Food & Nutrition

50 Ways to Use Coconut Oil to Better Your Life

Thursday, May 29, 2014 by Anthony N.

 

Uses for Coconut Oil

coconut oil usesScientific research on coconut oil has revealed health benefits that affect your entire body, inside and out. You've heard good things about it and now you have a tub of it sitting in your pantry. So how do you use coconut oil?
 

We asked our Facebook fans and coworkers how they use coconut oil. Here are some of the numerous ways coconut oil is used. If you'd like to participate in conversations about coconut oil or other natural health topics, I definitely recommend you connect with our Facebook page by clicking the like button below.

This post lists 50 different ways to use coconut oil and it also links out to a bunch of DIY coconut oil recipes to help you try the different uses. I hope you find it valuable.

If you read the entire post and decide you want to try coconut oil, you can buy some right here at SwansonVitamins.com. We're family owned since 1969, have extremely low prices, great reviews, offer free return shipping - it basically amounts to no risk shopping. It's why those 150k+ people up above 'Like' us on Facebook. Interested in buying?

Click Here to Buy Our Top-Rated Coconut Oil 
(Over 280 customer reviews rate it 4.9/5!)

 

Cooking and Eating

1) Cooking at High Heat - Some oils are unsafe to cook with at high temperatures, coconut oil is a great alternative. Check out our Guide to Cooking Oils to find  healthy cooking oils for whatever meal you are creating.
 
2) On Toast Instead of Butter - Simply use coconut oil instead of butter on your toast.
 
3) Eat it by the Spoonful - Coconut oil is that delicious and healthful. Enjoy one spoonful each morning.
 
4) Smoothies - Add one tablespoon of coconut oil into your favorite smoothie recipe and increase your energy with the oil's MCTs. Check out this post for the Top Smoothie Ingredients.
 
5) Fry Eggs - Lightly coat the bottom of your skillet with coconut oil to create a non-stick surface and delicious eggs.
 
6) Popping Popcorn - A sweet twist on a classic snack! To make stovetop popcorn, you need a heavy-bottomed pan. First, add the coconut oil and popcorn to the pot. Coat the area of the pot with the oil, and use just enough popcorn to make a single layer over the bottom of the pot. Give the pot a little shake to make sure all of the kernels are coated with oil. Next, place the pot over medium heat. Put the lid on the pot, leaving it slightly open so that steam can escape. It should take about five minutes for the popcorn to pop completely.
 
7) Popcorn Topping - Instead of butter, melt a little coconut oil and pour it over your popped popcorn. Then sprinkle lightly with Himalayan crystal salt.
 
8) Oven Baked Sweet Potato Chips - Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Thinly slice sweet potatoes to about 1/8” thick.  Place slices on a baking sheet and brush lightly with coconut oil. Bake for about 15 minutes or until chips are lightly brown.  Add salt to taste, and serve with salsa or dip. (Or just eat them plain – either way they’re delicious!)
 
9) Replace Vegetable Oil for Baking - Next time you make your favorite brownie recipe, replace the vegetable oil with coconut oil. Your friends will be begging you for the recipe.
 
10) Pan Frying - Next time you fry up a batch of sweet potato fries or a piece of chicken, use coconut oil.
 
11) Grilled Cheese with Coconut Oil - No need for butter the next time you are making a grilled cheese sandwich. 
 
12) Coconut Oil Coffee - Adding a spoonful to your coffee is a delicious way to start your day with a huge energy boost! Here is a great recipe for coconut oil coffee.
 
13) Homemade Granola - Check out this delicious recipe for coconut granola.
 
14) A Spoonful in Tea - Allow some coconut oil to melt and mildly flavor your next cup of tea. 
 
15) Salad Dressings - A simple recipe for a salad dressing with coconut oil can be found here.
 
 
 
diy coconut oil recipesCoconut Oil Skin Care
 
16) Cheekbone Highlighter - Apply a small amount on cheekbones over makeup.
 
17) Shaving Lotion - Close shave and a moisturizer at the same time.
 
