The One Superfood that Should be in Every Room in Your House…
We’ve all heard the term “you are what you eat.” Our mothers told us, our doctors told us (or should have), our exercise and nutrition advisors preach it. The internet and ﬁtness magazines are full of articles and blogs making claims about foods that will give you energy, cure disease, shave pounds, improve concentration, etc… Some of the claims seem a little sketchy, especially those articles that automatically link you a website that offers a miracle supplement for just $19.99. I poke fun but I’ve been guilty myself of making a couple online purchases with the hopes of a life changing capsule. Sadly, many of those products are bogus but the idea of certain foods being the gateway to health beneﬁts is real. And usually, it doesn’t require a magic pill to get the beneﬁts, it just takes a trip to your grocer.
The term “Superfood” has been thrown around a lot lately. There isn’t a master list (that I know of) that can scientiﬁcally identify all the existing superfoods and the fact is that there are a lot of different opinions on what those foods are and what gives them that hefty title. The Macmillan Dictionary deﬁnes a ‘superfood’ as a food that is considered to be very good for your health and that may even help some medical conditions. The Oxford Dictionary deﬁnition states that a superfood is “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneﬁcial for health and well-being”. Pretty simple actually, and those deﬁnitions allows for the encompassment of a whole lot of different foods. I personally LOVE the concept of certain foods being super, especially when they taste good and have noticeable positive results.
One of the recent leaders in this powerful community made up of edible items is coconut oil and it has become one of my personal favorites. Aside from seemingly obvious uses such as cooking and baking, the list of beneﬁts this tropical oil can offer seems endless so I’ll just share some of my favorites and those I’ve tried personally.
Cooking/Baking – Coconut oil is an excellent replacement for vegetable oils because it can stand up to extremely high heat. Some of the oils out there will change in composition when heated to high levels and can not only lose their nutritional beneﬁts in the process but can also become toxic.
Dietary Supplement – Just a tablespoon of organic, unreﬁned coconut oil a day can aid in digestion, boost metabolism, relieve allergy symptoms, boost energy and help with the body’s absorption of calcium and magnesium.
Garnish/Flavor Food – As a substitute for butter, coconut oil can be a healthy way to top your toast or popcorn. Add a scoop to your non-dairy smoothie for a richer consistency and sweeter taste.
Oil Pulling – This is an Ayurvedic technique that detoxiﬁes the body, cleans the teeth, mouth and gums, and can clear acne and act as an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent.
One way to oil pull is by swishing a spoonful of coconut oil in the mouth for 10-20 minutes (as much as you can stand) per day prior to brushing your teeth.
Moisturizer – You see it in the ingredient list on several skin and hair care packages because coconut oil is highly moisturizing. Use on your hair as a hair mask before washing (the longer you leave it, the better. I sleep in it at night). Slather your skin in it after your shower. Use as a lip balm or as an under eye cream or eye make-up remover (it’s been said to reduce pufﬁness). Rub on dry heals or cuticles to heal and soothe.
Medicinal – Coconut oil can soothe or alleviate psoriasis and eczema. Rub on cold sores to clear them faster naturally. Melt into hot tea to soothe a sore throat. Because it’s naturally anti-bacterial, it can help with exterior fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. Use as a natural mild deodorant.
Other Uses – Coconut oil is said to provide an SPF of 4-6 when applied to the skin (of course not a suitable replacement for sunscreen on those beach and pool days). Use on your pet’s skin issues such as hot spots (it can provide them with relief and is non- toxic should they lick it). Lubricate guitar strings. Use to remove chewing gum from hair or remove a ring that is stuck on your ﬁnger…
I personally keep a jar of organic, unreﬁned coconut oil in my kitchen cabinet, at my bathroom sink, in the shower and I always take a jar with me when I travel. Remember that it does turn to liquid when heated and solidiﬁes when cool so make sure it’s wrapped tight before you throw it in your purse of glove compartment! With all of these beneﬁts, it truly is a super food and a natural and economic alternative to so many other products… Long live the Coconut!!!