7 health benefits of coconut oil

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Coconut oil has been shunned in the past because it contains mostly saturated fat. Now we’re calling it a “superfood”, vital part of any modern healthy diet. Why the change of heart? ❤️

Coconut tree - Photo credits: https://flic.kr/p/MtD6k

Many recent studies have been conducted to find the true effects of saturated fat. The results? Saturated fats are nothing to be afraid of. In fact, coconut oil’s fatty acids are actually very beneficial to our bodies, aiding brain function, fat loss and preventing disease.

Let’s look into 7 amazing benefits of adding coconut oil into your diet today.

  1. Coconut oil can be effective at helping people with Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and other brain disorders. This is because the fatty acids present in the oil have been shown to increase blood levels of ketone bodies which provide energy to the brain.
  2. Coconut oil can help prevent infections. Fatty acids have the ability to kill harmful pathogens and at the same time give a boost our immune system.
  3. It can help you lose weight. Their signature medium chain triglycerides (fatty acids) can increase our body’s total energy for the day by about 5%, burning significant amounts of body fat in the long run. Aside from being able to shed excess weight, coconut oil also helps to prevent abdominal obesity in women.
  4. Coconut oil is good for your skin and hair. Apply coconut oil to the skin as a moisturiser to improve its health and appearance. Use it as a natural sunblock (blocks 20% of UV rays) for skin protection.
  5. Coconut oil is great for your oral health. Ever heard of oil pulling? Swishing it around in your mouth as a mouthwash is an effective way of killing bacteria that damage your teeth and cause bad breath.
  6. It improves your digestion. When you cook with coconut oil it actually helps your body to absorb more nutrients from your food. Not only you will get more vitamins and minerals out of what you eat, you’ll get less indigestion because the saturated fats act as an antimicrobial remedy, discouraging bad bacteria, parasites and fungi that cause these issues.
  7. Coconut oil can reduce your risk of heart disease. High amounts of LDL cholesterol is bad news – you probably already know that – and can lead to serious health problems. However, HDL cholesterol is good for you. Consuming a moderate amount of this oil balances these cholesterols out, lowering LDL and increasing HDL which in turn can reduce risk of heart disease.

Yes, coconut oil is healthy! It’s a great alternative for baking and cooking. Try it out!
Already using it? Share your findings! Leave a comment here telling the world how you use it. 🙂

Bananas are top bananas

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You probably know by this time that we love bananas, right? They are inexpensive, easy to find and great to have as a snack, which means there is virtually no excuse to not have a few each week. Do you want to know why we’re calling them top bananas? Keep reading and you’ll find out why. 🙂

Banana contains important dietary minerals such as: potassium (important for optimum cellular function), magnesium (muscle function), and phosphorus (strong bones and teeth). When ripe they can be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown and basically all common varieties are good sources of these minerals.

Different colours of bananas

In terms of cooking, it can be used in many different recipes and be used to create the following dishes (not an exhaustive list): pie, cake, bread, ice cream, tart, and smoothie. To give you an idea of its flexibility and surprising taste try the following: slice a couple of bananas vertically in half, sprinkle some ground cinnamon and put them in the oven until they become golden. Who needs a better dessert? 🙂

Babies can also immensely benefit from the fruit due to its soft and gentle consistency – it’s probably one of the very first fruits introduced by healthy-conscious moms to their children. To maximise the time you’ll be able to consume them fresh (in other words, how to keep them naturally edible for longer), store them in room temperature out of any plastic bags. When you see them turning brown, cut them into slices and put in the freezer.

Athletes (even weekend ones) can also benefit from the nutrients found in a banana. A common belief though, that it helps to prevent leg cramps, is currently known to be untrue. On the other hand, bananas are an important source of carbohydrates and fructose, which are then consumed as energy by our body muscles during an exercise session.

Note, however, that consuming a considerable quantity of bananas immediately before exercising can cause stomach pain during the physical activity. Ideally, an average person should eat two to three bananas between 30 and 45 minutes before the activity starts.

This text is a translated and expanded version from the article originally published here.

Avocado: Real Food of the day

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Avocado is a fruit native to Central America and Mexico. It is technically classified as a member of the berries family, although we might agree it is definitely bigger than most of its family friends. Nowadays, avocado trees can be found in essentially all continents, from North America to Australia.

An open avocado

Incredibly rich in monounsaturated fat, avocados typically have 10% of its composition made of this important fatty acid, a vital element to reduce the “bad cholesterol” (low-density lipoprotein, or simply LDL). Not only that, they are also a great source of vitamin K – essential for healthy, strong bones.

Now that you know a bit more about its history and general composition, here are five fantastic facts about avocados, backed by scientific research:

Fact 1: Reduce bad cholesterol (LDL)

You had a preview of this topic in the initial paragraphs of this text, but now let’s talk about real numbers. A Mexican study discovered that the individuals in the experiment group had a reduction of 16% in their levels of LDL with a moderate consumption of the fruit.

Fact 2: Blood pressure regulator

Avocado is also an important source of potassium. You might not know, but potassium is used by your body as a regulator for blood pressure, making proper use of this element when a reduction in blood pressure is necessary. So, as suggested by this Harvard study, if you want some help to push your blood pressure down, stock up some avocados.