18) Facial Scrub - Combine coconut oil with Himalayan crystal salt and apply to face each night. Washing it off is optional.
 
19) Body Scrub - Combine coconut oil and sugar. Check out this DIY Sugar Scrub recipe.
 
20) Makeup Remover - Healthier, stronger and longer eye lashes are just a bonus!
 
21) Homemade Deodorant - You only need a few ingredients in addition to coconut oil to make this simple deodorant recipe.
 
22) Homemade Lip Balm or Lip Gloss - Apply directly or create a flavored version with this simple lip balm recipe.
 
23) Diaper Rash Cream - Apply regularly to the baby's bottom to improve skin health.
 
24) Sexual Lubricant - Our Facebook fans swear by this one :)
 
25) Stretch Mark Preventer During Pregnancy - This safe, healthy oil can be applied multiple times each day to help moisturize your stretching skin.
 
26) Nipple Cream During Breastfeeding - Coconut oil is a popular choice for nursing mothers because it is a natural safe product.
 
27) Massage Oil - Coconut oil is the perfect choice for a massage oil. Not too greasy and with a relaxing scent.
 
28) Body Moisturizer - Apply directly after showering. 
 
29) Fade Age Spots - Rub on hands or other areas daily.
 
30) Sunburn Care - A great moisturizer to use after you've gotten a bit too much sun.
 
31) Facial Moisturizer - After you wash your face, massage a light layer on your skin.
 
32) Mix in Bath Water - Melt about 1/4 cup in the microwave and add it to your bath water and soak.
 
33) Tanning Oil - Put in a spray bottle and bring to beach. Spray on to keep skin moisturized.
 
34) Dry Feet Treatment - Mix with salt to form a foot scrub.
 
35) Elbow Rub - Helps manage the dry skin on your elbows.
 
coconut oil cooking vs other oils
 
Coconut Oil Hair Care
 
36) Leave-in Overnight Conditioner - Looking for a deep conditioning hair treatment? Rub a small amount of oil into hair (mostly at ends), comb through and put hair in a loose bun before bed, and wash out in the morning.
 
37) Hair Flyaway Tamer - Use very sparingly on ends or areas with flyaways.
 
38) Defrizzer of Split Ends - Just put a tiny amount on your hands and run them through the frizzy areas.
 
39) Static Reducer - Rub your hands together with a little bit of coconut oil on them and run them through your static-y hair.

 

Other Healthy Uses for Coconut Oil

40) Homemade Toothpaste - Combine equal parts coconut oil and baking soda. Sweeten with stevia and flavor with your favorite essential oil.

coconut oil in jar41) Aromatherapy - Whether you like coconut or not, the soothing aroma of coconut oil is pleasing to us all and can help us wind down after a long, stressful day. Read The Beginner's Guide to Aromatherapy.

42) Wound Care - Although you may not be ready to give up your Neosporin, coconut oil can even be used as a topical protector for wounds, shielding them with a thin chemical layer from outside contaminants. You can apply a small amount of coconut oil to small scrapes and cuts.

43) Metabolism Booster - 2 tablespoons per day are proven to rev up your metabolism.

44) Thyroid Supporter - Regular coconut oil consumption has been shown to support healthy thyroid function.

45) Energizer - 1 teaspoon can give you a burst of energy instead of turning towards a caffeinated energy drink.

46) Oil Pulling - Swish coconut oil around in your mouth for 10 minutes before brushing. Read next: Oil Pulling: Health Benefits or Healthy Hype?

 

Using Coconut Oil Around The House

47) Season a Cast Iron Pan - Here is a nice explanation of how to season a cast iron pan with coconut oil.

48) Use it as a lubricant on small motors/electronics - One Facebook fan uses it to keep his juicer's motor in top working condition.

 

Coconut Oil for Animals

49) Feed it to your Dog or Cat - Coconut oil isn't just healthy for humans. Here is some good info on the benefits for dogs and cats.

