The Many Wonders Of The Coconut

You’re probably familiar with coconut water, made mainstream for the workout world and coconut milk, which is in our favorite Thai curries.

Flickr Hafiz Issadeen coconuts
Photo: Flickr/Hafiz Issadeen 

On a recent trip to Maui, I enjoyed even more than incredibly nice people, white sand, and breathtaking blue waters. While in paradise, I was introduced to the many wonders of the almighty coconut. You’re probably familiar with coconut water, made mainstream for the workout world and coconut milk, which is in our favorite Thai curries. But how about coconut for hair, skin, sunburns, and baked goods? Check out the many uses of my favorite tropical fruit:

1. Moisturizer/Sunburn Relief

More hydrating then most store bought lotions, coconut oil is thick, replenishing, and all natural. A little bit goes a long way, so with a dab, you can kiss flaky, dry skin goodbye. You thought aloe was good for you sunburns? Try coconut oil for those hot, peeling patches. Your new skin will thank you.

2. Hair Oil/Styler/Mask

For a natural shine and moisturizer for those drier ends, take a dime size pinch of coconut oil and warm it up in your hands. Run through the ends of your hair for healthy, shiny hair. Guys can use it too as a pomade, stylizer replacement that smells amazing. Finally, if you hair needs a serious lifesaver, lather a generous amount into your hair, wear a shower cap or wrap it in a towel, and leave in overnight. Wash out the next morning and say hello to a brand new, healthy do. Beware: do not use too much, or you’ll look like Danny from Grease.

3. Milk

The creamy, rich, and indulgent milk of the coconut is a great option for thickening smoothies, improving curries, and varying soups. Give your next post-workout smoothie a tropical kick by replacing your usual dairy.

4. Water

Certainly a fad in the past years, coconut water has been in the spotlight for providing electrolytes and deep hydration. As a perfectly light drink, or a smoothie sweetener, coconut will refresh and cool you. End a perfect run with a tall glass of coco water.

5. Cooking Oil

Coconut oil is said to be the best oil to use when cooking; it has a high smoke point, which means it takes a higher temperature to burn than other oils. It’s also replete with the good kind of fat, that which your body can quickly metabolize. Use it to replace alternate oils for your dishes, or replace it with butter in your baked goods for a dairy-free treat.

6. As is

During my time in Maui, a couple of my local friends decided try their hand at picking coconuts, the primitive way (throwing large rocks at the trees). This not only turned out to be hilarious entertainment, but it also provided us a true “from farm to table” moment. We cracked open the coconuts right on the beach, using our bare hands to tear and rip apart the coconut meat—and it was perfect. Guess what’s also good? Coconut candy! Do not leave Hawaii without some of this:

Desiree Constance Choy

Desiree is from San Francisco, California. She is an actress, known for 13 Reasons Why (2017), I Won't Give Up (2014) and Dreality (2016).

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