A Piece of Paradise
Nothing is more indicative of a tropical paradise than a sandy beach and a coconut. A tropical paradise might be great for your mind but did you know a piece of it might be great for your body? Our friend, the coconut, needs to come out of the tropics and into our everyday lives for several reasons. Let’s find out why.
For years, health conscious people avoided consuming this high-fat food because they mistakenly thought coconut was bad. We now know it’s actually packed with nutritional value. For example, by using coconut flour as opposed to traditional flour for baking goods, not only do you get a lovely infusion of light coconut flavor, but every 2 tablespoons have 5 grams of fiber. For diabetics, it also lowers the glycemic index of foods.
In addition, the fats that everyone is so concerned about actually do not react in your body like traditional saturated fats. A study cited by Medical News Today compared the benefits of coconut oil to soybean oil.
“In a randomized clinical trial, 40 participants were given either 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or 2 tablespoons of soybean oil once a day for 12 weeks. The soybean oil group saw their HDL (good cholesterol level) go down and their LDL (bad cholesterol) go up, both markers of an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. The coconut oil group did not experience a significant change in their cholesterol numbers but were more likely to have a higher HDL level.”
In layman’s terms, those consuming coconut oil did not appear to gain additional bad cholesterol from it.
Most people aren’t going to be drinking coconut oil, though. So how else should we ingest it? With milk, of course! Coconut milk acts as a traditional milk substitute, making it a favorite among vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. Substituting it in baking is a great way to cut out a lot of the sugar because it’s a natural sweetener. In addition, it tastes fantastic in smoothies.
What will you gain from eating coconuts? Fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
Nutrition isn’t the only area in which coconut serves as a beneficial ingredient. Your body loves the stuff. It not only moisturizes skin when applied like a lotion, but it can also remove makeup and prevent breakouts by keeping the PH balance in your skin and washing away harmful bacteria. If you want to treat yourself like you’re in a spa, create a scrub using either sea salt or sugar, mixed with coconut oil, and enjoy silky soft skin. Out of shaving gel? Use coconut oil instead. It will provide a smooth shave as well as keep your skin nicely moisturized.
Have limp hair? While in the shower, massage a generous amount of warm coconut oil into your hair to moisturize and restore its shine. In southern India, a thousand-year-old tradition dictates that once a week or so coconut oil is massaged into the scalp. This cools the body down and relaxes the mind. Afterward, the participants take a nap which is followed by a cool shower. This process has twofold benefits, it relaxes the body and it reinvigorates the mind. Try it out for yourself and feel the difference!
The more you use coconuts in your beauty regimen, the more benefits you will reap. Trust me, your body will thank you later.
For generations, the benefits of coconuts have been touted by humans in tropical regions for their medicinal and food properties. Science is finally confirming some of those suspected benefits and they are quite surprising. In addition to boosting your immune system, coconut has been shown to:
- Reduce stress causing hormones
- Maintain healthy cholesterol
- Aid in proper digestion
- Reduce microbial agents in the body
- Eliminate free radicals through antioxidants
- Fight fungal infections
- Reduce harmful bacteria
Many holistic healers incorporate coconuts into their practices. A short list would include nutritionists, dietitians and massage therapists. If you’d like to find a massage therapist and give coconut massage oil a try, look one up on HealingRadius.com.
Coconuts can enhance many areas of your life and its inclusion is relatively simple. Try out some coconut milk (you can purchase it at most grocery stores) or pick up a jar from your local beauty supply store. If you’re brave, tackle it raw and see what you can create with your own concoctions. However you use it, use it well and often. Enjoy!
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