Hidden Benefits of the Coconut Craze
by Zoe Welch
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Alright guys, time for a semi-embarrassing confession.  When I first heard the song “CoCo” by rapper O.T. Genesis, my immediate thought was of the perfectly frosty & refreshing coconut water that I had waiting for me in my fridge. Of course I immediately realized Genesis wasn’t waxing poetic about my favorite hydrating beverage, everyday scent, and all-around top beauty secret, but for that brief moment my little hip hopping yogini heart was utterly excited that my two worlds were coming together in the form of a mainstream gangster rap song.  

Yup.  My name is Zoe, and I am obsessed with coconuts. Take one look in my bathroom & kitchen cupboards and you’d assume I was the Coconut Heiress of Hawaii. Coconut conditioner, coconut/shea body balm, coco oil face serum, coconut milk ice cream, coconut cooking oil…you get the picture. What’s fantastic is that I’m not alone in this love affair, as everyone from health food companies to beauty labs are incorporating the versatile island nut for it’s many yummy and useful benefits…

1. Moisturize Hair.

My poor hair is subjected to the harsh sun almost daily, and don’t even get me started on how dull it starts to look after multiple sweat sessions. Coconuts to the rescue! When my strands are feeling extra dry, I’ll use organic coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner after I wash my hair. It immediately helps to soften strands as well as combat frizz, and the high amounts of Vitamin E are super protective. During the day, I use OGX Coconut Water Weightless Hydration Oil on my dry strands. The electrolyte-packed spray adds a perfect amount of shine, and leaves my hair smelling like a tropical beach vacation.

2. Treat Dry Skin.

Did I mention Vitamin E already? Yup, coconuts are packed with this vitamin that is essential for healthy skin, and helps to prevent premature aging and wrinkles. The protein found in coconuts also helps to keep your skin smooth and glowing. My favorite lotion to deliver all these beautiful results is Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter. It smells ridiculously amazing and is so creamy soft that I use it every. single. day.

3. Breath Freshener.

Coconut oil has both anti fungal and antibacterial properties, so gargling for just 15-20 minutes with a spoonful of room temperature oil (aka oil pulling) can clear up germs in the mouth, leading to fresher breath, whiter teeth, and even healthier gums.

4. Prevent Stretch Marks.

Calling all expectant moms! Make sure to keep a jar of coconut oil handy throughout your pregnancy. Used as a regular lotion, it can help ward off stretch marks, and anyone can use it as a topical treatment for scars. While the oil won’t actually fade any marks, it can help to prevent dark spots.

5. Boost Metabolism.

Healthy components in coconut oil tackle harmful bacteria while leaving healthy bacteria alone, which helps to balance the flora in the digestive system. The result? You feel better, healthier, and happier. Simply replace your daily cooking oil or butter with coconut oil!

6. Beautiful Eyes.

Meet your new gentle eye makeup remover AND night cream. Just swipe some coconut oil on a cotton ball and gently wipe eyes to remove any makeup at the end of the day. Applying coconut oil at night is also excellent for maximum moisturizing benefits. The antioxidants are excellent for smoothing fine lines and fighting wrinkles while you climb palm trees with Prince Charming in dreamland.

7. Firestarter.

Coconut oil has a high smoke point, which means it can be used when cooking with high-temps. It’s also super helpful next time you’re out camping or need to start a bonfire. Simply soak cotton balls in melted coconut oil, and pack them in a sealable ziplock bag. When you’re ready to get the fire going, take the coconut cotton balls out and slightly pull them apart. Toss in with the kindling, light a match, and you’ve got fire! The soaked balls will burn for 5 to 10 minutes, helping you to create a nice blaze. Burn, baby, burn! 

8. Magical, seriously!

In certain parts of India, the coconut palm is known as “kalpa vriksha,” which in Hindu mythology is a wish-fulfilling divine tree, that gives all that is necessary for living, because of its ability to amply provide for our human needs. From the water and milk, to the flesh, sugar, and oil, all parts of the coconut are useful. The husks and leaves can even be used as materials in furnishings and decoration. I think I’m seeing a coconut wood coffee table in my future…

Have I convinced you yet? I’m off to test a new coconut milk smoothie recipe, and can’t wait to share the yummy results with you! In the meantime, please let us know if you’ve tried any of the above coconut uses, or if you have other favorite tips or tricks that we should check out! 

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Zoe Welch

Zoe is a hip-hop dancing gypsy, ocean lover, writer, and fitness professional. You can find her rocking out and getting salty from LA to Boston, teaching dance and SUP Yoga to students of all ages, and sharing her bright smile and pure love for life with everyone she meets.

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