50) Put It On Your Cat's Paw - Put half a teaspoon on your kitty's paw to keep a shiny coat and cut down on hairballs.


buy organic extra virgin coconut oil cold-pressedWhat Kind of Coconut Oil Should You Buy?

We always recommend you buy a Coconut Oil that meets these guidelines.

  • Organic
  • Extra Virgin
  • Cold-Pressed
  • Non-Hydrogenated

The image on the right is the bottle of our 54 oz Organic Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. It is our best seller and of course meets all of the recommendations above.

Other popular brands (of course they are a bit more expensive than Swanson) include:

 

10 Out-of-the-Box Uses for Coconut Oil Infographic

Embed this image by simply copying and pasting the provided code below.

This post was written by , with the help of our awesome Facebook community. It was originally published in March 2013, and has since been republished with updated information. Last update was on: May 29, 2014.

 

These are some of the most popular ways to use coconut oil. There are hundreds of ways to use coconut oil.

How do you use coconut oil?

Going Gluten-Free: Barking Up the Wrong Tree?

Monday, May 19, 2014 by Lee Swanson

Dear Friends,

More and more people are going gluten-free these days, including many who don’t even know what gluten is. A recent episode of the Jimmy Kimmel Live show featured a segment where they asked people on gluten-free diets, “What is gluten?”---in response to which they received a hilarious mix of bad guesses and sheepish “I don’t knows.” It was a nice bit of comedy, but it also underscores the general lack of good information surrounding the nation’s latest, greatest food fad. The information we do have tells us most of the people scouring menus and ingredient listings searching for the dreaded gluten are probably wasting their time, not to mention missing out on a lot of healthy whole grain foods.

What is Gluten? - Clip from Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC

 

Gluten is a protein composite comprising two proteins—soluble gliadin and insoluble glutenin—conjoined with starch, found in wheat and related grains like rye, barley and spelt. In genetically predisposed individuals who suffer from the autoimmune condition known as celiac disease, gliadin triggers an inflammatory reaction in the small intestine, which can cause abdominal pain, cramping and bloating. Over time, the inflammation can damage the finger-like villi that line the intestine, inhibiting their ability to absorb nutrients (malabsorption), which can lead to additional health problems.

Gluten Free DietsBecause there’s no cure, it’s important for people with celiac disease to follow a strict gluten-free diet. But celiac disease is estimated to affect only about one percent of the U.S. population; so why do so many people report improvement in gastrointestinal symptoms after going gluten-free? For many so-called “gluten-intolerant” people, the real culprit may not be the gluten they’ve been so assiduously avoiding, but rather a group of short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols known as FODMAPS (Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols). FODMAPS commonly found in foods include fructose, lactose, fructo- and galacto-oligosaccharides (fructans and galactans) and sugar alcohols (polyols) such as maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol.        

FODMAPS can contribute to the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID) thanks to a combination of three functional properties: (1) they are poorly absorbed in the small intestine; (2) they are small, and thus osmotically active, molecules; and (3) they are rapidly fermented by gut bacteria. FODMAPS not absorbed in the small intestine proceed to the large intestine, where their osmotic properties can increase fecal liquidity, causing loose stools, while rapid bacterial fermentation releases hydrogen, which can cause gassiness, flatulence and bloating. Researchers emphasize that FODMAPS do not cause the underlying FGID, but that they provide an avenue toward reducing symptoms in susceptible individuals.

Numerous studies have shown low-FODMAP diets to reduce FGID symptoms, but the most effective approach is typically one tailored to the individual patient. While some FODMAPS (oligosaccharides and polyols) are poorly absorbed by all people, others, such as fructose and lactose, can vary widely in their degree of malabsorption between individuals. The ideal approach requires cooperation between a physician, who can diagnose FGID and evaluate fructose and lactose malabsorption via breath hydrogen tests; and an experienced dietician, who can work with the patient to develop an individualized low-FODMAP diet plan.   

As always, I wish you the very best of health,

Lee

Dr. Bob's May #OptimalU Tips (Breakfast & Lunch)

Friday, May 16, 2014 by Dr. Bob

Dr. BobHi Everyone!

