Cooking With Coconut Oil

What makes coconut oil unique is its combination of fatty acids rich in medium chain triglycerides (MCT) that are easily absorbed in your body and perform a variety of essential functions. Chief among these is lauric acid, which is also produced in mother’s milk. The oil also includes polyunsaturated fat in the form of lineloic acid and polyunsaturated fats as oleic acid. In addition, coconut oil supplies vitamin E, providing a natural lubricant and protectant for the skin. Also present is vitamin K, essential for blood clotting, and minerals such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.

One of the key benefits of coconut oil relates to the ability of the body to absorb MCTs easily. This process can speed the expenditure of energy, which boosts the metabolism. The result is you burn more fat as you consume coconut oil. The effect of this appears more pronounced on the more dangerous fat in your abdomen and clumped around organs. Remarkably, good results in loss of this fat occurred without adding any new exercise regimens to test subjects. When the liver processes the fatty acids in the oil it produces ketones, which can be used as a fuel source and leave you feeling satisfied. This reduces your appetite, which further supports weight loss initiatives.

The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil and lauric acid in particular, also provide significant antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties to protect the body against a variety of pathogenic bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses. Even bacteria resistant to some antibiotics are suppressed by the oil. This therapeutic effect extends to the bloodstream as well, where MCTs improve cholesterol levels and blood flow, which may lower the risk of heart disease.

The ketones created by the liver from MCTs are also shown to reduce the risk of epileptic seizures in children. These ketones in the bloodstream supply energy to the brain and support synaptic activity. Too much glucose destroys brain cells whereas ketones stimulate brain cell health and growth. This has shown to have an immediate effect on patients with mild forms of Alzheimer’s disease and is believed to be a key component in supporting brain health and cognitive function.

One of the first ways you can start to use coconut oil, preferably unrefined or virgin oil, is in frying and baking foods that call for oils or butter. The oil has a relatively high smoke point, which makes it a good match for cooking. You can also use a teaspoon of it on baked sweet potatoes and vegetables instead of butter. If you eat steel-cut or rolled oats or a yogurt smoothie for breakfast, add a spoonful into the mix as well. Soups, stews and curries can also be enhanced with a spoonful of this beneficial oil.

Eating Raw Food

Raw food contains micronutrients like phytochemicals, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and macronutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, essential fatty acids and fiber. Since it’s uncooked, all the nutrients, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in the food are preserved. All these are required to enable the body to function at an optimal level. Raw food enhances the immune system, aids in weight loss, increases energy, improves memory, detoxification, digestion and elimination.

Eating food that consists predominantly of raw vegetables, greens, fruit, nuts, seeds and some cooked/steamed food is the best way to provide optimal nourishment for your body. This helps decrease the risk of diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke etc.

These are the amazing benefits of eating raw food on a daily basis:

Weight loss: Fresh greens and vegetables are very low in calories so it’s possible to lose weight when incorporating fresh produce in your diet.

Immune system enhancement: Enzymes, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids essential fatty acids present in vegetables, greens, fruits enable the body to prevent and fight diseases.

Detoxification: Raw fresh living vegetables and fruit enhance the detoxification of toxins from the body.

Anti-inflammation: There are an abundant amount of antioxidants in raw fruits and vegetables that destroy free radicals which lead to inflammation in the body.

Anti-microbial function: Raw food such as raw coconut meat and garlic have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Alkalinity: Most raw fruits and vegetables are alkaline in nature while animal products such as meat and eggs become acidic when metabolized. The alkalinity from the fruits and vegetables helps to aid the body in maintaining a healthy acid alkaline balance.

Improved digestion and elimination: Raw fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water and fiber. This enhances elimination of toxic substances in the form of waste.

Mental clarity and memory improvement: Intuition becomes sharper and memory is improved with the raw diet because a high level of antioxidants, enzymes and nutrients are ingested daily.

Increased Energy and Vitality: A high amount of enzymes and nutrients are made available to the body through raw food which helps to increase energy in the body and allow the body to heal.

