Friday, February 1, 2013

Real Food: Coconut Oil and Cod Liver Oil

By now you might have noticed that most of my recipes contain coconut oil.  

Greek fathers are to Windex as I am to coconut oil.  I use it for everything.

We are always hearing about good fat vs. bad fat.  Most of us know avocados and nuts contain good fat.  Bring on the avocado!  Cod liver oil can really boost your overall health, and coconut oil is most definitely good, and it has tons of uses outside the kitchen as well.

I really encourage you to do some reading and investigating to learn as much as you can about coconut oil and cod liver oil.  Do some Google searches, read some articles, and find some books at your library; this one is a great start.

As for my favorite brand of coconut oil, I recommend this one, which I have mentioned before.  You might find it at your local health market, and if not, you can get it on Amazon.  We go through about one 54 oz. container per month at our house.  I'd also recommend TwinLab Norwegian Cod Liver Oil (I take at least one, sometimes two teaspoons per day.)  You should be able to find that near you as well, but I always find bargains online and stock up that way.

I could go on and on, but I urge you to read up on these for yourself.  I won't say anything new.  Just to sum it up:

Cod liver oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for your heart and even improve your mood.  Cod Liver Oil can help your body recover from an illness, or even stop you from getting sick in the first place.  The main difference between Cod Liver Oil and a plain Fish Oil supplement is the additional benefit of vitamins A and D not found in the Fish Oil.  Do read up on this awesome stuff.  I've taken it for a couple of years and it makes a huge difference.  I think it tastes absolutely awful, but if I pour it directly into the back of my throat, then chase it with my morning Mean Green juice (which is full of lemon or lime.) That does the trick.

Coconut oil is a good, medium chain, saturated fat, and we use it most anywhere we'd use butter or another oil a recipe calls for.  The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil are not easily stored as fat in the body- instead your body likes to burn them off quickly, which raises your metabolism and gives you a great energy boost- I use it to literally warm myself up in winter.  It's great to have any time you need a pick-me-up or before working out.  Coconut oil boosts immunity, and is antimicrobial and antifungal.  OK, I said I wouldn't say too much- please go check it out for yourself.  

The important thing to remember here is to make sure you get one that is unrefined and cold pressed, like the one above.  These are less processed, taste better, and contain more nutritive benefits than one that has been refined.

As a final thought, adding some good fat to any meal is going to make it more beneficial for you- both in being good for you on their own, and in allowing your body more time to digest the nutrients you've eaten, as the fat slows digestion.  This means you will be fuller longer, and get more nutrients into your body, which also makes your body happy and keeps you feeling satisfied.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

I use the same coconut oil as you. I love it! I also use it on my face as lotion at night.

I've not read up on Cod Liver Oil, so thanks for pointing me to that. I'll do some research. I see they sell it over at Vitacost, which is where I get most of my vitamins. I'm currently taking a fish oil/flaxseed combo so I'll have to see how it compares.