The Amazing Coconut
My family rolls their eyes at me for many different reasons and one is my love for coconut. I love it all… coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut butter, coconut flour, coconut water and coconut chips. I consume it daily, externally and internally, and guess what, it’s very healthy!
Who doesn’t love the combination of sweet and salty? Throw in some healthy fat and you have the perfect combo. Since my family doesn’t eat grains or potatoes (due to specific health issues), potato chips and crackers are out (besides not healthy), peanuts and M&M’s have been long gone and granola is just a fond memory.
So what do we do when we want a quick snack that is actually good for us? It’s my craving buster –Sweet~N~Salty Coconut Chips. They are so easy to make and they satisfy the want for sweet (coconut is naturally sweet), salt, (I add sea salt), and the healthy fats fill me up with nourishing energy.
Before we get to this amazing recipe, let’s talk about the health benefits of coconut.
Why Coconut So Good For You
Coconut has so many healthy qualities to it. Let’s look at a few.
Now for the healthy part...
- Coconut is the most important nut crop in the world. The palm tree is called “The Tree of Life”.
- Coconuts are very nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Once thought of as unhealthy because of being a high saturated fat, we now know that the fat is different from most other fats. Being a saturated fat it will not turn rancid at high heat like vegetable oils. So cooking with it is ideal.
- It is the richest source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCT’s are burned for energy and they do not circulate in the blood stream like other fats. Instead, they are sent straight to the liver and converted into energy. Since the body does not store the fat, eating coconut oil can help with weight loss. I eat 2 Tablespoons in the morning before my workout and have plenty of energy.
How Coconut Nourishes The Body
One of the first things I seem to do when I help people at Thrive Nutrition is to cut down on the carbohydrates and increase fats. Coconut oil is a good fat to start increasing and it is very easy on the Gall Bladder.
- Coconut contains the health-giving lauric acid. Lauric acid is a type of MCT found in breast milk. It has anti-microbial and anti-viral properties, which have been shown to destroy many types of bacteria, viruses, and fungus such as, candida, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
- Coconut can boost the thyroid function as it helps to increase metabolism.
- Coconut can even help prevent tooth decay.
The list goes on and on. Here is a link to a great chart from Dr. Mercola that shows how the whole coconut is used. It’s quite interesting.
How Coconut Nourishes The Skin
Due to coconut oil being a saturated fat consisting mostly of MCT’s, it will not easily oxidize like polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Most of the skin care products are made of vegetable oils that will oxidize and turn rancid, causing free radical damage to the skin. Often they are made from toxic man-made chemicals.
Here are some of my favorite ways to use coconut oil on the body:
- Skin softener – I whip up coconut oil and add in drops of essential oils and store in a glass jar. That’s my body moisturizer.
- Lip Conditioner – moisturizes lips and no toxic ingredients. Do you even know how many pounds of chemicals you have ingested from lip goop?
- Removes makeup. At night rub some coconut oil over your face, let it sink in for a few minutes and steam off with a warm washcloth. You will wake up with super-soft skin.
- Skin disorders – acne, psoriasis, and eczema. The MCT’s break down into antimicrobial free fatty acids, and help to heal the skin.
- Suntan oil – it’s ironic, most sunscreen lotions contain toxic ingredients. We need the sunshine to produce vitamin D, which is needed to protect us from cancer. Skin cancer is more than just being in the sun, as we also need to take a look at our diet. Too much vegetable oils and sugars will add to the toxic overload of the body and we can’t blame it all on the sun! Coconut oil has great antioxidant properties that protect the skin from free radical damage.
- Deodorant – the MCT’s in the oil attack the bacteria in sweat that cause the odors. Just wipe in your armpits after you shower, it’s that easy and no chemicals to destroy your hormones.
- Dry hair – just rub some coconut oil into your hair and scalp at night, wash in the morning and your hair is soft and shiny!
How about the mouth – did you say Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling has been done for ages. It is a traditional Indian folk remedy that involves swishing coconut oil in the mouth and through the teeth.
This is done because the antimicrobial oils will help to pull bacteria out of the mouth and gums where decay starts. For more information and how to do the Oil Pulling, go to this site.
Sweet-N-Salty Coconut Chips Recipe
So instead of grabbing a handful of chips, make up some Sweet~N~Salty coconut chips and indulge. You will be hooked.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees
- Melt the coconut oil in a jelly roll pan
- Mix the coconut flakes, sea salt in the coconut oil
- Bake a total of 8-9 minutes, stirring every 3 until golden brown. Watch carefully, it browns quickly.
- Pour onto a paper towel – enjoy!
What is your favorite way to use coconut? The uses are endless.
- Resources: Virgin Coconut Oil by Brian & Marianita Shilhavy
- Eat Fat Lose Fat by Dr. Mary Enig & Sally Fallon
- Dr. Mercola, How coconut might combat tooth decay.