Growing up, were you told that breakfast is the most important meal of your day? Certain themes to that statement are true, especially since what you EAT at breakfast often will determine how you feel and how your body acts the rest of the day, which is one part of my #OptimalU focus.

Here are common questions I receive on an almost daily basis when it comes to breakfast and lunch meal planning, and my recommendations for you to make wise choices when you eat.

 

What is the best meal for breakfast? And lunch?

I believe the best breakfast for optimal health is a meal that will not spike your blood sugar for an energy boost for an hour, only to free-fall during the mid-morning. I have read thousands of patients’ diet journals, and I can tell you, the typical American breakfast consists of a sweet pastry, toast with jelly, a fruit smoothie, or yogurt. I recommend an egg sautéed with a variety of vegetables (in butter, olive or coconut oil), varied nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts) with a cup of vegetables and a protein (sliced chicken or turkey patty). Just make sure that your protein is organic, or has few, if any additional ingredients besides the “meat.”

Our Western lunch usually consists of a sandwich with salty chips, or a fast-food franchise burger with fries, or a frozen pasta dish with sauce (I read it in my journals every day). I recommend planning ahead your lunches for the week on a Sunday. Purchase BPA free containers and make a salad with the vegetables you desire and store them in your refrigerator, then each day add sliced turkey, grilled chicken, or ocean-caught salmon with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

If you are tired and lacking energy after you eat, it is often a sign that you have consumed too much, or your meal consisted primarily of blood sugar-raising grain.

 

Should you wake up hungry for breakfast?

Last month our #OptimalU focus was on sleep, and this correlation combines this month’s and last month’s focus. A measurement of your sleep “efficiency” is determined by your desire to have breakfast the next morning. If you wake up hungry, that is a body signal that you had a restful, peaceful sleep where your body was able to make growth hormone. If you wake up “full,” and the thought of food makes you nauseous, it might indicate you are not sleeping well.

 

Can I juice as a meal replacement?

I do not promote to my patients to consume more than eight ounces of juice per day. If you decide to add juice, I would only use organic vegetables, and drink the beverage with some sort of protein or mid-glycemic, non-glucose food (almond, cashew, chicken, almond butter). The protein will slow and stop the insulin spike and crash. (Side note: I have noticed more patients coming into my office who juice, and are regularly waking up at 3 AM with headaches.)

 

What are healthy snack options?

My snack recommendations are to not consume energy bars which might have hidden sugar sources. Rather, prepare a rice cake with almond butter and coconut oil, a hardboiled egg (which is only 70 calories), and Dr. Bob’s SWAP (Start With A Protein) bag, which usually has carrots, apples, celery, and cherry tomatoes.  

 

How many calories should I consume at breakfast?

I do not promote calorie counting---instead I choose to be calorie conscious. Once you become label savvy, you will notice breakfast “bars” have a large calorie count vs. a hardboiled egg or sautéed vegetables for breakfast, which have minimal calories. Also, begin looking at the amount of calories and number of servings per unit.

 

 

Join Dr. Bob for his live hangout on Google+ where he will discuss breakfast and lunch meal planning, take your general health questions, and stay for a Swanson Health Products giveaway at the end.

40 Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Monday, April 28, 2014 by Jenessa McAllister

Apple cider vinegar: weight loss booster, all-purpose cleaner, upset stomach-fixer. A popular kitchen staple, apple cider vinegar (ACV) dates back to ancient times. It’s said to have been used by Hippocrates as a health tonic and by American soldiers to combat indigestion, pneumonia and scurvy.

Apple Cider Vinegar all purpose cleaner recipeWhile times may have changed just a bit, ACV is still a versatile, well-known item in many homes. One of the most popular and highest-rated varieties is from Bragg. Or, you can even make your own variety at home with this recipe for Home Made Apple Cider Vinegar.

There are tons of ways to incorporate ACV into your daily routine, as you’ll see below and in the comments from Facebook fans (near the end of the post). One of the most popular ways to add ACV to your diet, specifically, is by making a tea or other drink. For example, check out this recipe for homemade Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar Ginger Spice Drink or look below for the perfect drink recipe for new users of apple cider vinegar.

