HEALTH/ Healthy Eating/ How-Tos/ RECIPES

The Amazing Benefits Of Coconut Oil + Ways To Use It Topically & In Recipes

Nutiva coconut oil

I am a HUGE fan of coconut oil, for many reasons.  I LOVE IT!
The main way I started using coconut oil was topically.  This was because I read about how so many body lotions contain parabens and chemicals, and with my cancer history, I am being very purposeful about getting rid of as many toxins in this house and on my body as possible! 
Its been all over the news that they are finding parabens in the breast cancer survivors breast tissue.  My ears perked up with this because I have been in the beauty business for years as a cosmetologist, and parabans seem to be in EVERY beauty product.  I have also met way too many young hairstylists that also battled breast cancer, and it has made us all say “hmm.”
Parabens are a group of compounds widely used as antimicrobial preservatives in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, including underarm deodorants. Parabens are absorbed through intact skin and from the gastrointestinal tract and blood.
Measurable concentrations of six different parabens have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors (Darbre, 2004). The particular parabens were found in relative concentrations that closely parallel their use in the synthesis of cosmetic products (Rastogi, 1995). Parabens have also been found in almost all urine samples examined from a demographically diverse sample of U.S. adults (Ye, 2006a).
Parabens are estrogen mimickers, with the potency of the agonistic response being related to the chemical structure (Darbre, 2008). They can bind to the cellular estrogen receptor (Routledge, 1998). They also increase the expression of many genes that are usually regulated by estradiol and cause human breast tumor cells (MCF-7 cells) to grow and proliferate in vitro (Byford, 2002; Pugazhendhi, 2007). Nevertheless, parabens as a class do not fully mimic estradiol in the changes in cellular gene expression nor are the effects of all parabens identical (Sadler, 2009).
    Parabens are estrogen mimickers.”  This really made me pause, as my cancer and the majority of breast cancers are fed by hormones.  I had symptoms of estrogen dominance for years and I often wonder if this contributed to my diagnosis.
    As I have been trying to avoid parabens, I have been on a kick of making my own beauty products. There are some wonderful healthy organic body products out there, but they usually end up costing “an arm and a leg,” so have been quite motivated to make my own or to figure out a simple, inexpensive & healthy alternative.

    Coconut oil used for shaving

    My Favorite Pre-Shave & Post-Shave For The Softest Legs

    homemade natural lip balm

    Homemade Natural Lip Balm 

    homemade coconut lime sugar scrub

    Homemade Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub

    I’ve also used coconut oil as my main cooking and baking oil for a couple of years now.  The below recipe has been viewed over 632,238 times! It is one of the most popular recipes here at New Nostalgia, and for good reason.  It is delicious. Funny how my most popular recipe was created by a mess up!
    chocolate recipe

    The Best Recipe I’ve Ever Messed Up

    oatmeal whole wheat quick bread

    Oatmeal Whole Wheat Quick Bread

    The above Oatmeal Whole Wheat Quick Bread is a great recipe to have on hand.  It takes just minutes to throw together and it is good for you.  I often make it when we are having pasta and I need a quick bread to dip in the sauce.

    nutiva coconut oil

    –I buy a large container on Amazon, I love the Nutiva brand.  It is organic and wonderful.  Trader Joes also started carrying coconut oil.  Yay!
    –Coconut oil is very unique.  It is a solid up to I think 76 degrees, then becomes a liquid.  So depending on the temperature of your house, you will either be scooping the oil if solid, or pouring it if liquid.  
    — For beauty purposes, I scoop some out and store in a small 8 oz mason jar.  I love the Elite series glass jars.  They have a nice wide mouth and are a cute shape.  I also keep coconut oil in a small 4oz jar to throw into my gym bag.

    benefits of using Coconut Oil
    –From Lindsey @ Passionate Homemaking-
    Part 1 Part 2 – detailing the best oil choices being coconut oil & olive oil
    –From Kitchen Stewardship-
    great post about the controversy surrounding coconut oil

    Have you ever tried coconut oil?
    What are ways you use coconut oil?

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  • Anonymous
    February 13, 2014 at 12:26 am

    It is helping to eliminate my daughter’s Keratosis Pilaris (those annoying bumps that can be on the back of your arms). It’s the only thing that doesn’t “sting” and actually works!!!

  • Kate Ackerman
    July 27, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    You turned me on to Coconut Oil and I’ve been such a huge advocate for it ever since! I use the Nutiva brand- I’m a massage therapist- so I use this in place of any other massage lotion/oil and to rave reviews from my clients. My repeat clients say they love the way it makes their skin feel and smell afterwards! I also use it in baking and cooking- it is oddly amazing on sourdough toast! Yum! Thank you Amy!

  • Thoughts for the day
    February 7, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I have been using it for some time on my face and for cooking the brand you advertise is at Costco a large size for $21.99 which is a great bargain. My husband says it has a coconut taste but I don’t notice it.

  • Nannie & Papa
    February 7, 2013 at 3:39 am

    My daughter has been using coconut oil as a moisturizer for years. I have just started using it in cooking. I buy Nutiva brand at Costco – 78oz. size! Nice to buy one product that can do so many things.

  • Melody M
    February 7, 2013 at 12:21 am

    I hate to be too personal but it’s definitely by far the best lubricant we have ever found. It isn’t sticky plus you don’t worry about ingesting it. Ahem. 🙂

  • Julie
    February 6, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I love coconut oil. I use it in the majority of my baking/cooking needs. I use it exclusively as a moisturizer and my hands are very soft, this is even more impressive when considering that I’m a RN and wash my hands like it’s my job.

    • Amy Bowman
      February 6, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      That IS impressive!

  • Anonymous
    February 6, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I am so intrigued by coconut oil now! Do you find that coconut oil is more moisturizing than pure shea butter? I just found out I am pregnant with my second child (yay!) and if this pregnancy is anything like my first, I am going to have verrrrry dry skin. Shea butter was the most moisturizing to my skin compared to other topicals I have tried, but still wasn’t as moisturizing as I needed it to be.

    • Amy Bowman
      February 6, 2013 at 6:09 pm

      I’m not sure as I have never used just shea butter. If you try it let me know what you think and if it is comparable. Congrats on your pregnancy!

    • Anonymous
      August 17, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Thought I’d update since I saw your pin this morning. I’m now 31 weeks pregnant and have ZERO dry skin on my belly after using coconut oil as my moisturizer. Huge difference from last time around! I’ve even started using it on my son who has eczema. Love this stuff!

    • Anonymous
      February 24, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      Shea butter hss more moister