Mindful Eating: The Power of Coconut

October 21, 2009 By: Matsya Siosal Category: Mind Body Spirit

You’ve probably heard the term superfood by now. If you aren’t sure exactly what it means, a superfood is a natural food regarded as especially beneficial because of its nutrient profile or its health-protecting qualities.

Cracked_coconut

One superfood that has gained a lot of attention lately is coconut. Regardless of the specific diet you may observe (omnivorous, vegan or raw), the coconut is a delicious, nutritious and some say beautifying food anyone can incorporate into their diet. Consuming enough healthy fats is essential for optimum health of all body systems including brain, skin, metabolism and hormones. Healthy fats are generally more stable – which means they do not break down and release cell damaging free radicals – at high temperatures. Coconut oil (which is semi-solid to solid below 78 degrees) is one of the best, remaining stable at up to 170 degrees fahrenheit. In addition to being a delicious tropical treat, coconut is a great source of fiber, zinc, medium-chain-fatty acids and antioxidants.

Coconut can be consumed in many formats including ~

  • fresh coconut
  • dried coconut
  • coconut oil
  • coconut milk
  • coconut water
  • coconut flour

Seek out coconut products from organic and fair trade sources. When purchasing coconut oil it’s especially important to choose oil packaged in glass, as plastics are known to leach hormone-disrupting chemicals. Coconut oil has a very long shelf life ~ 2-3 years if kept in a cool, dark location.

Coconut is known to ~

  • promote a clear, healthy complexion
  • lubricate joints
  • satisfy the appetite and improve digestion
  • restore healthy thyroid function and metabolism
  • promote healthy cholesterol balance
  • strengthen the cells and tissues

A tip I read recently in a book on raw foods suggested adding coconut oil to a smoothie. I added some this morning to my hemp-milk, banana and spirulina smoothie and loved the subtle coconut flavor and haven’t had any urges to snack all day!

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