Coconuts are hot on the health-food scene right now, and deservedly so! They are so versatile in what parts can be used—oil, water, sugar, flour, milk, or flesh—how each part can be used, and their health benefits. Coconut oil, however, is becoming more and more popular for its cure-all properties. This healthy fat made from pressing mature coconuts is a great substitute for, or addition to, your traditional kitchen oils and fats.
- Lowers “bad” cholesterol—Despite being high in saturated fat, coconut oil is an exceptional food because these fats are healthy for your body. One of the fats, lauric acid, a medium chain fat, increases the good HDL cholesterol in the blood thus improving healthy cholesterol ratios.
- Boosts the immune system—Rich in anti-oxidants, coconut oil can prevent heart disease and promote overall wellness. Coconut oil is also rich in anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, and studies have shown a connection between the oil and helping to prevent certain cancers.
- Skin and hair care—Coconut oil can promote glowing, moisture-rich skin and hair internally and externally. The fatty acids help your skin stay youthful and clear, and your hair soft, strong, and shiny. But when applied to the surface of your skin, it can perform as a non-greasy moisturizer or anti-aging cream. It can also be a great conditioner for your hair, and can be mixed with other ingredients to make more products such as body scrubs for a natural glow. A great alternative to the harsh chemicals we find in commercial products.
- Improves brain function—Coconut oil is said to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and this is because of the connection between the medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) and brain function. These healthy fats may maintain cognitive functioning and good memory as well as helping to repair neural pathways.
Don’t dismiss the rest of the coconut though! Coconut water is extremely refreshing and hydrating as it is high in electrolytes. Give it a try it in my Green Goddess Smoothie. Dried or fresh coconut flesh is a great low G.I snack to give you energy and it is packed with fiber. The meat also works well for cooking, like in my delicious Unbaked Creamy Corn & Coconut Casserole. Check out these recipes and more in my book, The Goddess of Raw Foods.
Happy healthy eating, all!