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Coconut oil has health benefits
Moments Adlen 1-BW 3

Homemade lotion

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond oil
3 tablespoons shea butter (optional)
2 teaspoons vitamin E oil
15 drops essential oil (lavender, orange, tea tree, eucalyptus or other favorite)

In a heatproof glass dish, combine coconut oil and shea butter. Place in a saucepan with a few inches of water. Bring water to a gentle boil and stir a few times until coconut oil and shea butter are melted. Carefully remove from heat. Stir in almond oil and vitamin E oil. Add drops of desired essential oil. Pour into glass jar.

These days, it seems almost every food is a “superfood,” but in the case of coconut oil, it truly is.

Nutrition “experts” used to demonize coconut oil since it contains so much saturated fat. The fat is not the kind of saturated fat in steak or cheese. It’s actually made up of medium-chain fatty acids that are metabolized differently in our bodies.

Did you know that populations who consume mass quantities of coconut and coconut oil are incredibly healthy? The Tokelauans in the South Pacific have no evidence of heart disease. Their diets consist of 60 percent coconut and coconut oil.

There is also evidence that consuming coconut oil can help burn calories more efficiently. In addition, it can help kill harmful pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Other studies say coconut oil improves blood cholesterol levels and strengthens your immune system. Coconut oil also improves the digestive system, helping the body absorb fat soluble vitamins like calcium and magnesium.

Coconut oil is also touted as an excellent product for your dental health. Have you ever heard of oil pulling? This is when you take a spoonful of coconut oil and swirl it around in your mouth before spitting it out. I know that sounds weird, but studies show is can kill harmful bacteria in your mouth and improve your dental health overall. Many people claim it can re-mineralize your teeth.

Coconut oil is also a terrific moisturizer. It seems really oily when you first apply it. The first time I used it I thought it was never going to be absorbed and I was going to feel like an oil slick all day. It actually absorbs into your skin fairly quickly and leaves your skin baby soft. It’s also great for shaving. I like to mix it with various essential oils. My favorite being lavender. It’s also great for removing eye makeup.

There are also studies suggesting coconut oil can boost brain function in Alzheimer’s patients, supplying energy for their brain cells. It makes me so happy when scientists study natural ways of healing and helping those who are ill, rather than just testing with drugs. When is the last time your doctor suggested you try eating or drinking something natural to help your medical condition?

If you have never cooked with coconut oil, you might think all of your food is going to taste like coconuts. I recommend using the extra-virgin, organic coconut oil for maximum quality and health benefits.

If you are new to coconut oil, begin by adding it to your smoothies. Saute vegetables in some coconut oil or use in your favorite salad dressing. For those of you who are more adventurous, try my homemade lotion recipe. You can order shea butter online or find at some specialty stores. I love giving homemade lotion as a gift. Please email me your coconut oil stories.

Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at contact@adlenrobinson.com.