Check out all of the awesome and creative ways to add more ACV to your life, and let us know if you have any other creative uses!

  

Top 20 Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar:

Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar

1. Use ACV in place of balsamic vinegar in salad dressing. (See below for an awesome salad dressing recipe!)

2. Add to your morning smoothie, but be careful—it has a pretty strong taste, so add a little to begin.

3. Use it as a facial toner.

4. DIY Apple Cider Vinegar All-Purpose Cleaner: 1 part water, 1 part ACV, 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil. Mix in a spray bottle.

5. Helps with upset stomach—holds antibiotic properties and pectin which soothe the stomach. Try this “Digestion Mocktail” with ACV and ginger. (Ginger is also known for its stomach-soothing properties. Learn more here.)

6. Stop cats from biting cords around the house—rub a bit on a cotton ball and onto the cord every 4-5 days.

7. Use ACV in your bath. Add ½- 1 cup to your bath water along with Epsom salts and lavender essential oil for a relaxing and detoxifying bath.

8. I like using apple cider vinegar to get rid of hiccups—the sour taste of a straight teaspoon can stop hiccups.

9. Clear a stuffy nose by mixing a teaspoon in a glass of water and drinking.

10. Make a fruit fly trap—Put a thin layer of ACV in a cup with a drop of dish soap. Set it out on the counter and the fruit flies will (hopefully) fly in and get stuck.

11. Get rid of cat urine smell—add it to the laundry when you wash the clothing, blanket, etc.

12. Get rid of bad breath—add ½ Tablespoon to a cup of water, and gargle for 10 seconds at a time until the cup is empty.

13. Use apple cider vinegar to soothe a sore throat. Mix 1/4 cup ACV with 1/4 cup of warm water and gargle every hour.

14. Beat exercise exhaustion—lactic acid buildup in the body causes fatigue, while the amino acids in ACV act as an antidote. Add a tablespoon to a glass of water after a workout.

15. Fight yeast infections—add 1 ½ cup to a bathtub of water and soak for 20 minutes.

16. Create shiny, untangled and dandruff-free hair by adding 1/3 cup ACV to 4 cups of water and pour over your hair after shampooing. Leave on for a few seconds and rinse with cold water.

Soothe sunburn with ACV

17. Use it as a teeth whitener by gargling with it every morning. The vinegar helps remove stains and kill bacteria in the mouth and gums.

18. Soothe sunburn with apple cider vinegar by massaging into the affected area.

19. Get rid of acne—mix one part ACV to 3-4 parts water. Apply to skin with a cotton pad, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse. Repeat three times a day.

20. Wart removal—place a cotton pad soaked in ACV on top, and secure it with a bandage. Leave on overnight, repeating for a week.

   
 

Apple Cider Vinegar Recipes

 

Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar Drink Recipe

Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a product with a wide range of health benefits... but there are only a select few who can handle drinking it straight. Being an acidic product with no sweeteners, it can be very hard for anyone’s palate to handle, but there are recipes and home-made solutions that people make to help either mask the flavor or to work with the flavor to make a drink that is more appealing to the taste buds. The problem is that no two palates are the same, so which apple cider vinegar recipe concoction will taste the best is difficult to say with any certainty.

Some like to mix it with other acidic juices like orange juice or other flavors that are similarly acidic, while some just drink a shot of the ACV and follow it with something to mask the taste, like bread. It often takes some trial and error to see what works best for your palate, but there are some good drink recipes that tend to be popular with a variety of people that you can try starting with:

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons ACV in 8 oz glass purified water...stop there or:
  • Add 1-2 tsps organic honey
  • Add a few drops of liquid stevia
  • Add 1-2 tsps of organic maple syrup
  • You can also add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to your favorite juiced veggies/fruits and smoothie recipes

 

Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing Recipe

I found this awesome recipe for Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Vinaigrette Dressing, and decided to give it a try. Really, any combination of these ingredients would make a great salad, so feel free to adjust the recipe to your taste!

