Is There a Perfect Food?

Is There a Perfect Food?

Is There a Perfect Food?While there is probably no absolutely perfect food that fills every nutritional need, coconut oil is one of the healthiest foods you can put into your body. Coconut oil is an oil that has been extracted from the meat of a coconut or from coconut milk.

This oil has many health benefits, but it’s important to understand what it does, which products are most effective, and how to use it.

The Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains three unique fatty acids: lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid. These are called medium chain fatty acids (MCFA’s). MCFA’s have many health benefits. They are easy to digest, they go directly to your liver – where they are immediately converted into energy – and they stimulate your body’s metabolism. These are the types of fats your body needs.

The three fatty acids contained in coconut oil have their own tremendous health benefits. These include:

  • Antiviral and antimicrobial properties
  • Fights antibiotic resistance
  • A healthy energy source
  • Assist weight loss
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Linked to lower heart disease risk

As you can see, the fatty acids contained in coconut oil are incredibly healthful.

Coconut oil itself has fantastic health benefits. However, coconut oils produced in different ways and at specific quality levels will be able to impart these health benefits more effectively than other oils. That brings us the our next section.

How to Find the Most Effective Coconut Oil

There are two main ways coconut oil is extracted and processed. One is most commonly called “refined” or RBD (refined, bleached, deodorized.) The other is called “virgin” coconut oil.

Refined coconut oil comes from dried coconut that has been further processed through a variety of heat-related methods. When a package says that your coconut oil has been expeller pressed, hydrogenated, or is “liquid coconut oil,” that is a refined oil. Additionally, if no description is given and it simply says “coconut oil,” it’s very likely that oil has been refined.

Refined coconut oil have had some of the nutrients stripped away from them. That’s why it’s a better bet to get virgin oil. However, there is no industry standard that defines “virgin coconut oil” so you will have research your oil beyond just assuming that the label will tell you which oil has all of the vital nutrients you want to consume.

All virgin coconut oil comes from fresh coconut – not dried coconut. When you are researching the perfect coconut oil for your needs, look for oil that has been “pressed” or “wet-milled.” Both of these processes extract the oil without damaging its nutritional content.

How to Use Coconut Oil to Improve Your Health

Now that you know which coconut oils are the best for your health, I’m sure you’d like some ideas for using coconut oil. Here are several great ways you can consume coconut oil and reap all of the great health benefits it has to offer:

1. Cook with coconut oil

Coconut has a high smoking point, which makes it a great oil to cook with. Refined coconut oil has a smoke point of 400 degrees Fahrenheit, while unrefined oil has the smoke point of 350 degrees.

2. Add coconut oil into foods

Coconut oil has a great texture and a mild flavor, so it goes with many food. You can add a spoonful of oil to your coffee or a smoothie for a smooth texture and hint of coconut flavor. It goes extremely well with most chocolate-related recipes. There are also many, many recipes which you can swap out other fats like butter or other oils with coconut oil.

3. Use coconut oil on your skin and hair

Coconut oil is a fantastic moisturizer and can be used as a body lotion, lip balm, and shampoo. If used as a shampoo, simply use apple cider vinegar to rinse. Additionally, coconut oil can be used a a mild sunscreen (it is naturally SPF 4) and as a sunburn remedy.

4. Take advantage of coconut oil’s anti-fungal powers

Topical fungal infections like athlete’s foot can be treated with coconut oil.

5. Use coconut oil as medicine

Because coconut oil has so many health benefits, it can be utilized as a medicine. You can use it to kill yeast infections and candida, it can be used to heal and sooth eczema and psoriasis and it can help lower cortisol and regulate hormones.

Coconut oil is a fantastic food that provides many natural, healthy benefits. If you would like to find out how we can help you using coconut oil and many other simple, effective tools to improve your health, contact us today.

 

References:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/475060-benefits-of-capric-acid/ http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/what-type-of-coconut-oil-is-best-how-to-choose-a-coconut-oil/ http://draxe.com/lauric-acid/

Symptoms of stress

Can You Avoid These Five Symptoms of Stress?

Symptoms of stressModern life is filled with stresses. The three most common sources of stress are family pressures, work, and finances.

Unfortunately, studies have shown over and over again that stress can cause health problems. This is because, when you are experiencing stress, your nervous system activates your fight or flight response, releasing adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream. These hormones make your heart beat faster, raise your blood pressure, change your digestive process and increase glucose levels in your bloodstream.

This response is actually beneficial in a situation of unexpected stress, like during an attack or when a child is in danger. It can cause a reaction without conscious thought, allowing you to escape your attacker or rescue the child.

However, in a situation which causes persistent stress, this physical response is eventually exhausting both physically and mentally. Extended periods of stress can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and even drug or alcohol abuse.

There are many, many reasons a person can consistently get stressed out. Perhaps bad traffic has increased on your way to work, making transportation stressful. Maybe you are working long hours and not getting enough sleep. It’s important to discover your, personal sources of stress.

How Can I Avoid Stress Affecting My Health?

The best way to avoid the health problems caused by stress is to avoid stress altogether. However, this is usually not a feasible option. You may have a rewarding, high-stress job that, at the end of the day, you really enjoy. Your children may be going through the terrible twos – or the hormonal teens – and you will always be there for them. So, instead of avoiding stressful situations, you need to change how you handle stress.

Here are five things you can do to modify your response to stress:

1. Examine your reactions. Take a moment out of your next stressful situation and examine how you react. Do you tense up, clench your fists, your heart racing and your breathing quickening? Do you manage this reaction with things like breathing exercises or asking for help – or do stressful moments extend on and on – continuing past the one stressful moment?

2. Modify your life to change how you deal with stress. There are many changes you can make to take control of stress. For example, you can take one of my classes and learn deep breathing techniques to help you mitigate stress. You can take out some “me” time every day to ponder on what makes you grateful. You can take a walk in one of Oregon’s many parks and simply enjoy nature.

By changing your response to the “fight or flight” response, you are modifying your reaction to stress.

3. Include more healthy meals in your diet. Eating comfort food is a common response to stress. However, this only adds to the strain you are putting on your body. Instead of giving into that craving for comfort food, keep healthy snacks like carrot sticks, raw nuts and fruit around to help you stay energized during stressful situations.

4. Exercise. A great way to de-stress is exercise. However, when you are stressed out, you may feel exhausted and not up for a good workout. Keep yourself motivated by scheduling a weekly class, adding a motivational quote to your morning alarm or getting a workout buddy. You will be amazed at how exercising consistently makes your body more ready to deal with stress.

5. Update your sleep habits. Too many of us stimulate our minds and our brains with technology by watching TV, scrolling through our phones or working on the laptop before going to bed or while in bed. A great way to de-stress and help you sleep more deeply is to make your bedroom a haven for sleep by:

  • Keeping your bedroom dark when you’re ready for sleep.
  • Taking all of your technology out of the bedroom (including digital clocks).
  • Setting your thermostat 5-10 degrees lower than your average daytime temperature.
  • Keeping things quiet with a noise machine or earplugs.

We all have stressful situations that come up in life. The trick is recognizing these moments when they occur and modifying how we deal with such situations. If you need help handling stress in your life (and don’t we all?) be sure to come to my class on June 14th at Curves in Oregon City from 2PM-3PM. Just give my office a call to let me know you’ll be joining in!

 

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987

http://www.stress.org/stress-effects/

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20306887,00.html