5 Ways to Use Coconut Oil (Other Than Cooking)

It may be time to rethink your bathroom cabinet.

February 3, 2016
coconut oil
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It's been a regular staple in a coconut curry dish or even used as a regular substitute for olive oil (because we know that coconut oil trumps olive oil), but coconut oil has uses that go far beyond the kitchen.

Anti-frizz hair product? Check. Lotion and moisturizer? Check and check. You can count makeup remover, and even homemade baby wipes among its varied uses.

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That's why we caught up with Deborah Orlick Levy, MS, RD, the health and nutrition consultant at Carrington Farms and Debbie Shandel, executive vice president, to give us some insight on the uses for coconut oil that are not just cooking. Here are the top selections:

1. Metabolism booster
Since it's made up of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), it's easily digested and absorbed into your body to be used as energy, and not stored as fat. A 2004 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that MCFAs increased metabolism by more than three times than that of LCFAS, or long chain fatty acids. As an added bonus: these MCFAs, or "good fats," even help burn stored fat.

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2. Immune system helper
The lauric acid in coconut oil has natural antimicrobial and antiviral properties, which work together to stop the growth of microorganisms and ward off viral infections. In addition, coconut oil can improve your white blood cell count which will lead to a boosted immune system and a stronger you!

3. Reliable exfoliant 
If you're looking for a relaxing night in, then look no further. Grab your coconut oil, brown sugar, and about two drops of your favorite essential oil and watch the magic happen. Mix the three in a small bowl and apply the combination to help get rid of dead skin and any accumulated dirt from the day. This natural scrub will also help you moisturize and heal your skin while you exfoliate. (Red wine, not included, though also great for your skin).

4. Natural disinfectant
Yes, we said disinfectant. Whether you are literally disinfecting a wound or just trying to prevent chafing in the summer heat, coconut oil is properly armored to help you fight this fight. Even more, if you are looking for something natural and sensitive to relieve diaper rash, clear up acne, or just replace an everyday moisturizer, count coconut oil among your current collection of go-tos. 

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5. Extra nutritional boost
Now, for the real fun stuff! We all know coconut oil tastes delicious, but now we know it's good for us also. Not many foods can fit both sides of this venn diagram, so why not add it to your regular diet? Coconut oil is great for giving your foods an extra boost. For example, it gives smoothies and coffee a delectable creamy consistency. All the while, it's working to provide your body with good fats that will not be stored in your body, but will instead be used as energy and can aid in boosting your metabolism. If it sounds too good to be true, rest assured that it's not.