil, massage for a few seconds over makeup (including eyes & lashes) then take a small towel or clothe run it under warm water and wipe your face with it; Rinse & repeat! Trust me it will even dissolve waterproof makeup in seconds.

  • Oil cleansing | Very similar to removing makeup. Massage coconut oil on your face for a minute (in order to heat it up on your face) run a towel under warm water, squeeze the water out and put it over your face until it doesn’t feel warm anymore and gently wipe your face. Rinse & repeat!

  • Skin moisturizer | Massage a tiny amount of coconut oil on your face after washing it. Don’t worry it won’t feel greasy or anything.

  • Hair conditioning mask | Massage it all over your hair and leave it in for as long as you want from 1h to overnight (the longer the better of course) and wash it out. Coconut oil is very soft so it will not stick to your hair and very easy to wash it out, it will leave your hair shiny, manageable and healthy. It is also a great carrier oil for essential oils.

  • Oil Pulling | Not for the faint-hearted! This method has been around for ages and you can try it with any kind of oil you want but Coconut is my drug of choice. Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and swoosh it around in your mouth for about 20 minutes! Yes, it sounds weird but it is said that this method will draw toxins out, whiten teeth and help maintain clean, healthy gums. I’ve tried it, was hard to get used to but I like it. Now I don’t always have 20 mins to spare for swooshing oil so I don’t do it very often but definitely something you should try.