Someone once told me to eat a spoonful of coconut oil everyday and like a compliant American, I said “okay” without so much as questioning whether or not coconut oil actually maintained the magical health benefits this person insinuated it did. We were in a heated discussion about bowels, or a lack thereof, when she smeared some moisturizer on her hands, made a fist and said: can you fit your finger through there? It was not phallic at all, I assure you, but when I put my finger through, I said, “Yeah, but that’s because of the hand cream,” to which she replied, “Exactly. Coconut oil is hand cream for your anus.”
I’m kidding she didn’t say it so explicitly but shit man (pun intended!), I wish she had.
Anyway, the point is this: I started eating a spoonful of coconut oil everyday, felt a little like I was snacking on lip gloss and also like there was no way this wasn’t packing junk into the hood of my car or the artist formerly known as FUPA, so I got it together and started to research.
First things first: That spoonful will not support the proliferation of my FUPA; on the contrary, because coconut oil is said to increase your energy levels, it might actually help you burn fat. (This is a moot point because there is so much saturated fat in coconut oil but it’s okay because saturated fat is not actually bad for you so long as it’s not inside your Philly cheesesteak.)
But also, there are apparently a shit ton of acids in this stuff that make you less prone to die or have your teeth decay, etc., etc., yadi yadi yadi yoo. Important, no question, but kind of boring and difficult to connect with. So here’s exactly how coconut oil benefited me:
1. Aforementioned woman was right, it is like hand cream for the back crotch. Bathroom woes, be gone. (How to benefit: eat it.)
1a. Apparently it also promotes vaginal health, which I know because Emily Weiss told me that and I pretty much believe everything she says. (How to benefit: eat it.)
2. My hair is shiny as fuck. Which I think makes sense because isn’t that kind of what Moroccan oil is? (How to benefit: apply it pre-shower then wash it out.)
3. My facial pores seem and feel tighter, thus mitigating the atrocious purple bags that live under my eyeballs. (How to benefit: eat it.)
3b. Also, I use it as leg cream, which is a cheaper alternative to designer, scented creams and it gets the job done. I’d just stay away from park slides following application if I were you. That shit gets real fast, real quick. (How to benefit: apply like lotion.)
4. I was wary of attributing a decreased level in stressed out-ness to eating coconut oil but as fate and Google would have it, the antioxidant properties of coconut oil actually do affect one’s level of stress. So much quicker than meditation, no? (How to benefit: eat it.)
5. Finally, I’ve been using it to cook, which has made my food taste a little bit like suntan lotion but in a good way. It’s weird with eggs, unless you’re making my magical pancakes, so I wouldn’t try that at home, and mixes great with vegetables, mint and rice. All together. (How to benefit: cook with it.)
Nutiva virgin oil is the one people like most — I for one, like the bottle of Island Fresh’s version. If you order it and find that when it comes, it maintains the consistency of Vaseline, do not fret, that is normal. It’s more like an oily paste than anything. I realize that doesn’t sound appetizing, but things that are actually good for you rarely are.
Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis; Sylvia Toledano pearl cuff.