Ready to see where Superfoods can fit into your regular weekly diet, and boost your health and wellbeing this season?
You might already know that I’m borderline obsessed about how food forms the foundation of our health. Like me, perhaps you’re passionate about food when it’s fresh, local, organic, free-range, made with love, and delicious. I love to help you figure out how to use food to boost your immunity, clear up your skin and get your hormones back in balance. You might be surprised that as a naturopathic doctor I’m a “warm & cooked” food lover and get chilly and bloated just thinking about a raw food diet. I’m not a vegetarian, and when I eat animal products, I want to know they’re from animals that were well cared for, lived humane lives and were fed the right food for them. That means free-range chickens and grass-fed beef to name a few. I’m a fan of fats (healthy ones of course).
I get lots of questions about foods and thought I’d pull together my thoughts on 5 Superfoods I’m finding myself talking a ton about with patients these days.
Let’s count ’em down from Number 5.
Yes! LOVE coconut.
Long thought of as a “rich” food to be avoided because of high levels of saturated fat, researchers have shown coconut to be loaded with nutrients that can help treat and prevent diseases from diabetes to obesity to memory impairment. Researchers at the Centre of Excellence in Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Care at Edith Cowan University in Australia have reported that compounds found in coconut may prevent development of amyloid plaques found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. (Fernando et al. 2015).
Coconut oil is unique in that it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which your body easily uses as a source of energy by converting them into ketones which fuel the brain (Fernando et al. 2015). Although coconut oil contains saturated fat, it does not adversely affect blood cholesterol levels or risk of heart disease compared to a polyunsaturated oil like sunflower oil (Vijayakumar et al. 2016), in fact, has been shown to protect blood vessels from oxidative stress (Nevin et al 2004) – a definite bonus when it comes to maintaining a healthy brain.
Look for fresh coconut when you can get it – it’s the complete whole food rich in fiber, too. You can also find liquid MCT which is safe for cooking and easy to blend into cold foods. These days, I’m putting MCT’s into smoothies, pouring it by the teaspoon onto my oatmeal and over warm curries. When looking for coconut milk, choose full-fat versions that are free from preservatives like polysorbate 80 (check the label).
How to Use It
Simply open the package and serve!
Toasted coconut is a paleo-perfect snack for whenever you have the munchies or a cookie craving. It’s satisfyingly crunchy, slightly sweet, full of fibre and won’t spike your blood sugar. Look for toasted coconut flakes that are free of added sugar and sulphites.
Dr. Liz’s Coconut Mango Sorbet
Try this instead of ice cream:
1 cup frozen mango pieces
1 cup organic coconut milk (full fat)
½ tsp natural vanilla extract
½ to 1 tsp raw honey (if desired)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy immediately. Makes 2 servings.