I know it’s deep for a Wednesday afternoon, but I wholeheartedly believe that despite the human race being so scientificaly advanced, learning so much about the planet we live on and the universe that we live in, we still know relatively little about what the earth gives us to work with for our health and well being. In fact, we probably know less than any other time in history, our current judgement being clouded by mass marketing intiatives created to drive sales of man made items.
At 16, I took an art exam, and created a 3 feet tall medicine capsule, the top was clear and depicted a rainforest inside, I felt strongly that by destroying our tropical forests, that we were burning and destroying cures for diseases, and knowledge that the earth could teach us. Pretty profound for a 16 year old and I was a called a hippie by my classmates (or whatever the 90’s version of hippie was). I however think that we me at my most inciteful.
Around the world, diets vary so massively from the eskimo high in saturated animal fat diet, to the japanese sea and vegeateble rich cuisine. In the West we have seen a huge amount of transition from one dietary trend to another, depending on the latest research and what is ‘most healthy’ at that time- and these diets vary wildly in their theology. We have seen societies feed around a high grain and high carb menu when money has been tight, we have seen the extremes of high animal protein and high fat being the best for us, and likewise we have seen low fat.
It’s no surprise then, that people are confused, and governmental and general health bodies telling us to eat a bit of everything in moderation- it’s a catch all, designed to prevent serious food related disease in a nation. What it doesn’t recognise or deliver is optimal health, which is surely where we should all be looking?
Likewise, in the UK, the RDA or Recommended Daily Allowance was created after WW2 at a time of food sparsity and hardship to outline basic and minimal levels of nutrients needed by the body to prevent diseases such as scurvy. It is not a guide as to what our optimum intake of nutrients should be.
There are some basic principles that are however consistent and can only be good for us….drinking water, eating fresh fruits and vegetables in their natural state and not over eating. But then what about the basic principle of not consuming saturated fats? Trans or hydrogenated fats, made bad by human intervention (to increase shelf life) are without doubt bad, but not all saturated fats are created equal.
I am talking here about coconut fat. In its virgin, cold pressed state, most usually solid, coconut oil although 100% saturated fat (more than butter which is 80% fat) has been linked with many health benefits:
- Loss of excess weight, by supporting the liver and its metabolism of fat.
- Anti viral and anti fungal properties, with links so strong that this fat may be great support for anyone wishing to support their immune systems, or even battle an imune defficeincy disorder (yes im talking about HIV/AIDS)
- High in medium chain fattys acids, unlike long chain fatty acids, found in most other vegetables, its easy for the body to break down and used for energy rather than being stored as fat. This means that you get energy, but without the insulin spike that you would associate with carbs.
Coconut fat is great to cook with, especialy as it is more stable than other fats and has a higher smoking point so you are less likely to create the toxins associated with heating oil at too high a temperature. It also is great for baking, and can create the shorest pastries and cookies, as per my Coconut Shortbread Recipe.
But I try to eat raw as much as possible, and I’m going to be exploring how I can squeeze more of this liquid platinum into my diet in its purest form….I’ll start where I do each day…with my green smoothie. A sweet and creamy concoction of spinach, avocado, pineapple, cucumber, celery and occasionally apples….now to be joined by organic virgin coconut oil.
I was nervous about eating raw oil. Would it taste icky and coat my mouth? Would it feel al geasy and make me heave?
No, it makes my green smoothing taste like a pina colada!!! Happy Days!!!
For one of my Green Smoothie recipies click here. Just add 1 teaspoon of the solid coconut oil (I use Viridian Virign Cold Pressed) at the point of blending the spinach.
I also have a couple of skin complaints, so I’ll be using those as an experiment to test those anti viral properties 🙂