When it comes to seasonal fruits that offer a ton of science-backed benefits, nothing is more multipurpose and summer-friendly than coconut. It's also been one of the most controversial foods in the health and wellness community since it contains some healthy saturated fats. But it turns out that the saturated fats in coconut are actually healthy. From lowering cholesterol to perfecting your skin, offering tons of delicious meal options, and even functioning as a cute prop to pose with while you're relaxing on vacation, coconuts clearly have an extensive list of pros.
Plus, coconut comes in many different forms, like a beverage or an oil.
Since coconut can be used to treat a variety of issues or desires, we decided to sift through the noise by highlighting the nine best ways to use it and why. So if you want to introduce natural remedies into your skincare routine as well as improve your overall health and energy levels, or you simply love the smell and taste of this fragrant fruit, scroll through our list to get the full details below. We'll start with skincare, then discuss the nutritional properties that may improve health, and finish by sharing some of our favorite recipes that call for coconut.
Keep reading for the six major benefits of coconut.
Benefits of Coconut for Your Skin
Let's begin by talking about how coconut-based products or pure coconut can enhance can enhance your skin. It's sure to become an anchor in your skin care routine.
Cellulite reduction: If you want to reduce the appearance of cellulite, making an all-natural concoction at home can do wonders. Josh Axe, MD, suggests mixing "one tablespoon of coconut oil with 10 drops of grapefruit essential oil" and then massaging it on the affected area in a circular motion. For best results, he also suggests using a dry brush to "stimulate circulation and encourage cellular detox."
Decreases the appearance of wrinkles: While skin doesn't necessarily cause your skin to age, it can make wrinkles more obvious. This is because hydrated skin is also more plump and full, thus more youthful-looking. Since coconut oil is extremely hydrating, dab it onto your problem areas, like areas that get a lot of sun exposure, which brings us to our next point.
Overall moisture: Any high-quality skincare products containing coconut are rich in moisture, making them ideal for anyone with dry skin. All-natural coconut oil is a great natural alternative to lotion since it's a thick solid that will absorb easily.
Benefits of Coconut for Your Health
Introducing coconut oil into your diet can do a lot of good for your health, primarily if your areas of concern are digestion, memory or cognitive function, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar. These the are the major benefits of coconut oil in your diet:
Digestion: Axe explains that "the antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties help to control parasites, and fungi while aiding in the efficient absorption of essential nutrients." In other words, coconut oil is not only easy to digest, but it also enhances the production of gut-health essentials, like probiotics. Another medical study found that those who ate coconut oil burned more fat than they did when it wasn't a part of their diets.
Blood sugar and energy: Coconut oil contains properties that keep insulin production in check, which is essential for healthy blood sugar levels and sustainable energy. Since coconut oil aids your metabolism, it's a great ingredient to add to your morning drink of choice to keep you energized throughout the day.
Cholesterol and hormonal balance: According to the Harvard Medical School publication, coconut oil contains some healthy fats that improve cholesterol when used sparingly. These are the same types of fats in avocado and salmon that are so great for hormone balance. Since coconut oil has healthy acids in it like lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid, you can switch up your cooking routine by swapping out regular butter or olive oil with coconut oil every once in a while. Try spreading it on a piece of toast for breakfast.
Benefits of Coconut for Your Plate
Since coconut is a delicious way to enjoy to cool off, sip on this coconut margarita. From Foodie Crush, this recipe is easy to make and it's perfect if you want to indulge in something equally creamy and refreshing.
Try this baked coconut shrimp with lemongrass guacamole from Half Baked Harvest for some delicious Thai-Mexican fusion. We recommend making it on a warm Saturday afternoon when you want to pretend that you're vacationing on a tropical island.
This vegan and gluten-free chocolate torte topped with coconut cream and drizzled in salty date caramel from The First Mess is as good as it gets. End your evening of coconut decadence.
Introduce Coconut to Your Routine
This post was originally published on June 12, 2017, and has since been updated.