Oils ain't Oils

Fat used to be a dirty word in the “health food world” but luckily it is back on the menu for people to consider an important part of their diet. Healthy fats are not only good for you internally, but can also be great externally too. Here are 3 of my favourites: 

Coconut oil

Such a versatile oil that can be used for cooking, eating and in daily beauty routines. Coconut oil has a high smoke point, which is kind of like boiling point. This is important because once an oil is heated past its smoke point, it starts to break down, releasing free radicals and a substance called acrolein, which is the chemical that gives burnt food its flavor. I used coconut oil in cooking stirfries, but because it solidifies at about 20 degrees celcius (room temp in winter), then it makes a great addition to raw slices to help “set” them without the need for cooking. My daily beauty routine also involves coconut oil as a make up remover, it is the first thing I rub on my face when I want to clean off makeup/sunscreen, before then using cleansers. Although I wouldn’t recommend it for fair skinned people, it also has a sun protection factor of 4, which means it can be used a light sunscreen.

Olive oil

A diet rich in olive oil could help to keep your heart young, as it improves arterial function. A small Spanish study compared theMediterranean style diet rich in olive oil with that of a low fat high carbohydrate diet and a diet rich in saturated fats and concluded that the diet rich in olive oil resulted in the reduction of damage to the cells that line the inner walls of the arteries and help blood circular smoothly. Olive oil is also fantastic as a shaving cream. It is a little bit more liquid than cocnut oil, so you don’t have to warm it up to use it on your legs or arms (or face for the boys). It rubs on easily and wont clog the razor. Olive oil is a fantastic DIY home remedy hair conditioner, you can mix it with honey (half cup honey and ¼ cup olive oil), make sure you shampoo it out!

 Castor oil

Maybe an oil that you found lurking in your grandmothers cupboard, castor oil sounds like a chemical based oil but it is a vegetable oil made from castor beans. It has quite a distinctive flavor and therefore not really an oil that you would cook with, but it can still be used internally as a good natural laxative. It works by creating spasms in the muscles of the bowel, which then move the waste out. Taken in smaller amounts each day (like 1 teaspoon on your breakfast or mixed in your juice) it can very helpful to maintain regular daily bowel movements. It is a very dense oil, so it is very good for things like cracked skin around the feet, hands and elbows and has natural anti bacterial and antifungal properties, so it is good for treating acne, warts and ringworm.

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