Everyone loves food! You probably would not be reading this article if you didn't!
In this blog, I go over 5 foods you should be consuming in your diet (that you probably aren't). These 5 foods I consume pretty regularly, and are listed in no particular order.
Two recent news articles published by the American Heart Association have touted that coconut oil, and saturated fats, is allegedly "bad" to consume, leading to various health risks.
I take a stand that these claims are misleading, and are based on skewed research and data from decades ago.
For Reference, the links are provided below if you are interested in reading them -
"Saturated Fats: Why All The Hubbub Over Coconuts?"
"Advisory: Replacing Saturated Fat With Healthier Fat Could Lower Cardiovascular Risks"
A lot of people use coconut oil, and believe wholeheartedly that it is beneficial to consume, and they are 100% right. However, most people do not entirely know why...
There are dozens of health benefits when it comes to coconut oil, and in the blog, I discuss the most important.
- High In Saturated Fats
Now, some of you might say to yourself “aren’t saturated fats bad”? Well, not exactly...
You see, you need saturated fats in your diet every single day, at least 30% of your fat intake to be exact.
The saturated fats in coconut oil contains 15% medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which the body is very efficient at for using as fuel, instead of storing them as fat.
This makes coconut oil a great option for people trying to lose weight.
- Great For Digestion
Often used for cooking, coconut oil helps to improve the digestive system because the oil contains antimicrobial properties which help to fight off bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion.
Because coconut oil is comprised of fatty acids, this will help you absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K more efficiently, as well as minerals and amino acids.
- Great For The Heart
Again, this goes back to the misconception that all saturated fats are bad for you. In reality, the saturated fats in coconut oil are beneficial to the heart because they contain 50% lauric acid, which aids in PREVENTING heart diseases, high LDL cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure.
- Lauric Acid Benefits
Lauric Acid is also considered an MCT, but behaves like a long chain triglyceride (LCT) because it must visit our liver before being turned into energy. This makes it less effective than many of the other MCT oils in terms of energy benefits. However, lauric acid has amazing antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral benefits.
Lauric acid is the precursor to a type of monoglyceride called monolaurin, a more powerful antimicrobial agent that is able to fight viruses and bacterial infections.
When lauric acid is digested, enzymes within the digestive tract form this valuable type of monoglyceride - monolaurin.
When lauric acid is converted to monolaurin, it essentially acts like a bacteria-killer. It has the ability to kill a wide range of harmful pathogenic hosts in the body, making it an effective way to help treat or prevent infections, viruses, digestive disorders and chronic diseases.
- Great For Your Skin And Hair
Coconut oil can be used as an effective moisturizing oil for all types of skin. It helps to prevent dryness, flaky skin, and can even delay the appearance of wrinkles and saggy skin.
Coconut Oil makes a great hair conditioner as well. By regularly massaging coconut oil into your scalp, you can protect yourself from dandruff and dry scalp. Coconut oil can even help in the regrowth of damaged hair as it reduces protein loss.
Now, there are any more benefits of coconut oil, but as you can see, it’s quite extensive and a quality jar of organic Coconut Oil will cost you less than $10.
Pure Raw Honey
The second food you should be consuming is Pure Raw Honey. Yes, the stuff straight from the hive! Raw honey is different than processed honey, and they are not equal.
So you might be wondering what the differences are. Let’s explain.
1. Raw honey is pure, unpasteurized, unheated, unprocessed, retains all the natural vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and phytonutrients, and has been consumed for thousands of years.
Depending on the source, raw honey contains particles of bee pollen, honeycomb bits, and propolis. These in themselves have numerous health benefits, some of which are explained below.
2. Bee pollen is a super nutritious compound which contains all of nutrients required by the human body including proteins, vitamins, minerals, beneficial fatty acids, carotenoids and bioflavonoids which are helpful to cardiovascular health. If you are allergic to bee pollen or pregnant however, it is best to avoid its consumption.
Raw honey does not actually ferment in the stomach, and can be used in supporting digestive health as a result. Unlike most sugars, raw honey is not known to aggravate a sensitive digestive tract.
3. Raw honey, especially for you sweet lovers out there, is a much better alternative to table sugar because of all the nutritious qualities that raw honey contains that table sugar simply just does not have.
Raw honey is great for sweetening things up such as oatmeal, a smoothie, or on a sandwich. Just remember, you don’t need a lot of it.
As great as raw honey is, it is important that you are getting it from a reliable source such as local beekeepers, or your local health foods store. I do not believe in the “everything in moderation” train, so listen to your body and its needs.
If you feel as though you would benefit from this superfood, definitely give it a shot. A jar will cost you around $8 - $10 depending on where you buy it from.
The third food you should be consuming might be surprising to some, and that is high quality, organic dark chocolate.
Before I go in depth, I just want to apologize to those who do not like dark chocolate, this one isn’t for you. But between you and me, it’s your loss.
The darker the bar, the more nutritious. I like to go for the 85% dark chocolate. What's your preference?
1. Most people know that dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants. But let’s go deeper.
Dark chocolate is loaded with powerful organic compounds including polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins, among others. These work together to function as antioxidants, and are one of the highest scoring foods tested with ORAC, the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, which measures the antioxidant activity in foods.
This combined antioxidant effect helps to protect the heart, improve cholesterol levels, and protect against heart diseases.
2. Dark Chocolate can be beneficial for those trying to lose weight.
The reason for this is because it contains a lot of saturated and monounsaturated fats. Again, this goes back to the coconut oil references in that fats are not the enemy.
Because fats take the longest to digest out of the 3 micronutrients, this allows for the slow release of energy into the body. Dark chocolate contains an excellent source of fiber, which also slows the absorption of sugar into the body.
These combined effects help to control blood sugar levels throughout the day, and help eliminate cravings.
3. Alternatively, I highly suggest investing in Organic Raw 100% Cacao powder. Imagine it as 100% dark chocolate.
Raw Cacao contains no sugar, and is dense in fiber and protein per serving. This powder instantly chocolatizes pretty much anything including oatmeal, smoothies, shakes, and desserts.
Just don’t try to make chocolate milk out of it, I warned you in advance...
The take home message here with dark chocolate and raw cacao is that there are numerous health benefits. However, this does not mean go down 4 dark chocolate bars.
Remember, dark chocolate is loaded with calories, and it easy to overd0 it. Make sure when shopping you choose a bar that is organic with a cocoa content of 70% or higher.
You can often find deals for organic dark chocolate bars like 2 for $6. I highly encourage purchasing cacao powder in bulk as it is much more cost efficient in the long run.
Food For Life "Ezekiel" Bread
Food For Life "Ezekiel" Bread, in my opinion, is the healthiest bread you can possibly eat.
I actually made a recipe video comparing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with this Ezekiel bread compared to regular potato bread. If you want to check it out, it can be viewed below!
Anyway, let’s explain what makes this bread so great.
1. First off, Ezekiel bread is sprouted.