Prevention Strategy 9: The Miracle of Coconut

Often when my sons were young, I would bring home a fresh coconut from the grocery store as a special treat. * The boys loved watching their Dad crack open the shell with a hammer, and enjoyed tasting the fresh coconut milk which they called “juice”. Since I worked as a travel agent and we sometimes took cruises, they thought it was going to taste like the virgin pina coladas they loved drinking on vacation. They soon discovered this “milk” was certainly not as sweet, and tasted more like water. We all enjoyed the experience nonetheless.

 

Drinking coconut water has now become “in vogue” and quite popular as a wonderful source of vitamins, minerals, and a great way to hydrate after a workout. Low in calories and sugar, its available plain or fruit flavor. Since I no longer consume dairy products, I use coconut water as a base for smoothies.

 

As a saturated fat, the use of coconut oil was once discouraged. What was overlooked was that it’s only mono-saturated and is actually extremely healthy. Coconut oil has a surprising number of health benefits ranging from relieving stress to bolstering the immune system. It’s rich in lauric, capric and caprylic acids, and these omega three fatty acids give it its antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti- fungal properties. It is so versatile that it can be used to cook food, moisturize skin, and treat infections. Amazing!

 

For baking, coconut oil adds extra moistness to cakes, fruit breads, and muffins, but no distinct coconut taste. I now substitute coconut oil and coconut butter in recipes. Be sure to always buy organic, cold-pressed oil. This is extremely important. Many of the beneficial nutrients and enzymes are lost when oils are collected using heat processes.

A wonderful book to read is The Miracle of Coconut. It explains how wonderful coconut oil products are for good health. Just think of the pictures of beautiful Tahitian women with long, black shiny hair…coconut was and is a staple food in their diet and is commonly added to hair products.

 

Important information on hydrogenated oils:

Unlike organic coconut oil, hydrogenated oils contain high levels of trans fats. A transfat is an otherwise normal fatty acid that has been "transmogrified", by high-heat processing of a free oil. There are many unhealthy hydrogenated oils that are used commercially because they have a long shelf life and are cheaper to use. It’s hazardous to consume hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenated fats have been shown to cause diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The only two oils I use are organic, cold-pressed coconut and olive