Tag Archives: super food

The Magic of Coconut Oil

by Nancy Dacy, Health Coach

by Nancy Dacy, Health Coach

To cut straight to the chase, coconut oil is good for almost everything  you can imagine.  Just some of the seemingly endless benefits of this incredible superfood are:

  • Coconut oil is a healthy fat that is anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant and anti-fungal
  • It will balance cholesterol levels. Higher consumption of coconut oil is linked to healthy cholesterol levels and a lower rate of heart disease.
  • It is easily converted into energy and does not lead to fat accumulation in the heart or arteries. It boosts energy and endurance and enhances athletic performance. Coconut water is a great post workout drink!
  • It will help fight Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and MS
  • It will enrich a mother’s milk.
  • It helps boost metabolism and aids in weight loss and promotes fat loss.
  • Yes, it is a saturated fat, but we need that for hormone production, cellular health, bone health, and our immune system.
  • It is a very powerful immune booster.
  • It increases the activity of anti-oxidant enzymes in the body.
  • It kills bacteria and parasites, eases acid reflux, aids in bowel function, lowers the risk of hemorrhoids and protects against liver degeneration.
  • It is good for stress relief.
  • It is good for the hair as it promotes healthy hair growth, keeping it shiny and eliminating dandruff. It can also be used to rid the head of lice and is a great hair conditioner.
  • It is great for your skin. It can be used as a cleanser, moisturizer, eye makeup remover etc. It will help delay wrinkles and aging. You can even use it as a body lotion and can put it on your feet to soften calluses.
  • It heals infections both topically and internally. It can be used as a solid or a liquid, but be sure to NEVER liquify it in the microwave — this will completely change the molecular structure.
  • It is great for cooking, as it has a high heat tolerance and will not become rancid due to high heat.

There is not a single reason not to add coconut oil to your daily regimen! It’s a super food.  While you’re at it, drink coconut water and add coconut flakes to your recipes, too!  And MOST IMPORTANTLY, use extra virgin organic coconut oil. Can’t find organic? Go for extra virgin coconut oil as a bare minimum.

A FEW EASY WAYS TO ADD COCONUT OIL TO YOUR DIET:

  • The simplest way is to add a tablespoon of coconut oil to any smoothie as you are making it. One of my daughters actually loves to just eat a spoonful right off the spoon!
  • When I make the iGnite Peanut Butter Protein bars, sometimes they can be a little dry depending on the oil in the peanut butter or almond butter I’m using.  So, I melt coconut oil and add it to the bars to make them more moist. You can do this to pretty much anything!
  • It is great to use to sauté or stir fry when not using a very high temperature.
  • You can substitute coconut oil for olive oil. (Olive oil is best served at room temperature.) I often see chips at The Barton Creek Farmer’s Market that are made solely with corn tortillas and coconut oil!
  • You can add it to morning cereal, oatmeal, cream of wheat etc.
  • It is a good oil to pop popcorn in for your “movie night” at home. (Try to avoid microwave popcorn!)
  • You can actually buy coconut oil pills to take if you absolutely do not like the taste/texture of the actual coconut oil.
  • And to re-emphasize, always buy extra virgin organic coconut oil! In Austin, it can be easily found at Sprouts, Whole Foods and Central Market.

And last but not least, for a sweet treat I recommend making these delicious truffles:

CHOCOLATE COCONUT TRUFFLES

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  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 1 cup dried shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 1/4 cups cocoa or carob powder divided
  1. Toss coconut oil, honey, vanilla, 2 cups of the cocoa or carob powder, salt and     coconut in a food processor, processing until smooth.
  2. Remove and allow to chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
  3. Form truffles by rolling into small balls and dredge with remaining 1/4 cup of cocoa or carob powder.

The Amazing Avocado

Avocados

Who doesn’t enjoy sitting by the pool or on a patio to enjoy a cold summer beverage with chips and guacamole? Even though guacamole may taste like a splurge, you will be happy to hear that its key ingredient is a super food! We at iGnite have been singing the praises of avocados for years, and now iGnite member and Health Coach Nancy Dacy gives us the full run-down on what makes these little green guys so incredibly fantastic for our bodies:

  • An avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable, and many consider it a ‘perfect food.’
  • It has 18 amino acids that are required to form a complete protein, and it is used more efficiently by our bodies than the protein in meat.
  • It is high in fiber, containing more natural fiber than any other fruit!
  • It is free of sodium and cholesterol and provides 20 essential nutrients.
  • It is rich in GOOD fats and contains the vitamins A, C, D, E, K and B’s.
  • It has more potassium than a banana.
  • They are good for your brain and can help prevent Alzheimer’s.
  • Avocados are heart healthy: they are full of omega 3’s that help lower blood pressure and will lower LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) and raise HDL (‘good’ cholesterol).
  • They are great for expectant mothers as they are full of folic acid.
  • They are good for the eyes.
  • They are good for your blood sugar: the soluble fiber prevents blood sugar spikes and will help prevent type 2 diabetes, as well.
  • They are very anti-inflammatory.
  • They are very anti-aging and great for a strong immune system.
  • They are great for digestion.
  • They can help protect against breast cancer and prostate cancer.
  • They will help keep your nervous system healthy.
  • They are a very nutritious food for your toddlers and children.
  • And, don’t forget the skin!  Just mash an avocado and apply directly to your skin.  It is closest to your body’s natural skin oil.  It will help with sunburn as well.

If you do not like avocados, throw some in the blender with a smoothie.  You will get all the benefits without even knowing it is in there. And, if you can…..throw in the seed, too!

So, how much should you eat? We recommend eating up to 1/2 of a medium avocado (or about 1/4 cup) per day.

Happy cooking!

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