Coconut: Is this real life?
From Dr. Oz to social media posts coconut has really taken a front seat in the media lately… so is it really all that it’s cracked up to be?
Yes! It is. Coconut is, in my book a super food that if you are not sensitive to it, you should add it into your dietary habits. If you don’t like the taste of coconut, there are a few ways to get your body used to the taste, or you can simply hide it in smoothies, baking, etc.
Coconut oil is thought to possess healing properties above and beyond that of any other dietary oils. Whether you’re eating the coconut meat (white stuff on the inside of the coconut), drinking the juice (some refer to it as water), or consuming it as oil, coconuts are a delicious and nutritious. Coconuts are a source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats (Omega 3’s) and amino acids. Coconut also contains loads of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as plenty of electrolytes. I like to refer to it as natures Gatorade. I recommend coconut water when you are sick, for a hangover (yes, we are all human), and its amazing during and after a work out. Remember when I mentioned hiding it in something to decrease the coconut taste? Adding it into your water or fresh fruit juice (100% juice that is, I recommend home made, but I know sometimes that’s not possible, so just make sure its 100% juice, NOT from concentrate), okay back on track now… Adding it into water or juice to fuel your workout or help you recover is one of my favorite ways to get a good boost of it everyday. It really helps with recovery of muscles, ITS AMAZING at replacing lost electrolytes during sweat.
This takes me to my next option to share with you- poolside, beachside, hiking whatever your style is this summer… its going to be a hot one out there this summer so, it’s a wonderful idea to have some with you out at the pool! Did you know that you could also use coconut oil as an SPF? That’s right! Coconut oil will do the trick to protect your skin – minus the toxicity from health-compromising ingredients of the other lovely sunscreens out there. Indigenous, pacific islanders have used coconut oil as an effective sunscreen for thousands of years, so why are we not using it now?. Why slather toxic chemicals on your body when you can use non-toxic coconut oil instead? I will warn you, you will need to re-apply every 2 hours or so to keep the protection there and working for you.
Let’s get back to eating…Eating coconuts are excellent for one’s immunity. Coconut is an antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic, meaning they kill harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites that love to make the inside of your body their home. Because of that, if you consume coconut in any of its various forms (whether it be raw coconut, coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut butter, etc.) you will be enhancing your immunity by leaps and bounds, so give it a go!
Oil pulling has been in the forefront of social media now so it’s the perfect time for me to introduce you to this lovely habit. It’s a bit weird, I am not going to lie, but you get used to it, you also get used to the benefits of this habit. So here’s the deal… when you oil pull, you do this first thing in the morning before anything else. Pop about a 1 tbsp. into your mouth of coconut oil and start swishing it around like mouthwash. Be careful not to swallow. The goal is to do this for 20 minutes, I know what you are thinking, what the hell, 20 minutes is a LONG TIME when you have to swish oil around in your mouth! Start small, as with any other new habit. Start with 5 minutes, oil pull while you make you bed, or empty the dish washer keep your mind occupied so you won’t focus on the time. Once you are done with your pulling, SPIT the oil out, DO NOT SWALLOW. The oil will contain bacteria and other toxins from your mouth so you want to make sure you discard it. I recommend spitting it in the toilet or down the sink followed by hot water. * You can also use sesame oil.
Now that I have shared how to do it, here are the benefits:
Inside the mouth benefits:
- Overall strengthening of the teeth and gums and jaws
- Prevention of diseases of the gums and mouth, such as cavities and gingivitis
- Prevention for bad breathe
- Potential holistic remedy for bleeding gums
- Prevention of dryness of the lips, mouth and throat
- Possible holistic treatment for TMJ and soreness in the jaw.
Benefits to the entire body:
- Migraine headache relief
- Correcting hormone imbalances
- Reducing inflammation of arthritis
- May help with gastro-enteritis
- Aids in the reduction of eczema
- May reduce symptoms of bronchitis
- Helps support normal kidney function
- May help reduce sinus congestion
- Some people report improved vision
- Helps reduce insomnia
- Reduced hangover after alcohol consumption
- Aids in reducing pain
- Reduces the symptoms of allergies
- Helps detoxify the body of harmful metals and organisms
So why not give it a go? Maybe try it for a week and see what comes up for you.
I mentioned this a little bit earlier but you can also make your own sports drinks from coconut water. These days, unfortunately sports drinks are only beneficial 60 minutes past your workouts. Guzzling unnecessary sports drinks will give you added calories, sugars, artificial food dyes and other additives that your body may not like therefore having the opposite effect on your body. Gulping down sports drinks that are chocked full of high fructose corn syrup can do your body more harm than good. Many sports drinks are very high in sugar. Over time, excess calories from added sugar contribute to obesity and insulin resistance. Very large amounts of sugar overwhelms the pancreas, the organ which generates insulin to transport blood sugar into our body’s cells where it is used for energy. A word of caution when buying those drinks is to read the label carefully. If you cannot pronounce an ingredient in the list, please, put it back on the shelf. You are in control of your health and not knowing what you are putting in your body can leave you harming your body without even knowing! I have shared a recipe with you in the recipe section of this newsletter that you can use to make your own “Gatorade”.
Coconut also has some other huge benefits to your health one being coconut can reduce hunger, helping with weight loss! The fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite, which may positively affect body weight over the long term. This may be due to the way fatty acids are metabolized, as ketone bodies (found in fatty acids) can have an appetite reducing effect. One more reason to start using coconut, in all forms! Studies have shown in both humans and rats show that coconut oil improves important risk factors like total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease. Despite the fact that in the past it was thought that consuming fats are actually bad for your health, omega 3 fatty acids do HUGE things for the body, so if you can pump those into your body, then you are doing your body and your mind a favor. Studies show that the fatty acids in coconut oil can increase blood levels of ketone bodies, supplying energy for the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients and relieving symptoms. One last benefit that I want to share, its summer time and I know that belly fat is a hot topic among women and young ladies out there, so guess what…Given that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it makes sense that it can also help you lose weight.
Coconut oil appears to be especially effective in reducing abdominal fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs.
So in conclusion, YES! Coconut IS all that it’s cracked up to be!
Cheers everyone, eat some coconut today!
**If you are sensitive to coconut, reach out to me, and let’s talk about some alternatives for you!