Introduction – is coconut oil healthy?
A typical consumer of coconut oil uses it for frying or baking. But on top of potentially being the best cooking oil (it does this specific job exceptionally well, as we will soon see) – it has a large number of other surprising applications. Health benefits of coconut oil are so numerous that whole books have been dedicated to this Superfood!
Here are just a few common uses of coconut oil:
- Adding texture and flavor to smoothies
- Moisturizing skin, hair or lips
- Applying topically to treat burns and cuts
- Using it as mild natural sunscreen
- Fighting bacteria or fungi
- Removing make-up
- Using it as natural lubricant or massage oil
- Treating flaky nail cuticles
- Using it as an aftershave
- Fighting acne
- Relieving itching related to insect bites
- Treating leather
- Removing gum stuck to hair (apparently, it still happens to some people!)
This is not an exhaustive list by any means, and while some of those uses of coconut oil may not apply to you, let’s explore what makes it so outstanding.
It is amazing how much of public opinion on any subject is formed by marketing efforts of manufacturers and promoters of a specific product, as opposed to scientific facts. For decades, we have been preached that sun exposure is bad and a direct trigger of skin cancer and have been advised to put on high-SPF sunscreen any time that any patch of our skin gets exposed to sunshine for any period. We have been marketed sun blocking lotions for any age (including those that were said to be safe for infants) because- God forbid they get some sunshine on their ultra-sensitive skin!
The opinions formed by marketing and PR departments of giant manufacturers are extremely hard to change. Even when they have very little basis and represent pure manipulation of pseudo-scientific facts for the benefit of a company offering some solution to a problem that it seems to have invented itself. I see it all the time with people STILL trying to use awfully unhealthy margarine instead of, say, high-quality butter, because for several decades they’ve been told this is better for them and they remain oblivious to current research, debunked assumptions and inconsistencies between the results they were promised and what they actually get. Masterful marketing seems to always trump all common sense.
Similarly oblivious to actual scientific data and common sense are people who rely on promoters of sunscreens and sun blocking lotions to educate them on “dangers” of sun exposure and kindly offer a solution. Before you form your opinion on this, however, let’s get our facts straight, shall we? Let’s look at what sun rays do for you (and where you’d end up if you ignore this), whether they actually cause cancer and what ingredients a bottle of sunscreen really contains.