Coconut

Coconut is hands-down my favorite Keto food on the planet!  It is one of the healthiest fats that you can incorporate into your diet.  It also has an impressive list of benefits, from lowering cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar levels to reducing inflammation.  And of course, cooking with coconut meat, oil, cream and butter.  I think it’s the most commonly used ingredient in my own recipes!

Lose weight and Increase Metabolism

It’s packed with medium-chain fatty acids, which are healthy fats, which the body burns  for energy, instead of storing it as fat.  It can help increase the metabolism to burn more calories and provide the body with energy.

Lower cholesterol and Improve Thyroid Function

Coconut oil has a saturated fat called lauric acid, a type of MCT (medium-chain triglyceride).  Lauric acid increases the HDL cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels.  Coconut oil lowers cholesterol by promoting its conversion to pregnenolone, a molecule that is a precursor to many of the hormones our bodies need. Coconut can help restore normal thyroid function. When the thyroid does not function optimally, it can contribute to higher levels of bad cholesterol.

Improve digestion

Coconut oil helps improve the digestive system and prevents various stomach and digestion-related problems including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The saturated fats present in it have antimicrobial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion. It also helps in the absorption of other vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Ward off wrinkles

The oils found in coconut have a positive antioxidant action helping the body stop the damage to other healthy fats and tissues. Oxidation is considered a major contributor to cardiovascular problems and skin aging.  Coconut oil and butter has youth enhancing, glow encouraging properties for the skin.  It is highly moisturizing and promotes skin elasticity.

Stabilize glucose levels

Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar and improves the secretion of insulin. It also promotes the effective utilization of blood glucose.

Fight off viruses

Coconuts are antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic, meaning they kill harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. It can help treat some of the worst and most illnesses including influenza, giardia, lice, throat infections, urinary tract infections, tapeworms, herpes, gonorrhea, bronchitis, and numerous other ailments caused by microbials.

Benefits Hair

Coconut butter offers many hair benefits, including preventing dandruff and promoting hair growth. Since the butter is easily absorbed by the hair and skin, it may lower the negative effects of free radical damage while enhancing hair growth. Combine it with essential oils like rosemary, and massage it into your hair. You will then leave it on for 20 minutes, before showering like normal.

Regulate hormones

Coconut oil can actually help you balance out your hormones, due to the presence of natural lauric acid. A number of studies have shown that this acid, along with the saturated fat, are able to help balance out hormones in women going through the menopause. It has a positive effect on estrogen levels in particular, making this a great natural alternative to medication provided for women experiencing wild mood swings and hot flashes.

Reduces Inflammation

Coconut’s antibacterial properties work to prevent disease. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut benefit the body by reducing inflammation to help prevent and treat diseases like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, gallbladder disease and Crohn’s disease.

Cooking with Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is considered the best and safest oil to use for cooking, even superior to extra virgin olive oil when it comes to giving the body what it needs for optimum health. Unlike other fats and oils that we typically use for cooking and baking, coconut oil does not form polymerized oils or dangerous trans fatty acids in our bodies, which can raise our cholesterol levels; clog our arteries and even make our skin sag and wrinkle.  This ultra-safe oil can give your body important antioxidants that can help build stronger cells and improve your overall health and well being.

One cup of Raw coconut contains 60% of your recommended daily intake of manganese, 17% for copper, 11% for selenium, 11% for potassium, 10% for iron, 9% for phosphorus, 6% for magnesium and 5% for zinc.

Coconut Water – The coconut is a natural water filter. It takes almost 9 months for a coconut to filter every quart of water stored within its shell. This makes the resulting coconut water completely pure and sterile, which is one reason why it can be used for blood transfusions.

Another benefit of coconut water is the fact that it has the highest concentration of electrolytes than anything else found in nature. This makes it an excellent source of hydration.

Coconut Oil – makes a superb topical oil that can help to naturally rid the skin of dangerous toxins. It also gives the skin the perfect mix of hydration and antioxidants that it needs to stay healthy, smooth and younger-looking longer.

Coconut oil helps protect your teeth from the bacteria that can cause cavities and disease. Simply rubbing a little fresh coconut oil on your gums and teeth can keep them stronger and healthier than virtually any other dental treatment.

Coconut Cream – is quite possibly the best skin treatment product one can use to achieve flawless skin. Unlike traditional skin creams which can actually introduce fats and oils to the skin that will break it down over time, making it look older, creams derived from the coconut can actually replenish the skin, giving it a more youthful and healthy glow than most other skin care products on the market.

Coconut Flour –  is a healthy way to add decadent coconut flavor to baked goods. As for health benefits of coconut flour, it has 5 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons. Coconut flour has health benefits for people with diabetes, too,  adding coconut flour to baked goods lowers the glycemic index (a measure of the rate that a food increases blood sugar).

Coconut Meat – For a Ketogenic diet, you’ll be happy to know each 2 x 2-inch piece of raw fresh coconut meat contains only about 7 grams of carbohydrate- less 4 grams of fiber, giving you only 3 net grams of carbohydrates.  That same piece packs 15 grams of fat, which makes it ideal for getting enough fat for your macros .

Coconut Butter – is made by taking dried coconut flakes (I always use unsweetened) and processing them into a smooth creamy butter.  It contains natural oils from the coconut oil and the fiber from the coconut flesh, giving you the best of both worlds for nutrition.

Coconut Milk – is derived from the flesh of the coconut. It is not the liquid that can be drained out from a coconut that has been punctured, although many people assume this. Getting coconut milk from a coconut requires some processing, but the ingredient is also available in cans or bottles. Coconut milk is used as a cooking base in many recipes, particularly in the cuisine of Thailand and other South and Southeast Asian countries, but also in West Africa, Hawaii and the West Indies.

See My Recipes for Cooking with Coconuts:

Coconut Cupcakes

Chocolate Coconut Brownie Bites

Toasted Coconut Protein Shake

Chocolate Mocha Fat Bombs

How to Make your Own Coconut Butter

How to Make your Own Toasted Coconut Butter

Toasted Coconut Fat Bombs

Strawberry Coconut Cream Popsicles

 

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