 

Dressing Ingredients

  • Apple Cider Vinegar dressing

    3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
     

Salad toppings

  • Spinach
  • Apple
  • Walnuts
  • Raisins
  • Cheese of your choice

Directions

  1. Combine vinegar, water, honey, salt and pepper in a blender.
  2. Drizzle olive oil into blender until combined.
  3. Combine dressing & toppings; serve.


ACV salad dressing


20 More Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar...

 
When we asked our Facebook fans how they like to use apple cider vinegar, we got tons of comments! Many of them were about drinking it in the morning with a glass of water. Our fans simply loved all the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Highlights of the top uses include:

  1. A Tblsp each morning along with a Tblsp of blackstrap molasses in some warm water. seems to help with my allergies and I am hoping lowering my cholesteral. The molasses is for the iron and other good stuff. Also helps with the taste ~ Jeanne Giesen L.
  2. I love to make "buttermilk" by souring my rice milk to make yummy stuff like Cornbread or biscuits (Gluten Free and Dairy Free). ~ Amy O.H.
  3. Mixed with sparking water; very refreshing and good for the liver ~ Louise F.
  4. I have a multitude of uses for this product. I use it to fight fleas on my doggie, using it diluted with water as a final leave in rinse. I put a few drops in her water, fleas hate it. I add a few drops to my bottled water that I take to the gym as a fat burner and it also seems to enhance the taste of the water, encouraging me to drink more. I sprinkle it over my foods, to get rid of the chicken smell of chicken and enhance the flavors of other foods. I use the regular distilled vinegar as a toner, it is a little less expensive. ~ Carol Z.
  5. I use it to rinse my dreads. It works great to clean your scalp and remove build up ~ Alysha C.
  6. I take mine twice a day with distilled water honey and cayenne pepper. I use it my salad dressings. I use it for a hair rinse and a facial toner. ~ Robin B.
  7. Two tablespoons every morning and evening when I feel an UTI coming on. ~ Angie C.
  8. Marinate my steak with it. ~ Rick B.
  9. This makes my home made tomato juice really tangy every morning! YUM ~ Kay B.
  10. Cook I use it with my cucumbers and onions (with some mayo)...makes a great cucumber salad! ~ Audra P.
  11. In water with a packet of stevia each day and a T to a cup of chamomile tea water as a rinse for my hair following a rinse of 1 T baking soda to 1 cup of water. No need of shampoo... ~ Jaime L.
  12. I use it in my smoothies.... ~ Jo Ann G.
  13. I mix it with honey for a sore throat ~ Georgia L.
  14. I LOVE this stuff!! I put a cap ful into my raw rice before cooking and its nice and fluffy. No vinegar taste!! ~ Jody W.
  15. Allergies, sinus infection & woman issues! ~ Sarah M.
  16. To stop hiccups.... One capful usually works ~ Carroll S.
  17. Anywhere it calls for vinegar ~ Patricia F.
  18. On sunburns to help them heal faster and as a hair/ scalp rinse to make it shinier and more manageable and control dandruff. It also helps with indigestion and just tastes delicious on salads and in soups. My mom started us using it as the home-remefy treatment choice for nearly every ailment. ~ Diane C.
  19. It is a great hair detangler, facial toner, internal cleanser, fruit and vege wash, salad spritz.....I love this stuff! ~ Mandy E.
  20. When I am coming down with a cold or when I have leg cramps I rub it straight on my legs and within a few m ins the cramping has calmed down. ~ Marleen I.

40 Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar
 

Sources

http://www.healyrealfoodvegetarian.com/apple-cider-vinegar/
http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/09/28-health-and-beauty-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar.html
http://www.rd.com/slideshows/8-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/#slideshow=slide1
http://www.food.com/recipe/apple-cider-vinegar-and-honey-vinaigrette-dressing-396343

Which of the Apple Cider Vinegar Uses above were the most surprising to you?

How do you Use Apple Cider Vinegar?