In tropical regions where coconut trees grow wild, coconuts are a nutritious dietary staple. Today the range of coconut products has exploded beyond coconut milk to include coconut oil, coconut sugar, coconut flour, coconut chips, coconut vinegar and coconut water. The health benefits and versatility of the coconut has even prompted some nutritionists to label it a ‘superfood.’ Grace offers an exciting assortment of coconut products – they are your one-stop shop for `Everything Coconut.’
As a holistic nutritionist, I recommend that patients add coconut products to their diet to help manage cholesterol and/or weight, and increase their intake of antioxidants to help protect against cell damage.
As we age our cholesterol levels tend to rise, and adding coconut products to our diet, we can protect the heart by reducing total cholesterol levels. Coconuts contain the kind of saturated fats that are easily converted for use as energy, whereas the saturated fats in many foods get stored, leading to weight gain.
Antioxidants, think blueberries, are an important part of everyone’s diet as they help neutralize the impact of sometimes-harmful chemical reactions that occur at the cellular level. These reactions may cause cells to act inappropriately which can then lead to disease development. Coconuts are thought to have antioxidants that can help minimize this inappropriate behaviour. In today’s environment, the more we can do to prevent cell damage the better, so cook with coconut oil, toss coconut chips into your granola or drizzle coconut vinegar over your salad.
So, what are these new coconut products and how can you use them?
Grace Coconut Flour can be used by people following a gluten-free, wheat-free or Paleo diet. Substitute up to 20% coconut flour for white flour in your favourite baked goods. Expect a slight `coconutty’ taste.
Grace Coconut Sugar is a great alternative to white or brown sugar. It can be substituted on a one-to-one ratio and has no coconut flavour. It adds a rich sweetness to all my recipes.
Grace Coconut Oil is another product that I use for baking and stir-fries (I even use it as a moisturizer but that’s a topic for another blog). Coconut oil is also ideal for high-heat cooking, as it does not transform into trans fat or lose its nutritional value when heated. It is also a great vegan substitute for butter. Simply melt and let come to room temperature before adding to recipe.
Dedicated to healthy eating for more than 25 years, Karen Gilman, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, is passionate about helping others eat well and love what they eat. Karen is the founder of www.nutrilicious.ca, a workshop facilitator, a recipe developer and a blogger. She is also the Holistic Nutritionist at Pinewood Natural Health Centre in Toronto.
Karen helps clients with various health imbalances but has an interest in women’s health and special diets like alkaline, gluten-free, dairy-free and non-allergenic. She has a shopping cart full of recipes to share. She believes that a nutritious diet can be easy and equally important, delicious!