What Is Extra Virgin Coconut Oil?

Welcome to Afterthought. Extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO) has garnered significant attention in recent years, not just as a versatile cooking ingredient but also as a natural remedy for various health and beauty concerns.

Unlike regular coconut oil, EVCO is known for its purity and high-quality extraction process, which preserves its nutritional value and therapeutic properties.

This blog delves into the intricacies of extra virgin coconut oil, exploring its benefits, uses, and how it stands apart from other types of coconut oil.

What is Extra Virgin Coconut Oil?

Extra virgin coconut oil is derived from the fresh meat of mature coconuts. The extraction process involves cold pressing, which means no heat or chemicals are used. This method ensures that the oil retains its natural antioxidants, vitamins, and beneficial compounds, distinguishing it from refined or standard coconut oils. The result is a pure, unadulterated oil that boasts a multitude of health and beauty benefits.

Nutritional Profile

Extra virgin coconut oil is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), primarily lauric acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid. These MCTs are easily digestible and provide a quick source of energy. Additionally, EVCO contains vitamins E and K, which contribute to its antioxidant properties, as well as polyphenols that support overall health.

Health Benefits

1. Heart Health

Despite being high in saturated fats, the MCTs in extra virgin coconut oil can help increase good HDL cholesterol levels and convert bad LDL cholesterol into a less harmful form. This may support cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

2. Weight Management

MCTs in EVCO can boost metabolism and promote fat burning. Studies suggest that these fats may help in weight loss by increasing energy expenditure and reducing appetite.

3. Immune Support

Lauric acid, which makes up about 50% of EVCO, has antimicrobial properties that can help fight off harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi, thus bolstering the immune system.

4. Digestive Health

The antibacterial properties of EVCO can help maintain a healthy balance of gut flora. It also aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals.

5. Brain Function

MCTs provide a quick energy source for the brain. Research indicates that they might benefit cognitive function and could be helpful for individuals with Alzheimer's disease.

Beauty Benefits

1. Skin Care

Extra virgin coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that can be used for both face and body. Its antioxidant properties help combat the effects of aging, reduce inflammation, and heal wounds. It's also effective in treating conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

2. Hair Care

EVCO can penetrate hair shafts more deeply than regular conditioners, providing nourishment and reducing protein loss. It helps in treating dandruff, preventing hair breakage, and adding a healthy shine to the hair.

3. Oral Health

Oil pulling with EVCO is an ancient practice that can improve oral hygiene. Swishing a tablespoon of oil in the mouth for 10-20 minutes can reduce harmful bacteria, improve gum health, and whiten teeth.

Culinary Uses

Extra virgin coconut oil is a versatile cooking oil with a high smoke point of around 350°F (175°C), making it suitable for baking, sautéing, and frying. It imparts a mild coconut flavor to dishes, which can enhance both sweet and savory recipes. Additionally, it can be used as a dairy-free alternative to butter or margarine in vegan baking.

Household Uses

1. Natural Cleaner

EVCO can be used to polish wood furniture, clean leather, and even remove sticky residues. Its antibacterial properties make it a safe and natural option for household cleaning.

2. Lubricant

It can be used to lubricate household items, such as door hinges and zippers, without the use of harsh chemicals.

3. Pet Care

EVCO can be added to pet food to improve coat health and digestion, or applied topically to treat minor wounds and skin conditions in pets.

How to Choose and Store Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

When selecting extra virgin coconut oil, look for products that are labeled as "cold-pressed," "unrefined," and "organic." These indicators ensure that you are getting a high-quality oil free from additives and contaminants.

Store EVCO in a cool, dark place. While it is solid at room temperature, it will melt at around 76°F (24°C). This does not affect its quality, and it can be used in both solid and liquid forms.


Extra virgin coconut oil is a powerhouse of health and beauty benefits, owing to its rich nutritional profile and versatile applications. From enhancing heart health and aiding weight loss to serving as a natural beauty product and household cleaner, EVCO is a valuable addition to any lifestyle. Incorporating this natural oil into your daily routine can lead to improved well-being and a healthier, more holistic way of living.

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