Better Sleep: Raw food contains unaltered proteins that enhance sleep and mood.The protein is broken down into amino acids which form neurotransmitters that are used in the brain to that help to regulate mood and promote sleep.

Nutrient Which Supports Digestion

Certain nutrients from fiber such as cellulose go straight through our system and do not get consumed by microbiota. However there are other types of dietary fiber that microbiota use to degrade and ferment the sugars in our food. Protein fatty acids form and absorb into our blood stream as a result of microbiota activity. Once absorbed, these fatty acids are a key element to regulate our bodily functions.

Many people think protein fatty acids are simply a salvageable form of calories. Popular opinion states that fatty acids simply extract calories from complex carbohydrates. On the contrary, protein fatty acids do much more and are very important for our gut health. Immune system regulation in addition to reduction of inflammatory symptoms occurs with fiber. Lack of dietary fiber intake and protein fatty acid production results in poor health. We are also more likely to become sick as we develop a hyper-inflammatory immune system. This is an unfortunate health condition of the Western world caused by diets that consist of limited fiber and large amounts of processed foods. Fiber benefits us by working in conjunction with protein fatty acids to support optimal digestion.

Our digestive system is sensitive and prone to diseases. Antibiotic use and deprivation of complex carbohydrates are detrimental to digestion. Consequently this type of mistreatment of our gut creates an opening for pathogens to exploit and as a result make us sick. In addition, the mucous layer of our intestine becomes thin and inflammatory responses increase due to a lack of dietary fiber. Solve the digestive track sickness quickly with an increase of dietary fiber. Constipation is another common digestive condition which is resolved by eating more fiber. Bloating is a common issue you are likely to face in a high fiber diet. Add more fiber to your diet slowly and monitor your symptoms to control bloating.

Microbiota in our intestines are important for proper digestion. Increasing the amount of this cellular activity to accommodate an increase of fiber requires careful consideration. New microbiota which processes our dietary fiber may not accumulate as rapidly as we are ready to increase our fiber. Hence we must increase our fiber intake at a slow and moderated pace in order to accommodate our current microbiota count.

Optimal Nutrition

1. Base your nutritional regime around whole foods

Think nuts, seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, pulses and meat. Make choices in these food groups that are as close to the original food as possible. This helps ensure the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients (the things that nourish you) are still intact. E.g. raw almonds instead of roasted and/or salted ones!

2. Choose organic

Organic farming places the utmost importance on caring for the soil because it forms the basis for health, for all life forms. Healthy soil encourages healthy, disease resistant plants, which then transfers to the animals and people who consume those plants. By choosing organic, you are opting for food that has been grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and without the routine use of antibiotics.

3. Drink water

Your body can survive a surprisingly long time without food but it won’t last more than a few days without water. Optimal hydration is critical to ensure our muscles and nerves function properly, and even mild dehydration can lead to feelings of lethargy. How much to drink? The answer is quite simple – drink until your wee is clear or almost clear. What an easy way to measure whether you’re getting enough!

4. Take time to plan and prepare for eating well

It takes time and preparation to change your habits. Schedule out time to write shopping lists, shop for food and prepare meals. Plan to eat before you shop to minimise the chance of giving in to temptation foods – or shop online to minimise even further. Make bulk meals to freeze for busy nights and set aside time to prepare a packed lunch the night before. Keep useful kitchen items in easy to reach places – for example, put the blender on the bench rather than in the cupboard so that healthy smoothie preparation is quick and easy.

5. Change only one small thing at a time

You may feel overwhelmed by wondering where to start improving your nutrition. Don’t. Just start. Make one small, achievable change and once that becomes a habit (something you can do without a major effort), then focus on something else. Small changes are the key to success. For example, instead of saying “I’m only going to eat whole foods from now on and forever”, instead make your target more realistic such as “I’m going to increase to eating at least 4 different vegetables per day on at least 5 days every week”.