Coconut. It’s such a real food: You whack it, drink the water and then spoon the creamy flesh: Done! I feel fabulously primal hacking into my coconut & the hubbie managed to get a brilliant coconut cutting knife through customs, so we shall be tucking in even more now, I suspect.
As I grew into my teen years, I was always told coconuts were fattening & bad for you, but I really just didn’t care. Thinking back it was probably more the potato gems, microwaved eggs (?????) and hot chips after school that were responsible for the chub and ensuing health problems.
I’m glad I didn’t listen to anyone about my beloved coconut, because it turns out that while it contains a large amount of saturated fat, it is one of the best kinds of fat you can find. Our hearts, brains, lungs, kidneys, hormones actually need saturated fats to work optimally: Bombshell! More to come on this controversial issue in future posts, as today is more specifically about bowing down to the coconut! If you want to read this easy book, full of fab recipes in the mean time, feel free! Dr Mary Enig and Sally Fallon rock!
11 coconut wonders
- Coconut oil protects & regulates your thyroid & boosts your metabolism: Win!
- Coconut Oil is rich in Lauric acid (second only to breast milk), which is brilliant for boosting immunity. Lauric acid has amazing anti microbial properties, helping your body fight viruses such as herpes and HIV. It helps fight bacteria (such as listeria), streptococcus and staph, and also fight protozoa which cause gastroenteritis: WOW!
- Coconut Oil is mega digestible and used by the body as fuel instead of storing it on your butt! This is because it is made up of medium chain fatty acids as opposed to long ones.
- Lung health: The lungs secrete a fluid called a surfactant that enables them to function properly: This fluid is made up of two saturated fatty acids. The lungs cannot operate properly without saturated fat! Studies have shown that children who eat plenty of saturated fats, ie, butter, whole raw milk, omega 3 & coconut oil are far less likely to suffer from asthma than those who eat vegetable oil, reduced fat dairy products and trans fats: Bring on the healthy fats!
- Consuming coconut oil either through cooking, or by melting a spoon or two with your herbal tea prevents wrinkles and plumps skin from the inside out: No more spending hundred on creams to do the same, that don’t actually do it anyway!
- Coconut Sugar: A fantastic, rich tasting, sweet substitute for sugar in baking, custards, jams and so forth. It’s low GI: Give it a try! It’s got oodles more minerals and vitamins than sugar so you actually get some nutritional bang for your sweet buck! I like the Loving Earth brand.
- Coconut Water: Packed with re hydrating electrolytes, and a far better option for recovering from illness or marathons or a dreaded hangover, than those feril glucose laden sports drinks or sachets you get given at the chemist. Ironically Coconut water cannot be classified as a sports drink because it doesn’t have enough sugar: Gotta love the logic they’re running with there…
- Coconut cream & whole coconut milk are fabulous for curries, nutritionally rich smoothies and milkshakes, custard, cupcakes et all. (never buy the reduced fat versions because you’re losing all the healing fatty acids which are obviously the point, and check for emulsifiers and gums, and try and find brands that don’t have them)
- Desiccated coconut -Rich in fiber and gorgeous to toast lightly and sprinkle on yoghurt or ice cream. You must watch out, for there are many preservatives hiding in the average supermarket offering. Woolworth’s Macro organic desiccated and shredded coconut are both preservative free and good value as far as the organic set goes.
- Got arthritis or Joint Pains?If you’re a traditional Philippino massage therapist then you use a cup of unrefined coconut oil along with a tablespoon of organic cayenne pepper simmered on the stove, bain-marie style for half an hour. Let it cool and massage into the achy joints. Haven’t tried this yet, but am completely intrigued!
- Sunscreen anyone? The Islanders have known for centuries that coconut oil protects from the sun! Fijians had never had any recorded skin cancer incidence until the Island was westernised and they were made to wear clothes and ditched the oil (reference. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Dr Weston A Price). So. ditch the chemical laden crap and hit the coconut oil, remembering to not stay out in the sun without a hat or clothes for too long!
- Moisturiser running out? Don’t buy another one. Just use coconut oil, face and body. You won’t look greasy and your wrinkles will fade quite a bit, all for about $15. If you know me, and you think my skin doesn’t look great, then of course disregard, but I reckon my skin is pretty damn good! Just remember to choose an unrefined one and also disregard the initial quick detox your skin does of a few days when you first start using it, which shows up with little tiny bumps. The visual results, not to mention the incredible decrease in toxins you will be soaking in through your skin by skipping the usual cosmetic moisturisers, are well worth it! In the winter coconut oil is more like a coconut butter, and in the summer, it liquifies – just in case you’re wondering and can’t be bothered googling!
What do you do with coconut products? What have you discovered? I’d love to know and share your findings too…