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I Wish I Knew These Amazing Uses for Coconut Oil Earlier

I Wish I Knew These Amazing Uses for Coconut Oil Earlier

Coconuts, and more specifically their oil, have gained quite the reputation over the past few years – and it’s no wonder! Touted as one of the healthiest foods to include in our diets thanks to its high lauric acid (a medium chain fatty acid that supposedly positively impacts our cholesterol levels – don’t worry, I didn’t know this either!) content and its impressive vitamin profile, coconut oil also has a myriad of other uses in areas ranging from beauty and grooming, to pet care or house cleaning.

Thanks to its increase in popularity in recent months, this brilliant product is becoming more and more accessible, meaning that now is the perfect time to stock up and experiment with its numerous uses. If you’ve bought a jar but aren’t quite sure as to what to do with it, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here are 100 amazing uses for coconut oil – we guarantee you won’t have heard of at least half!

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Cooking and baking

  1. A substitute coconut oil for butter or shortening in baked good recipes.
  2. A safe oil for deep-frying.
  3. Use instead of butter or oil to grease your cake tins.
  4. A delicious, healthy alternative to other coffee creamers.
  5. An essential ingredient for bulletproof coffee.
  6. An alternative to other oils in Asian-inspired dishes, such as stir-fries and soups.
  7. Add it to your food processor with your nuts of choice to make a deliciously smooth nut butter.
  8. Melt it with peanut butter, add sea salt and set in the fridge for your very own healthy peanut butter fudge.
  9. Add to cacao powder and honey and set in the fridge for delicious chocolate treats.
  10. Mix it with cacao and pop it in the microwave for an – almost – instant guilt-free chocolate and coconut microwave cake.
  11. Try a different take on mayonnaise by using half coconut oil, half olive oil in your next batch.
  12. Use it to elevate your winter vegetables (especially sweet potatoes) by tossing them in coconut oil before you roast them.
  13. Try an alternative salad dressing.
  14. Use it in a delicious, healthy granola.
  15. Use it on toast instead of butter.
  16. Substitute it for peanut butter in your oatmeal for a healthy and tasty alternative.
  17. Try it in a delicious Brain Power smoothie.
  18. Mix with a tablespoon of chia seeds for an all-day energy boost.
  19. A different and moreish topping for your freshly popped popcorn.
  20. Use for seasoning your cast-iron pans and giving them a non-stick coating.
  21. Use for conditioning your wooden chopping boards.

Beauty

  1. An alternative to expensive hair treatments by whipping up a coconut oil and honey hair mask.
  2. Apply melted oil to damp hair and place under a heated towel for 40 minutes for a deep-conditioning treatment.
  3. Use it as an intensive overnight hair treatment.
  4. A great flyaway, frizzy hair tamer.
  5. A natural way to fight split ends.
  6. Apply to damp hair, let it sit for 2-3 minutes, and comb gently for detangling.
  7. Use it to shape and moisturise your moustache or beard.
  8. Whip up your very own lip balm to treat sore, chapped lips.
  9. Mix it with your favorite lipstick for a moisturizing lip tint.
  10. Mix it with some pigment or eye shadow for a fashionable, glossy look.
  11. A natural alternative to highlighter for a gorgeous, healthy glow.
  12. A wonderful way to soothe and heal dry and sore nostrils in the winter.
  13. Rub into your nails and cuticles to restore softness and shine.
  14. An excellent moisturizer for dry and cracked feet.
  15. Melt and mix with sugar for a simple, moisturizing body scrub.
  16. Swirl into your bath water for a moisturizing soak.
  17. Smooth over your eyebrows and eyelashes to soften the hairs and keep them in place.
  18. Use as a make-up remover..
  19. Use as a shaving and after-shave lotion.
  20. Preventing ingrown hairs by applying regularly to affected areas.
  21. For glowy, dewy skin, mix with baking soda and apply in circular movements onto your face before rinsing.
  22. Use as a facial moisturizer if you have very dry, sensitive skin.
  23. Use as an intensive night-time moisturizer.
  24. Got new ink? Apply oil as a DIY tattoo moisturizer/healer.
  25. A natural way of reducing age spots.
  26. A wonderful massage oil either on its own or with essential oils.
  27. A natural way of helping stretchmarks fade.
  28. An ingredient for making your own soothing coconut soap.
  29. Use as a (very weak) deodorant.

