4 Reasons To Go Nuts For Coconuts
Coconut seems to be a hot nutrition trend that isn’t going away. That’s probably because it is such a versatile fruit, or is it a nut…or a seed? Whatever it is, the coconut rocks!
In the past the coconut has had a bad rap due to the high levels of saturated fat, but recent research has actually shown that the unique fatty acids found in coconuts may actually aid in weight loss, reduce heart disease and cancer risk, and improve immune function. Here’s some of the different ways you can use the wonderful coconut.
Coconut milk is expressed from coconut meat and is much higher in calories than coconut water. The most common way to use coconut milk is to use it as a base for cooking. Due to it’s high caloric content, coconut milk should be used sparingly.
Coconut water is naturally low in fat, carbohydrates, and sugar. It aids in digestion and can improve circulation, boost immunity, reduce your risk for cancer and heart disease, and contains many antioxidants. It’s also a great way to refuel after exercise. To learn more about it, click here.
Coconut oil is probably the most versatile coconut product. It can be used in everything from cooking to beauty products. Due to its high smoking point, coconut oil is a good choice for stir-fry and can often be used to replace butter or other oils in baking. It can also be used as a hair conditioner or skin moisturizer, and added to other beauty products such as lip balm and exfoliating scrubs.
Coconut flour can be used as a healthy alternative to all-purpose flour. It contains five grams of fiber per two tablespoons, and has a lower glycemic index than regular flour, making it a healthier alternative for diabetics. Also, it may be a good choice for gluten-free individuals since it does not contain gluten or wheat.
Here’s one of my favorite ways to use coconut oil. I regularly make this scrub for myself.
Sea Salt Beach Scrub
½ cup fine sea salt
¼ cup coconut oil
Juice from half of a lemon
Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until mixed.
Use your fingers to scoop out a generous amount and massage the scrub on your arms and legs. Avoid the face and chest, which are generally too sensitive for a salt scrub. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry. Your skin should feel smooth and moisturized.
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Photo credit: Alex Masters