Crazy for coconuts!

with Meredith Baird, Culinary Creative and author of Coconut Kitchen

Eating a healthy diet means consuming foods that improve your overall wellness and sense of well-being- and of course, taste amazing. The coconut is one of the most healing, flavorful, and versatile foods found in nature. Despite its medicinal uses and culinary versatility, the coconut has suffered from a bad reputation and has gone in and out of acceptance. Fortunately, due to ongoing research and documentation, some of what was once considered a negative is now understood as a positive. As with most things, all products are not created equally. Hydrogenated or fractionated coconut oils are not the same as pure, pressed virgin coconut oil. Canned coconut milk with stabilizers is not the same as homemade coconut milk. Coconut water from a pasteurized can with sugar added is not the same as fresh coconut water. When choosing foods for their flavor and health benefit, you must consider the source and the production process. Always seek high quality.

Coconut oil is one of the first oils historically to be used as both food and medicine. Traditional medicine and Ayurvedic literature have recognized both the nutritional and culinary value of the coconut for centuries.The coconut is classified as a “functional food” because its benefits extend well beyond its nutritional data. Due to the coconut’s potent antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, it can be used to treat an endless amount of illnesses and ailments with extreme efficacy. It is a superfood indeed.

Saturated fat was put on the list of foods to avoid because of its link to an increased risk of heart disease and high blood cholesterol levels. Coconut oil was unfairly implicated as it is a purely saturated fat. However, the coconut oil that was used in these studies was far from pure. We now know that not all saturated fats are created equally nor are they all as harmful as they were once considered to be.

Fats are divided into three categories: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Within these categories there is much variation, and one fat type cannot be labeled as completely healthy or unhealthy. In typical Western diets, we are encouraged to eat a diet higher in polyunsaturated fats; these fats are considered healthy and include most plant-based oils like olive, nut, and seed oils as well as fish and algae. Advice to substitute polyunsaturated fats for saturated fat has been the key message in worldwide dietary guidelines for coronary heart disease risk reduction. However, these studies have been inconclusive, and in some cases, substituting dietary polyunsaturated fat for saturated fat actually increased the rates of heart and cardiovascular disease. These studies highlight the importance of eating a wide variety of high-quality, whole food–based fats including coconut oil.

Coconut oil is one of the most highly saturated fats at 92 percent saturation. This is higher than butter, beef fat, and lard. Highly saturated fats and oils are solid at room temperature, whereas polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are liquid. You might wonder: How can this be healthy? The advantages of saturated fat are that it is more stable and less susceptible tooxidation and free-radical damage than other fats, making it a purer source of nutrition. Consuming oxidized, highly processed, and poor-quality oils is, I believe, unnatural to our bodies and damaging to our health. The stabilized nature of saturated fat provides a high-quality source of energy and nutrition. Saturated fat acts as an efficient carrier of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and also aids in mineral absorption. Our brains are made up of about 60 per- cent saturated fat. Healthy fat is imperative to include in a healthy diet.

Healthy Fat = Healthy

OTHER BENEFITS OF COCONUT MAY INCLUDE:

  • increase energy
  • lower cholesterol
  • aid in weight loss and boost metabolism
  • improve lung function and treat asthma
  • provide heart and arterial protection
  • help heal skin abscesses, infections, and rashes
  • help with infections of all types
  • improve immunity and overall wellness
  • act as an antibiotic
  • improve eczema and psoriasis
  • improve dry scalp
  • help heal sore throats
  • help alleviate menstrual cramps
  • improve thyroid conditions
  • combat chronic fatigue and IBS

Golden Coconut Milk

The term “golden milk” has become synonymous with turmeric-enhanced milk. Golden milk is one of the most delicious smoothie and nut milk variations. The combination of coconut milk, honey, and fresh turmeric is a powerful cold and flu fighter, immunity booster, and mood enhancer. I’ve included the optional royal jelly version, which takes this recipe to the next level of nutrition. This recipe is great on its own or when served in a yogi tea blend.

2 cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh turmeric juice, or 1 teaspoon dried turmeric Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1 serving of Immortality Alchemy® Bee Mana (optional)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Makes 1–2 servings.

Immortality Alchemy® Bee Mana is 100 percent raw, organic, dried royal jelly extracted from bees that are never fed sugar or artificial sweeteners. Royal jelly is a rich source of essential vitamins (including B12, B5, and folic acid), minerals, proteins, and amino acids. It can be used as a general health tonic for increasing energy and stamina and boosting immunity.

Find out more about Meredith right over here!

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