Thursday, August 28, 2014

Incorporating Coconut Oil Into Your Lifestyle

Incorporating Coconut Oil Into Your Life

The more and more I journey further into my clean eating lifestyle the more I am learning about things I had never thought to use before. Early in the journey I started to use coconut oil in my cooking and also some of my beauty routines. Today I will share with you what I know about it. There is plenty more out there about the benefits of coconut oil but I will share what I myself have learned with you so far.

First I would like to say that I am not a huge fan of coconut flavored things so I was a bit nervous about starting to cook with and leery about what it would do to the flavors of my meals. I can attest that while the flavor is different it is not a bad different and the actual coconut flavor is rather mild and a bit nutty. I really love cooking with it.  My favorite thing to do with it right now is to sauté chicken in it with fresh veggies to make a stir-fry.

Lets talk about why it is good for you -  coconut oil is extracted from the meat of a coconut and is considered a medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a "healthy" form saturated fat compared to trans fat. It is easy to digest and your body quickly converts it to energy. Many also say that it has anti-viral, antibacterial, anit-microbial, and anti-fungal properties. It’s been shown that consuming coconut oil is good for overall immunity, reduces hypertension, helps reduce arterial injury, and helps keep proper cholesterol balance.

When going shopping to buy coconut oil you will want to try your best to find unrefined organic coconut oil. Unrefined oil means that the coconut oil is made from fresh raw coconut meat and has not additives or fillers. This type of processing is the most beneficial for your health in comparison to refined, which sometimes uses chemicals to process it and can reduce some of the benefits. Unrefined with also have more of a rich coconut flavor in comparison to refined. Coconut oil will be in a solid form until you start cooking with it and it will then melt. It has a shelf life of about a year but I doubt it will last you that long if you cook with it frequently. I go thru it pretty quick now that I cook with it more often.

From a cosmetic standpoint I have tried a coconut oil hair mask – I just melted about 5 tablespoons of oil in the microwave and applied to my hair when it was dry then wrapped my in plastic wrap and left it for a few hours. It was by no means an attractive look for me during the process but it did end up making my hair softer. I scared my husband when he saw me with my hair all wrapped up. He was laughing at the things women do for beauty regimens. I have also used it as cuticle cream before giving myself a manicure. If you look into it there are MANY other ways to use this magic oil but that is a quick snapshot of how coconut oil is making its way into the Griffith family! Give it a try next time you are out grocery shopping!

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