Fact 3: Promote weight loss

Some people incorrectly believe that avocados are strictly forbidden if they want to lose weight. Yes, they are fatty, but 75% of its fat is unsaturated, which, in fact, turns out to be a fantastic replacement for other types of food, less healthy and rich in saturated fat. Too good to be true? Check this study for more details.

Fact 4: Combat cancer

As if all the facts above weren’t enough to convince you about the benefits of avocado, here is a very important one: it helps to combat certain types of cancer. This study by the American Association for Cancer Research discovered that the lipids found in avocados will fight damaged cells, whilst preserving healthy ones.

Fact 5: Anti-inflammatory agent

Avocados naturally contain fatty acids rich in omega 3, phytosterols, and carotenoid antioxidants. This might sound like a collection of buzzwords, but these are essential elements that constitute a great anti-inflammatory agent. People fighting arthritis, for example, can specially benefit from this characteristic.

Nutrition Facts
Avocado - Nutritional Facts

Great! Now that you know that avocados can be found in all five inhabited continents and they rightfully own the title of super food, bring some with you on your next trip to the supermarket. And if you’re looking for ideas on how to use avocados in your next meal, check the recipes with avocado we have published so far.

Honey: Real Food of the day

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A spoon of honey
Last time you used a spoon of honey, did you stop to think about its origin? Long story short, honey bees produce honey from nectar and they use it as one of their primary sources of food. When used in its raw form, honey has the same sweetness as granulated sugar!

It is important to keep in mind that its healthiest form is called raw honey, avoiding regular honey as much as possible. Why? Raw honey preserves all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, whilst the regular one has the highly undesirable high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), something that you should avoid at all costs due to the recent discoveries that link it to many modern diseases.

Now that you are super confident about having it as part of your diet, here are five incredible facts about raw honey:

Fact 1: Better night’s sleep

A single tablespoon of honey before going to bed will give your body the exact right type and quantity of food it needs to burn off excess weight throughout the night. And as it is a natural sugar, it will reduce your craving for any other – bad – sugars.

Fact 2: Natural sore throat relief

To effectively treat a sore throat, gargling raw honey is a very effective preventive and healing measure. Honey has natural properties that will completely destroy harmful germs and sooth your throat at the same time. A simple recipe: a cup of tea with honey is also very soothing.

Fact 3: Immune booster

Raw honey contains significant amounts of antioxidants, which are vital elements to boost our immune system. A daily consumption of raw honey positively raises the blood leves of protective antioxidants. These are essential to protect our overall well-being during depressive or stressful situations.

Fact 4: Natural burn relief

Summer is just around the corner and summer sunburns are very frequent amongst kids and teenagers. Simply use your fingers full of honey and apply it on the affected area. Studies have shown that sunburns tend to heal three to four days faster with honey. The same idea can be used to treat minor burns from scalding.

Fact 5: Relief for hay fever

Pollen count is an important element to be understood by anyone suffering with hay fever. Having a teaspoon of raw honey made by bees from your own neighbourhood will help to relieve hay fever symptoms. Similarly, chew on a piece of honeycomb from a local hive to increase the effects and prevent hay fever from occurring at all.

Nutrition table
Nutritional table
Source – MyNetDiary APP

Just keep in mind that if you are currently following a low sugar diet, you should limit your daily consumption as it has a considerable amount of sugar. 😉

Now that you know all these things, what are you doing here? Go ahead and try some of our best recipes with honey!

Low Carb Nut Bar
Low Carb Nut Bar
Almond Bread
Almond Bread

Banana: Real Food of the day

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According to some historical sources, banana was one of the very first cultivated fruits in the agricultural history. Our ancestors strongly believed bananas had healing powers and also increased power, fertility, and overall prosperity.

In addition to what our ancestors believed in, here are five amazing facts about bananas:

Fact 1: Muscle function booster

Bananas are high in potassium – which is a crucial element for muscle function. They also work great for athletes – even weekend ones – because they come with their own, perfectly designed, packaging, ready to be taken anywhere you want to go.

Fact 2: High in vitamin B6

B6 is the vitamin responsible in the making of the chemicals used to transmit signals in and to the brain. It is also widely used by the human body to synthesise antibodies, which will fight various diseases and help to keep a person healthy for longer.

Fact 3: Natural anti-inflammatory

There are many conditions that cause inflammation or swelling to our bodies. Women can immensely benefit from the consumption of bananas to ease the symptoms of PMS. Bananas are also rich in potassium, which will help to prevent water retention and the overall bloated feeling.

Fact 4: Blood pressure regulator

Several studies have found that a daily consumption of bananas can aid to lower blood pressure. One of these studies claims that bananas, only by themselves, can help to reduce blood pressure by 10 per cent! Combine this with a healthy lifestyle for the best possible results.

Fact 5: Boost calcium absorption

Calcium is a vital element to our body functions and it needs to be properly absorbed before our bodies can use it. Around two per cent of an adult’s body is made up of calcium. Virtually every cell in our body will use calcium in some way – so increased calcium absorption is fantastic!

Nutrition table
Source - MyNetDiary APP
Source – MyNetDiary APP

Just keep in mind that if you are currently following a low carb diet, you should limit your daily banana consumption as it has a considerable amount of sugar. 😉

Now that you know all these things, what are you doing here? Go ahead and try some of our best banana recipes!

Sugar free Banana Ice Cream
Sugar free Banana Ice Cream
Low Carb Banana Bread
Low Carb Banana Bread