Today's beauty food is coconut oil! I've chosen coconut oil because it has some pretty magical properties, and I've seen the results at work in my own life.
While it goes without saying that oils should be a small portion of our diet, when we swap out processed and oxidized or damaged oils, and add in less-processed oils in their more natural state - fresh-pressed and unrefined, especially from foods with healing properties like the coconut, it is majorly beneficial to our bodies and our skin. Upgrading our oil game is also good news for our livers, which are freed up to run more smoothly. Instead of filtering out and storing the toxins from oils, they are able to devote more effort to maximizing our beauty potential - like replenishing and hydrating our skin! In other words, they go from panic-mode to beautifying-mode.
Not only does upgrading to coconut oil keep us from consuming more harmful oils (like canola and soy - both heavily GMO'd crops), but it has health benefits of its own.
Let's dig in!
Amazing benefits of coconut oil
- Coconut oil contains medium-chain saturated fat (or medium chain triglycerides/fatty acids aka MCT or MCFA) lauric acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid - health-promoting fats whose only other abundant source in nature is human breast milk. In the body, lauric acid is converted into a highly beneficial compound called monolaurin, an antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride that destroys a wide variety of disease-causing organisms. (1) The medium chain fatty acids found in coconuts digest more quickly than other fats. This means that they are more quickly converted to energy and not readily stored as fat.
- Antiviral and antibacterial also means that coconut foods kill bacteria by disrupting their lipid coating. This is also why coconut oil is a great cancer fighter - it actually prevents cancer from developing, especially in the case of stomach cancer. It also kills or inactivates fungi, yeast, some species of ringworm.
- Anti-inflammatory means it's great for people with chronic inflammation anywhere in the body, including people with arthritis.
- Anti-pathogenic due to its lauric acid and antioxidant content. This also means it is effective in reducing candida, or the overgrowth of bad bacteria.
- Increase metabolism: coconut's medium-chain fatty acids are more easily absorbed and used as an energy source. They also break loose other fats and aid in pushing them out of the body
Also known to help with...
- Lyme disease
- Depression, anxiety
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
In fact, Thailand, where coconut appears in virtually every dish, has the lowest cancer rate of the fifty countries surveyed by the National Cancer Institute. (1)
Not only does coconut oil have a myriad of benefits, it also increases the bioavailability of the other foods it's consumed with.
And that leads me to today's recipe! I've paired coconut oil with some other beauty and skin-boosters - raw, local honey, which is another antibacterial, antiviral inside-out skin-smoother that is rich with amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, and, of course, matcha!
Matcha is a stone ground green tea powder that is rich in chlorophyll, making it a powerful detoxer. Its catechins trap and inactivate free radicals, which over time translates to less toxins in your body and a more glowing complexion. It can also help with rosacea and acne!
I love the idea behind Bulletproof coffee - coffee blended with Brain Octane Oil (refined coconut oil) and butter or ghee. The fat content slows the release of the caffeine leading to more prolonged, even energy. However I try to stay away from coffee in general. Not only is it acid-forming in the body, I don't love the spikes and crashes in energy, even with Bulletproof coffee. I also like to get the most health-supporting benefits from the food and drinks I consume. Hence where matcha comes in! Matcha has been the only coffee alternative that has kept me satisfied and coming back for more day after day. Not only is it delicious, it's almost like I can feel it's superpowers working the minute I start sipping it.
Side note: my friend Michele started the most awesome matcha company, called Matcha Konomi, and is sourcing her matcha straight from Uji, Kyoto Japan. She uses only the best ceremonial grade, radiation-free, organic matcha. The more I learn about matcha, the more I love it, which is why I'll be doing more posts about it in the future!
MATCHA COCONUT OIL BULLET
(one 12-oz. serving)
- 12 ounces filtered water, heated
- 1/2 heaping tsp. matcha
- 1 tsp. coconut oil (fresh-pressed, virgin, unrefined)
- 1 tsp. raw, local honey
Combine all ingredients in heat safe blender (like a Vitamix). Blend well, increasing speed, for approx. 30 seconds to incorporate oil and get a nice froth.
*If you don't have a blender - you can still make this. Just use 1/2 the water and a bamboo whisk to incorporate matcha. Then add remaining water and ingredients and mix well, allowing honey and coconut oil to melt.
When Coconut Oil gets a bad rap
Back in June of last year, the American Heart Association published an advisory saying that Saturated fats, including coconut oil, can lead to cardiovascular disease.
This is simply not true, and beyond that, irresponsible of the AHA to advise. When we understand the motives behind the advisory, it makes it much easier to understand. The funding had ties to statin drug pharmaceutical companies, as well as the canola, soy and walnut oil industries.
The fact is, research shows that fats in coconut oil (Medium Chain Triglycerides or MCTs) can actually decrease risk factors for heart attack and stroke. (Source)
If you'd like to read more, this article from Observer.com sums up the coconut controversy well.
Thank God we're over the fat-free thing!
We're pairing this Inside Out Beauty Food with the No. 2 Plumping + Peony line from Beautycounter. We chose this combination because, like the fat-free food craze (and fear of coconut oil) that started back in the 50s and lasted for decades, I have had a similar fear of putting oils on my face. The teenager in me is worried that I might breakout from putting oil on my skin. But alas, I've overcome my fear and am now using facial oil with no teenage-inspired worries - only softer, smoother skin.
To get entered to win our Beautycounter giveaway, simply shop through the links I've provided and for each item you buy, you'll be entered to with their Color Intense Lipstick.
Wishing you all the health and inside-out beauty you need to go out and conquer your day!
(1) The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, 2005. Michael Murray, N.D.