Hey there, I'm Jill, the founder of GrownupDish.com and your go-to gal for everything midlife. As a recovering CEO, food lover, world traveler, and self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado, I've got a wealth of experience and wisdom to share with you.
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Coconut oil is trendy, delicious and a great source of healthy fats. But today I’m going to share my favorite uses for coconut oil that have nothing to do with cooking.
Tip: Always buy unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil, since it goes through the fewest processes and is closest to its natural state. My two favorites are this one from Costco and these portable coconut oil packets from Trader Joes.
This one is a no brainer. Throw out your chemical-laden body lotions and try using coconut oil instead. It’s moisturizing, anti-microbial and it smells yummy. I take the individual packages from Trader Joes with me when I travel. Or you can buy a small re-usable container and fill it up from the larger jar in your pantry.
Coconut oil is a fabulous way to give your hair a healthy boost because it is rich in antioxidants, and has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Because the lauric acid in coconut oil has a low molecular weight, it allows the oil to actually penetrate the hair shaft, nourishing the hair with vitamins, minerals and the medium-chain fatty acids. And while many of our shampoos, conditioners and other hair products tend to be full of harmful chemicals and toxins, coconut oil is 100 percent natural and seriously good for your hair and scalp. Here’s how to do it:
Often associated with Auyrveda, the traditional medicine system from India, oil pulling is an ancient practice that involves swishing oil in your mouth to remove bacteria and promote oral hygiene. Here’s how to do it:
Repeat these steps a few times per week or up to three times daily. You may also want to work your way up, starting with swishing for just 5 minutes and increasing the duration until you’re able to do it for a full 15–20 minutes.
I know this is personal, but coconut oil is a great lubricant for you and your partner. Much better then the sketchy ingredients in commercial lubes (although be aware that oil based products are not compatible with latex condoms).
Use coconut oil to keep your furniture looking shiny and polished. In addition to bringing out the beauty in natural wood, it seems to act as a dust repellent. Just put a small amount on a soft cloth and gently rub it into the wood. Bonus points for avoiding the strong fragrances and chemicals in most commercial furniture polishes.
If you aren’t up to speed on all the health benefits behind omega-3-packed coconut oil, then you might want to brush up on your research (start HERE)
Want to see my favorite coconut oil cooking recipe? Check out Paul’s Perfect Paper Bag Popcorn.