If your favourite type of cocktail is a Pina Colada, I'm sure you'll already know how tasty and diverse they are. But, if you don’t, keep reading to find out the many great benefits coconuts provide us with (in particular, coconut oil).
Coconuts are found on the coconut palm tree. Commonly grown in countries with a tropical climate, they can be found in Florida, the Caribbean, the Pacific islands, and many other hot coastlines around the world. Easily distinguished by its hard brown shell and hairy outer layer, Coconuts have been around for millions of years. It is believed that the first trace of a coconut-like plant dates all the way back to 15 million years ago.
Throughout history, Coconuts have been popular for its versatile uses and to this day are used for a wide variety of reasons.
Coconut Water - Over recent years, Coconut Water has grown popular as a choice of beverage. Its naturally sweet flavour combined with the many nutrients it provides makes it a great drink for keeping yourself hydrated. The Water is found at the centre of a young coconut, specifically ones aged between 6-7 months old. As the coconut ripens and ages to around 10-12 months, the liquid turns solid and becomes coconut meat.
Coconut Meat - This is the white flesh like substance that is edible and can be consumed when it is fresh or dried. Providing you with 1 of your 5 a day, this part of the coconut is great for boosting your fibre intake, improving heart health, and stimulating digestion. Whilst coconut meat provides numerous benefits, it is high in fat and should only be consumed in moderation.
Coconut Oil - Using oil pressed from fresh coconut meat has made its way into cooking recipes around the world. It has been hailed as a great substitute for oils such as vegetable oil or sunflower oil. Coconut oil is high saturated fat and therefore, it may be helpful if you need a quick burst of energy, however, moderation is key!
Coconut Oil for Your Skin
Coconut oil is now used for a range of cosmetic purposes from nourishing hair masks to a natural alternative for removing makeup. Whilst research is still ongoing to determine the legitimacy of its beneficial claims, many people swear by it.
Natural Moisturiser -
The high fatty content makes coconut oil an extremely nourishing natural alternative. The thick consistency of virgin coconut oil helps to provide a protective barrier to the skin, preventing water loss at the same time. For someone who suffers with dry skin, it can be a great ingredient to boost hydration. To add to this, the particles found in coconut oil contribute more towards promoting skin elasticity when compared to moisturisers that do not contain coconut oil.
Anti-inflammatory & Antimicrobial Properties-
Research has found that coconut oil contains anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it may be suitable to help people with dry and problematic skin conditions. When the oil is applied topically to the skin, it should help to reduce inflamed areas of the skin which are caused by the conditions. Coconut oil is also antimicrobial and can kill off bacteria found on the surface of the skin. Quite often, skincare products contain a combination of chemicals which can dry the skin out more. However, with coconut oil being 100% natural, this would not be the case.
Natural Makeup Remover -
Coconut oil is known for its abilities to simply melt away makeup and this is down to its natural detergent effects. Not only is it a safe alternative to use as a cleanser, but it will also leave your skin feeling nourished afterwards. One downside to it is that it may not be suitable for all skin types. We're talking about typically oily skin, and it probably doesn't come as a surprise. Slathering an oily product all over your face when your skin is already oily will more than likely cause breakouts.
Coconut Oil for Your Hair
Recent years have seen the sale of coconut oil skyrocket due to videos on the popular social media platform TikTok showcasing its great benefits for hair.
Contributors such as bleach, shampoo and dyes can leave your hair damaged and prone to breakages. Using a natural ingredient which is high in fatty acids may help to repair your hair back to a healthy state.
Dandruff Treatment -
If you suffer with dandruff, then applying coconut oil directly to your scalp may help to reduce the inflammation caused by the condition. The oil may also help to soothe the inflamed area and relieve the urge to itch. Furthermore, research into its uses have found that the antimicrobial properties it has can combat yeast infections on the scalp.
Strengthening Hair -
The proteins found in coconut oil are similar to the ones in our hair strands. This provides the oil with a unique ability to penetrate the hair follicle. The oil is then able to minimise the amount of water which can soak into the hair. As a result, the hair will be less likely to break and suffer from everyday damage such as brushing and washing.
Improves the Appearance of Hair -
As coconut oil is an emollient, it can smooth out and soften your hair. This can be a great hair care product if you are someone who struggles with serious hair frizz. Coconut oil is also classed as an occlusive substance which helps to trap moisture in your hair, leaving it more hydrated and nourished.
Coconut Oil for Oral Health -
The practice of swilling an oily substance around your mouth to promote oral health has been around for thousands of years. A range of natural oils can be used from olive oil to sesame oil with one of the most popular being coconut oil. The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties have been shown to reduce gum inflammation and bacteria found in the mouth. As a result, this could be helpful when it comes to preventing bad breath and conditions such as gingivitis.
Coconuts are not only a delicious fruit that you can eat and drink, it has a whole load of benefits for your hair, skin and body too. It's packed full of nutrients which provide antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
However, consuming too much coconut can have its drawbacks. They are high in fat, therefore if you do want to eat or drink them, this should be done in moderation.