News and Notes from The Johnson Center

Family and Food: Coconut Oil - Nutrient Dense and Necessary

JCCHD | Thu, May 24, 2012 | [Family and Food][Healthcare]

Coconut oil has a multitude of benefits.

Over 40% of the healthy saturated fats found in coconut oil are from lauric acid. Why is this important?  Monolaurin is a fatty-acid derivative that is found in breastmilk―it serves as a natural antiviral and it offers antimicrobial protection as well, which supports infants in avoiding disease and infection. 

What’s more, consistent intake of the healthy saturated fats in coconut oil have been shown to modulate glucose sensitivity and improve insulin resistance – which is good news for those with blood-sugar sensitivities (hypoglycemia), metabolic syndrome, and both type 1 and 2 diabetes.

Coconut oil has also been studied extensively for its anti-inflammatory properties.  Research indicates that coconut oil can improve both diarrhea and constipation, improve malabsorption, and improve low body weight that resulted from malabsorption. 

Incorporating coconut oil into the diet on a daily basis is an easy task:

  • toss non-GMO popcorn with coconut oil, cinnamon, and sugar for a tasty snack
  • drizzle coconut oil over your favorite morning hot cereal
  • add a tablespoon of coconut oil to your smoothies
  • toss coated chicken nuggets or strips with coconut oil and bake – drizzle more for serving
  • add coconut oil to your favorite dips to enhance nutrient intake – hummus, babaganoush, white bean dip, and even guacamole can benefit from a coconut boost

This great recipe is from our colleagues, Ali and Tom Malterre of Whole Life Nutrition:

Tom’s Fruity Medicine Chest Smoothie
Serves 4

2 apples, cored and cut into chunks
2 ripe pears, cored and cut into chunks
1 to 2 cups water or coconut water
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 lemons, juiced
1 to 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
5 kale leaves, rinsed and torn
5 romaine lettuce leaves, spinach leaves, or collard greens, rinsed
1 cup coarsely chopped green cabbage, (optional)

Place the apple chunks, pear chunks, water, coconut oil, and lemon juice into a blender fitted with a sharp blade or a Vita-Mix and blend until smooth and creamy. 

Add the ginger, kale, romaine lettuce, and green cabbage, and blend again until very smooth. Add more water for a thinner smoothie.

You can taste it now and if it is too “lettucy” for you then add another pear and blend again. Add more water for a thinner consistency.
Optional Additions:
Kiwi fruit
Fresh parsley or mint
Flax seeds
Soaked Goji berries
Bee pollen

Printable PDF

As a treat, consider this natural Magic Shell ice cream topping alternative:

Homemade Chocolate Magic Shell Recipe

1 cup organic coconut oil
1/4 cup high-quality organic cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 – 1/4 cup honey
10 drops vanilla stevia (optional)

In a double boiler (or sauce pan over low heat), melt all of the ingredients together and stir until combined. Serve over your favorite non-dairy ice cream.

Coconut Oil