Bake with it, take it by the spoonful or smear it on dry elbows: No matter how you use coconut oil, you’ll find that it’s chock full of healthy benefits, due in part to its high content of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).
What are MCTs? First, let’s talk about what they’re not—they’re not long chain triglycerides (LCTs), which are the most abundant fat found in nature and the source of 98 percent of our dietary fat. LCTs are digested slowly and stored in fat deposits; MCTs, on the other hand, are digested quickly and used for immediate energy. MCTs also contain fatty acids that benefit immunity.
Coconut oil has the highest naturally occurring MCT content, making it a great source of MCTs for both internal and external benefits:
- Coconut oil nourishes connective tissues, keeping skin healthy and smooth, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and promoting even skin tone.
- Coconut fats are deeply moisturizing and reduce moisture loss through skin pores.
- Coconut oil’s antioxidant-like activity provides protection from the aging effects of free radicals.
- Coconut oil contains fatty acids (e.g. lauric acid) with strong disinfectant and anti-microbial properties, meaning it can help prevent infection when used internally or applied topically to wounds.
- The lauric acid in coconut oil is also a great mouth disinfectant. Try swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil for 15 minutes (then spitting into the trash) for a brighter smile and enhanced oral health.
- Coconut and palm kernel oils contain vitamin E—a powerful antioxidant that’s essential for skin growth and repair, protection from cracking, prevention of premature aging and wrinkling, and enhanced sun tolerance.
- Proteins in coconut oil contribute to cellular health and tissue repair, providing relief for skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.
Our coconut oil and MCT-filled favorites:
Barlean’s MCT Swirl – A daily liquid supplement that features the delicious taste and texture of a coconut smoothie—as well as important omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA.
Coconut Oils from Nature’s Way and Jarrow Formulas – Choose from a number of multi-use products that are made from pure, organic coconuts. Great for daily supplementation, cooking, and skin and hair care!
Pharmaca brand Organic Coconut & Vanilla Lip Balm – Our very own delicious, nourishing and moisturizing lip balm made with certified organic coconut oil.
Eminence’s Coconut Age Corrective Moisturizer – This ultra-hydrating, pH-balancing and toning organic face cream is made with coconut oil and coconut water, natural retinol, green apple stem cells and shea butter.
MyChelle’s Sun Shield SPF 28 Coconut – Nourishing broad-spectrum mineral sun protection featuring coconut and palm kernel oils, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Nubian Heritage’s Coconut Papaya Deodorant – An effective natural deodorant with coconut oil to keep underarm skin moisturized and soft.
Elemental Herbs’ All Good Organic Coconut Skin Food – Organic, unrefined coconut oil for all-over moisturizing skin care…in scents like lavender or lemongrass!
Creative uses for coconut oil
Use as an all-over moisturizer – Deep condition hair – Use as a cuticle soother to improve nail health – Try it as a shave oil – Run a small dab through wet hair to eliminate frizz – Remove makeup – Clear up cold sores with coconut’s anti-viral properties – Use as a massage oil – Combine with salt or sugar to make the perfect exfoliant – Use as diaper cream for baby’s bottom – Decrease stretch marks during pregnancy – Use as an after-sun soother – Use as a carrier base for essential oils (e.g. natural perfume or natural bug repellant) – Use in dips, spreads, sauces or add to food and smoothies – Swap it for butter or vegetable oil in baking and cooking