The Power of Coconut: Adding This Healthy Fat Into Your Daily Diet and Hygiene Routine
by Mark Fitzpatrick
For many years we were all told that the consumption of too many saturated fats was extremely unhealthy in our diets, but there are a number of healthy fats that we should be adding to our daily eating regime. One of the best forms is found within coconuts, inside its oil, meat, water, milk and butter.
Many people may not realize that Polynesians are amongst some of the healthiest people on our planet, primarily due to the overwhelming consumption of coconut as the primary source of their sustenance. Studies have shown that these island dwellers have little or no evidence of today’s most deadly health issues – heart disease and other cardiovascular problems. The lack of these mortal medical issues are linked to the prevalence of consuming this tropical treat on a daily level.
NOT JUST FOR DESSERTS & COCKTAILS ANYMORE
While many of us may imagine the use of coconuts as being a part of desserts, candies, cookies, cocktails and other decadent treats, but its use has numerous health benefits. Let’s take a look at the many ways that coconut products offer us a plethora of properties that adds to our longevity and overall health. Other than enjoying Pina Coladas, “getting caught in the rain” and ingesting other sugary substances involved with the preparation of coconut, how can we add this healthy ingredient into our daily lives?
One practical way of adding coconut into our daily manner of living is through substitution. As many chefs are already are aware, sometimes they don’t always have the appropriate ingredients on hand for their delicious dishes. Therefore they may use other items that will still do the trick. The same is true for coconut:
- Dairy Swap: Use it as coffee creamer or other substitutions in milk-based recipes.
- Oily Alternatives: Coconut oil has a very high smoking point and is often used for frying, especially when included in stir fry and other ethnic cooking styles.
- Smoothie Surprise: Try adding coconut in juices and smoothies for a delicious, sweet treat that adds a tropical touch to these delicious beverages.
- Granola Grab: Add it as an oil alternative to granola and other recipes that call for a liquid ingredient that replaces vegetable and other types of liquid fats.
Some cooks also use this oil to season their cast iron skillets as an substitute for other types of grease. But wait, similar to how these seasoned chefs have realized, not only is this liquid beneficial internally, it’s also great for many types of external usages and applications.
ON THE OUTSIDE
Taken internally, we’ve seen that coconut has many healthy benefits to offer us, but on the outside, external applications and treatments will also give natural relief as an alternative to some of the more traditional, medicinal applications that are available today. For example, when it comes to better oral health, there is a practice called “pulling,” where mouthwash is replaced with the swishing of coconut oil inside one’s mouth, which not only kills bacteria, but also whitens teeth. Applied topically, coconut oil can also be used to:
- Kill other forms of bacteria, ward of fungus and fight viruses
- Be an effective moisturizer for skin and lips – also rated as sunscreen protection
- Condition hair and nails
- Ward off insects and help with the sting, itching and irritation of bug bites
- Soothe skin ailments like psoriasis and eczema
- Aid the pain and inflammation of arthritis
- Lessen the appearance of dark spots, cellulite, wrinkles and varicose veins
- Prevent stretch marks associated with things like pregnancy
Take a second look at coconut, a very long, secondary glance as a natural and healthy alternative to more costlier and less-than-natural remedies. This tasty, tropical treat can offer many benefits to some traditional methods that can lead us down on a path to a happier, healthier and more beautiful lifestyle.
Mark Kirkpatrick is a journalist, health and fitness enthusiast in Los Angeles, California. He has found that productivity starts with healthy habits and hopes to help others achieve their goals through positive reinforcement.