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