We’re BIG fans of the Coconut. We use it daily as an essential part of our healthy pantry. I think we’d be lost without it!
Most people these days in the ‘modern’ health industry are aware that good fats in our diet are crucial to a healthy and flourishing body. They’re aware that not all fats are created equal. Coconut oil is one of those exceptions which isn’t always agreed on by all.
Coconut Oil is a Saturated Fat (which has freaked people out in the past) but it also contains high amounts of Lauric Acid (approximately 50%) the exact same goodness in human breast milk. Our body converts this into monolaurin and this is the real good stuff, it’s anti viral, anti fungal and anti bacterial.
This makes coconut oil great for fighting infection, fungus or generally helping the healing process in the body.
It is also one of the only fats made up of Mono Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs).
The reason MCFAs are so brilliant is that they’re extremely easy to break down and process in the body. Extra digestive enzymes and bile are not required to help the liver with break down (as is the case with other fats). These fats are easily metabolized and then put to good use in beautifying and healing us. MCFAs have also been linked to lowering the rate of diet related heart disease and even improving the ratio of ‘good’ to ‘bad’ cholesterol.
On the flip side, most animal fats are Long Chain Fatty Acids (LCFAs) these take a long time to digest and can really clog us up (literally- clogging in the arteries) and then often get stored as excess energy– fat.
– It has a high smoke point and is more stable than other oils. Therefore, it won’t go rancid when you cook at a high temperature, reducing the risk of oxidation and the free-radical load.
– It can help to regulate blood sugar levels (reducing cravings) and keep you full for longer.
– It can help to balance the thyroid hormones.
– It’s been known to help reduce those monthly PMS symptoms if consumed regularly.
– It can greatly improve skin conditions (particularly eczema or dry skin).
– It can help to stimulate the metabolism and therefore help with weight management.
Our favourite uses :
– Add 1 tsp to hot drinks (tea, coffee or chai) for extra creaminess.
– Add a spoonful to porridge, smoothies or on toast as a spread (instead of butter).
– Use as a gentle eye make up remover / face wash with warm water. Rinse off.
– Use as facial, body and hair moisturizer. If using in your hair, you will need to shampoo a couple of times to remove excess oil.
– Massage into your feet and toes with essential oil such as lavender before bed (mmmm feet heaven).
– Use as a ‘mouth wash’– this is an ancient Ayurvedic technique called ‘Oil Pulling’ – simply swish a spoonful of the oil in your mouth for 15 minutes and then spit into a bin. Rinse the mouth thoroughly afterwards. This helps reduce tooth decay and strengthens gums.
– Use in replacement of oils when frying at high temperatures and in replacement of butter when baking. It has a distinct flavour so adjust accordingly.
How much can I consume?
It’s totally dependent on the individual, if you’re used to following a low-fat diet, introduce it slowly.
I personally eat about 1 tsp per day, not including cooking usage. Some days less, some days more.
I think it’s important to listen to your body here, to find the balance and the amount that works with you. This will be different for everyone.
Some people claim to have a large tablespoon full in the afternoon to help stabilise their blood sugars and help to maintain their weight. This doesn’t sit so well with me. So it’s just about figuring out what works for you.
When buying coconut oil it’s important to look for organic, unrefined, virgin and cold pressed.
When visiting places like Thailand and Central America, drinking coconut water is more of a necessity than anything else. The temperatures can get so high that it seems the only way to quench that raging thirst fast enough is with the sweet fresh coconut water!
As Westerners do.. we’ve brought this to our world, where modern yogis, athletes and health nuts have gone crazy for it…
And all for good reason….
– It’s a fantastic source of the essential mineral Potassium.
– It’s super high in electrolytes to rehydrate us fast (especially after a sweat session).
– It provides a quick boost of energy due to the natural sugars occurring in each glassful.
– It also has a good profile of skin beautifying B vitamins and trace amounts of minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc
When purchasing, always READ the ingredients list– avoid anything with added sugars, sweeteners or preservatives.
Of course it contains natural sugars from the plant so still consume in moderation to your needs.
When possible choose organic and look for a covered package – a tetra box or steel can are the best as coconut water is super sensitive to light.
I’m also a big fan of cooking with coconut milk or cream and like to use it as a base for a creamy smoothie.
Dried coconut flakes, shred or chips also add a delicious taste and texture to any muesli, trail mix, porridge or sweet cacao treat.
Tell us how you like your cocos’…
If you know someone who needs some more convincing on the Coconut front, make sure you share this article with them.
**Disclaimer: This is in no way medical advice, but rather advice based on my own personal experiences and thorough research. Please do your own research and come to your own conclusions that feel right by you.