Natural Additions to Your Diet

coconut_oil_skin_health

Happy sunny, Sunday morning!

I don’t know about you, but these winter months with nothing but rain and cold really start to get me down after awhile. Then, like magic, a sunny day comes along and all my hope and energy is restored! Suddenly, I want to go for walks and work outside in the dirt. I want to plan a garden and eat more fresh foods. Finally, today is that day!

You all know that we deal with multiple food allergies in our house so I make most of our foods from scratch. While it is time consuming, I know what ingredients I am putting into each recipe and that makes it all worth while. We don’t have to worry about food dyes,  high fructose corn syrup or MSG if we don’t add ingredients that contain them. This has led me to look more closely at the ingredients I am using, hence more organic products.

Recently, I have been reading about two ‘miracle’ ingredients that should be added in to every person’s diet. (By diet, I mean what a person eats, not a way to get thinner.) They have been proven to increase longevity and prevent, improve or even cure ailments and diseases. No, they are not designed for you by large pharmaceutical companies or even prescribed for you by your doctor. In fact, your doctor will probably think you’re crazy if you mention them. 🙂 They are natural remedies that occur in nature: Coconut Oil and Honey.

Coconut Oil

In the past year, I have replaced vegetable oils with olive oils, having read several articles about the dangers of vegetable oils and the health benefits of olive oil. Recently, however, I read that tropical oils (aka coconut oil) were more stable at high temperatures than olive oil. So I wanted to get into the research.

According to coconutoil.com, coconut oil is “a traditional oil that has been consumed for thousands of years in tropical cultures, and the research on the health benefits of coconut oil has existed for a very long time. Lauric acid, for example, has a long history of use in combating pathogens, and this research has been around for more than 50 years. Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of lauric acid. So while we do publish a lot of people’s experiences with coconut oil, the evidence is not strictly anecdotal.  We have a very extensive section on this website dedicated to peer-reviewed studies on the health benefits of coconut oil that are accessed primarily through Pubmed. This section is updated frequently as new research is published.”

I am intrigued by the multiple benefits that I have read about coconut oil.  It has shown great healing properties for skin health, alzheimer’s, weight loss, and benefits for those who workout. Click here for several other benefits and the research behind it.

Honey

A little less well known, until recently all over my Facebook page, are the health benefits of honey. It seems as though each day I am hearing new information about combining it with cinnamon, lemon or vinegar for tremendous cures for a variety of ailments. Honey is said to be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral, which makes it a natural healing substance for cuts, acne and sore throats. It is also a natural energy booster and powerful antioxidant. The research is a bit harder to find, but the anecdotal evidence is substantial.

For me?

I will be switching from olive oil to coconut oil for all of my cooking and baking for awhile. I am only concerned about how it changes from liquid to solid at room temperature. The last time I used it to make almond butter (which I usually keep in the refrigerator), the almond butter became quite hard and had to be warmed up to out on toast! I’ll keep working on it!

Since I read about the honey lemon mask, I have been using it every other day. It’s only been about two weeks, but my skin feels very soft and my complexion is a bit clearer. The only drawback I found is how sticky it is. I can use it if I am going to take a bath, but otherwise I end up with it in my hair and it isn’t pretty. I’ve decided to switch to using the coconut oil instead of a moisturizer and will continue the honey mask when I can.

I will also work on replacing some of the sweeteners I use with honey. I can easily add honey to tea and snack bars. This morning, I used a bit of honey and banana on my pumpkin pancakes, instead of syrup. It was AMAZING!

Are you up for the challenge of trying to incorporate these two healthy ingredients into your diet? Let me know how you use them and what results you notice. I’ll keep you updated, too!

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One thought on “Natural Additions to Your Diet

  1. I have been using both for some time and love the results! I switched to honey five or so years ago and haven’t looked back. Replaced all my sugars and sweeteners with it in some capacity (it’s great in coffee…so is agave). I just recently bought a coconut oil spread to use in place of butter. Put it in with steamed broccoli and it was delicious!

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