Coco, cocos here…

I  often think back to a vacation many years ago in the Bahamas.  We quickly came to know the locals that would walk the beaches along the line of  hotels and sell their trade.   The women would sell jewelry and hair-braiding while a man would yell out in a very sing-song manner, Cocos…coconuts announcing his arrival.  I watched as he opened coconuts for those who were interested making it readily accessible which was an art in and of itself.  If only I had known then what I now know of this seed, I would have enjoyed many more.

Regarded as nature’s medicine chest in India, the coconut is certainly getting a lot more attention as of late. My introduction to using coconut for health purposes was a few years ago when I began enjoying coconut water after some intense and very warm yoga sessions. Reading that it provided more hydration to the body and replaced the needed potassium and electrolytes quickly piqued my interest. As I learned Ayurveda I became more familiar with the various uses for the coconut.

 

  • It is used on the scalp during massage to increase hair growth, prevent dandruff and even ward off lice.
  • Internally coconut and coconut oil cools the system, pacifying Pitta and balancing acidity.
  • Externally it is used to heal wounds and prevent scarring.

 

Coconut oil itself has been a staple in my pantry for some time now. I use it externally as a moisturizer and body lotion and use it in cooking, baking, added to a smoothie for a little extra good fat and even a cup of tea on occasion. Although it is a fat it isn’t like the unhealthy saturated fats, coconut oil is different in that it contains medium chain fatty acids and not the long chain fatty acids that many of the saturated fats contain.

 

So what does this mean? The makeup of medium chain fatty acids has a dramatically different effect on the body. There is no negative effect on cholesterol with ingesting coconut oil, in fact many have shown improved cholesterol when they begin using coconut oil. It enhances the bodies’ absorption of calcium and magnesium, it regulates blood sugar which reduces cravings and it his highly anti-bacterial, anti- viral and anti-fungal as well.

 

I encourage you if you haven’t yet explored the wonders of the coconut to give it a try. Here are a few ideas to get you started;

 

  • Substitute your normal cooking oil with coconut oil for sauteing,  roasting vegetables and even baking. There is a slight coconut flavor you may notice so if you’re not a fan of the flavor you may want to just substitute for baking.
  • Apply coconut oil as a moisturizer to your face, the eye area and wherever the body is dry, prickly or to reduce scarring.
  • Enjoy coconut butter (different from the oil, more buttery I suppose) on toast or in oatmeal.

 

Of course the list could go on and on. I’d love to hear from you, let me know how you use coconut in your daily life or if you’re new to it let me know if you give it a try.

 

 

 

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  1. […] on all counts as it had few ingredients all of which I had on hand (always a bonus), involved coconut and was a hit with both my children.  In fact, the consensus was that it was actually a bit too […]

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