Health and wellness

  1. Simply mix with peppermint extract for a natural alternative to Vapor Rub.
  2. Helps fight diaper rashes.
  3. Helps calm eczema flare-up.
  4. Helps to reduce sweeling and itching for any bug bite.
  5. Repels insects very effectively.
  6. Very useful to help soothe burns and help them heal faster (this works for sunburns, too).
  7. Increase levels of “good” cholesterol due to its high levels of lauric acid.
  8. Its anti-viral properties make it super effective against cold sores.
  9. Melt and mix with honey and lemon juice if you have a sore throat for a comforting anti-bacterial drink.
  10. Try adding to ginger tea to alleviate heartburn or nausea.
  11. Great for repelling lice and protecting your children from any outbreaks.
  12. Protects your feet from athlete’s foot.
  13. Great for oil pulling.
  14. Has strong anti-viral, -bacterial and -fungal properties and will help boost your immune system.
  15. Soothes dry, scratchy coughs.
  16. Can be used in aromatherapy.
  17. Helps prevent cracked nipples during breastfeeding.
  18. Can improve calcium and magnesium absorption into your system, making it great for boosting bone health.
  19. Its medium-chain saturated fats are also fabulous metabolism boosters.
  20. Has also been proven to be an effective appetite suppressant.
  21. Significant evidence states that ingesting coconut oil regularly may help with Alzheimers.
  22. Helps ease arthritis.
  23. Helps wounds and small cuts heal faster.
  24. Helps with constipation by lubricating your digestive tract.
  25. Helps keep your digestion regular and looks after your gut.
  26. Mix with baking powder for a DIY toothpaste.
  27. Use it in tandem with sunscreen for a gorgeous, even tan, and protected skin.
  28. A great natural remedy for cradle cap in babies.
  29. Adding a little oil to baby’s bath is a wonderful way to keep his or her skin supple and healthy.
  30. Mix with 10 drops of grapefruit essential oil for an effective cellulite remedy.
  31. Mix with lavender essential oil and sprinkle on a pillow to encourage sleep.

Cleaning and housekeeping

  1. Replaces your traditional wood polish.
  2. Helps remove rust from household appliances.
  3. Apply to a rag and clean your shower to get rid of pesky soap scum.
  4. Lubricate door hinges with it to avoid irritating squeaky sounds.
  5. A super effective way to remove chewing gum from clothing.
  6. A great alternative to shoe polish – just remove dirt with a cloth and rub into your shoes using a circular motion.
  7. Use instead of gasoline as an all-natural fire starter.
  8. Use unstick zippers and keep them in good condition.
  9. Use to lubricate small motors, such as your blender – a little goes a long way!
  10. Very effective for greasing bicycle chains.
  11. Use to buff up metal and give it a healthy shine.
  12. Combine with lye, water and essential oils of your choice for an all-natural laundry detergent.

Pet care

  1. May help reduce hair balls: simply apply to your cat’s paws.
  2. Apply to your dog’s paws to help soothe cracked, painful skin.
  3. Very effective for repelling fleas.
  4. Rub through your dog or cat’s coat to give it a healthy sheen.
  5. Very effective for keeping your horse’s mane and tail healthy and shiny.
  6. If your pet regularly gets allergies, feeding him a little oil daily can help reduce itchiness.
  7. If you live on a farm and keep cows, it is a wonderful udder soother.

Phew, what a long list! I bet some of these amazing uses for coconut oil surprised you. Which ones did you already know of, and which did you discover today? Let us know in the comments!

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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