Healthy Body, Happy Mind: The Wonders of Coconut Oil

Is coconut oil in your kitchen cabinet yet? If not, it should be. Here are a few reasons why from hometown nutritional therapist Tara Gidaly.

I am a big advocate of coconut oil and am always recommending it to my friends, family and clients. The health benefits are just too amazing not to. Some benefits include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, and dental care (just to name a few). All of the benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid. It has antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and healing properties and is generally soothing.

Hair Care: Natural nutrition for hair. It helps  to promote healthy hair growth and while giving it a shiny complexion. If you regularly massage your head with a little coconut oil, you can be sure that your scalp will be dandruff and lice free.

Skin Care: You can’t ask for a better massage oil.  It is a great moisturizer on all types of skin types (I personally use it as part of my regular skin care routine). Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections.

Digestion: Most internal use of coconut oil is primarily as a delicious and stable cooking oil. Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and prevents various stomach and digestion related issues. Coconut oil also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Since it is Autumn, I figured I would share a Harvest Smoothie recipe with you courtesy of Anna in Franklin, WV. It is a good mild way to transition some coconut oil into your diet.    

Harvest Smoothie

Servings: 1
Prep Time: 3-5 minutes

  • ¼  cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 banana, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • ½  teaspoon raw organic honey
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

Combine pumpkin puree, banana, coconut milk, cinnamon, and honey in a blender. Blend on high until well mixed and smooth. While blender is running, slowly pour in coconut oil.

Pour in a glass and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Enjoy!

My coconut oil of choice is Nutiva Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil.

To learn more about Coconut oil and it’s many benefits, check out "The Coconut Oil Miracle" by Jon J. Kabara.

Until next time…

Tara Gidaly, NTP, CHFS, CGP

Gidaly Nutritional Therapy, Northport


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Gregory Mandarano October 21, 2011 at 06:54 AM
You forgot one of the best uses of coconut oil. Oil Pulling. Google it. http://oilpulling.com/, http://oilpulling.org. There's plenty of resources available regarding it. It involves taking a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swishing it for 20 minutes then spitting and rinsing. The oil cleans and whitens teeth and breath, removes plaque, and is considered to remove toxins from the body as well and acts as a detox.
PrintsCharming October 21, 2011 at 01:58 PM
Is there anything you can't do with Coconut oil? I'm a HUGE fan, and never would have known what to do with it or have though to try it without your guidance. Listen to Tara, people... she will make you happy!
Kimberly Glutz October 22, 2011 at 10:20 PM
Hi, I love my coconut oil as a nightly face moisturizer and I have tried it in smoothies as well with pineapple juice for a tropical flavor, however after I melt the cold pressed oil in the microwave to turn it to liquid and put it in the magic bullet with the other ingredients and shaved ice, the coldness turns the liquid coconut oil into little pellets of wax which is unappitizing to chew as you drink. I know that below 76 degrees the coconut oil turns back into a solid, so what do you suggest to avoid this from happening in smoothies?
Elise Pearlman October 23, 2011 at 10:15 PM
Where does one get coconut oil?
Tara Gidaly, NTP, CHFS, CGP October 24, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Hi all, Thanks for all your comments. Gregory, Yes I agree with you that oil pulling is an amazing use as well. I didn't want to put in the the article, simply because I don't believe it is for everyone. Those who have had extensive dental work are not the best candidates for oil pulling, as it may loosen up the work. I am happy that you know of it and are doing it yourself. Thank you for sharing. Kimberly, If you are able to slowly add in the coconut oil as your drink is mixing? I know that's hard to do with the magic bullet. Maybe you can add a bit, then blend, then add a bit more etc. I hope that helps. Elise, Coconut oil can be purchased at Health food stores such as Whole Foods, Wild by Nature or even the Vitamin Shoppe. You can also purchase it from Amazon.com if you like I have pasted a link at the end of the blog. Thank you all for reading and have a great day!


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