Coconut Oil 101: How to Use Coconut Oil for Amazing Health Benefits

glass container with coconut oil

Coconut oil has become wildly popular worldwide over the last several years. Its far-reaching range of uses and health benefits contribute to its appeal. To date, there has been extensive research conducted on how to use coconut oil effectively to maximize its benefits. Coconut oil has practical applications in everything from hair products to skin care, cooking and baking, weight loss and management, and as a treatment for certain infections — it's even used as deodorant and can be found in sunscreen. The light, refreshing flavor of coconut in tandem with its versatile chemical properties and nutritional value make it adaptable for a wide variety of uses. With so many uses and benefits, it’s no wonder this miracle elixir is so popular!

There are three unique types of coconut oil: refined coconut oil, virgin unrefined coconut oil, and centrifuge-extracted coconut oil. Your intention for the product determines how to use the coconut oil and which type is best suited for your needs. However, all three variations have a few things in common. 

  • The process for making all coconut oils starts with mature coconuts. How the coconut meat is handled throughout the production process determines what the end product will be.
  • Water, fiber, and other proteins are removed from the meat of the coconut. What's left after the removal process is room-temperature, stable coconut oil.

There are four different abstraction methods used to extract the oil from the coconut. These processing methods define the oil type and the recommended uses of the final product. Virgin cold pressed coconut oil is rich in flavor and scent, making it ideal for raw homemade snacks, cooking, and baking. The flavor and aroma of coconut is processed out of refined coconut oil and it is perfect for recipes that call for a tasteless oil. Centrifuge-extracted coconut oil is the happy medium when it comes to flavor, and is outstanding to use for food, hair and skin. 

Regardless of how the oil is made or its intended use, one thing remains true: coconut oil should be a staple in every household!

coconut halves beside a clear glass jar with wooden spoon

How to Use Coconut Oil

The ways to incorporate coconut oil into your daily routine are limitless. Determining how to use coconut oil depends upon the benefit you’re trying to take advantage of. If you want to whiten your teeth, oil-pulling might be a compelling use. Looking for a butter substitute? You may be interested to learn that coconut oil is primarily made up of saturated fats. A healthy fatty acids found in coconut oils can benefit the body in a host of ways and coconut oil works perfectly as a cooking and baking substitute for butter or margarine. 

Lauric Acid Benefits

Lauric acid is a type of saturated fat found in coconut oil that falls under the medium-chain triglyceride (MTC) umbrella. Most people know about the energetic benefits of 6-, 8-, and 10-carbon chains found in MTCs, but the 12-carbon fatty acid — called Lauric acid — can help kill harmful viruses and bacteria in the body. Coconut oil has one of the highest concentrations of naturally occurring lauric acid. Lauric acid benefits are numerous and these are only a handful of incredible things Lauric acid can do: 

  • Fight viruses, bacteria, and fungi
  • Fight food-born pathogens
  • Promote ketosis
  • Display antioxidant properties
  • Increase good cholesterol

The potential treatment benefits are pretty compelling, so exactly how do you use coconut oil to reap these rewards? Coconut oil is thermogenic, meaning it is energy-inducing, hunger-staving, and metabolism-boosting. When you regularly consume coconut oil, you burn more energy and more calories than you do from other fat consumption. Ingesting 2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day as part of a balanced diet may help increase metabolic function while simultaneously digesting antioxidants.

Health Benefits

Coconut oil’s chemical makeup contains properties that can help to promote overall wellness, largely due to the lauric acid benefits. The oil is associated with antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, and even anti-cancer properties. It can help boost energy, relieve stress, and help manage weight. A diet rich in coconut oil may aid in:

  • Weight loss
  • Repairing damaged hair and skin
  • Increasing good cholesterol levels
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Oral health
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Supporting ketosis
  • Cancer prevention
  • Improved endurance and increased energy levels
  • Bone health

How to use coconut oil for health benefits? The better question might be what isn’t beneficial about coconut oil? Given the extensive list of uses and benefits, using it as a natural remedy is a no-brainer!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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