Healing With Food: Coconuts
Coconuts are my favorite healthy fat source for so many reasons. Not only are they delicious in their many different forms, but they have quite a few health benefits as well. Here's a quick rundown of why this tropical fruit is such an awesome addition to your diet:
Increases metabolism: coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which help to reduce appetite, boost metabolism, and increase the activity of fat-burning cells.
Beneficial for the heart & brain: MCTs have been shown to improve cholesterol levels, and they improve some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
Boosts key mineral absorption (calcium and magnesium)
Antifungal, antibacterial, and strengthens the immune system: the fatty acids in coconuts help the body fight many viruses and bacteria.
Provides long lasting energy: coconut water has the perfect balance of electrolytes, making it a great choice for a natural sports drink.
Great for skin and hair health (both internally and topically)
There are so many delicious ways to use coconut every day. One of my favorite ways is to blend either coconut milk or oil into a protein shake or smoothie. This way you get the added nutrition from your other smoothie ingredients such as fruits, leafy greens, and superfoods like maca powder or goji berries. I often add strawberries to my coconut shakes to increase my intake of vitamin C and antioxidants. My second favorite way to incorporate coconuts is to pick up some fresh coconut milk or coconut water from the local health food market. I frequently cook with coconut oil in place of vegetable oils or butter, and I use it in baked goods as well. Sometimes I even spread a little coconut butter onto a piece of cinnamon Ezekiel toast. Or you could go the pure route, and simply snack on some fresh coconut meat. No matter which way you choose, you definitely can't go wrong.
Consuming healthy fats like coconuts is vital to your long-term health. It not only provides energy to the body, it also helps to regulate hormones and body temperature and supports the absorption of many vital nutrients. Your diet should comprise of about 20%-30% fats on a daily basis, depending on your personal health goals. These can come from many different whole food sources, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, egg yolks, grass fed meets and dairy, and of course, coconuts. Check back on the blog each week for more posts on healthy fats and the many benefits of the various sources.
~ With love ~