I wanted to talk to you about healthy beauty this week. Or more specifically why getting healthy will shine, magnify and multiply your natural beauty. But since Monday was World Coconut Day 🌴 (I know) I was inspired to write a piece all about coconuts and how they can totally rock your world, bringing you health and healthy beauty.
For the busy bees here’s a brief outline… Its about a 6 minute read.
- Nutritional profile
- Health and Nutritional Benefits
- Coconuts in all their guises and how we can use them
- How to make your own Coconut Milk
- Make your own superfood Turmeric Latte
- Coconut and Beauty
- Healthy beauty tips from my own beauty routine
Im sending out some healthy beauty tips from my own beauty routine to my email subscribers this week. It was meant for a future post but then I realised just how full of coconut it was and so decided to send it out this week. If you’re not one of my email subscribers but would like to receive this you can subscibe in the box below.
Lets talk Coconuts. I eat them, I drink them and I use them alot in my beauty routines. In fact after writing this article I don’t know what I’d do without them.
Nutritional Profile of Coconuts
Coconuts contain mostly fat but also have protein, carbohydrates, fibre, essential minerals and b vitamins. Click here for the full nutritional profile.
Scientific studies have suggested many health and nutritional benefits of eating coconuts, here are some of the main ones:
Helps promote weight loss
Boosts digestive health
Stabilises blood sugar
Antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, contains antioxidants
Boosts immune system
Many of the health benefits of coconuts come from the fat. The fat in coconuts is different from many other fats because it contains mostly MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides) Coconut also contains several essential minerals which all have a specific role in helping our body function properly. Its especially high in Manganese which is essential for maintaining good bone health and helps metabolise carbohydrates, proteins and cholesterol.
To read a complete and detailed description about all of the many nutritional and health benefits plus some potential downsides of coconut please read this excellent article
Coconut in all its Guises
Green coconuts – the jelly and the water
Brown coconuts – Fresh coconut meat
Green Coconuts – the jelly and the water
Green coconuts are the young fruit. They are abundant in the tropics. If you are travelling to a place that has them definitely partake. They are healthy, inexpensive and delicious. You can drink the water thats in them. ‘The sports drink of Mother Nature‘ as its often called, is a fantastic isotonic drink, low in calories and high in nutrition.
Often, if you are lucky you can eat the jelly thats stuck to the inside of the green coconut. Yum its sweet, nutritious and delicious. If theres a lot of jelly there isn’t so much water and vice versa. This jelly is also extensively used in the raw food community to make things like raw desserts and raw cheeses.
There is a company in the UK that will deliver green coconuts to your door. I have tried it. It’s very expensive and I found the coconuts to be low in quality. Not much water and zero jelly. I may have been unlucky but now I just look forward to them when I’m travelling.
Green coconut water is widely available in cartons in many countries including the UK. It is processed though, so although I do take it as an occasional treat its not something I’d want to be drinking every day.
Some of our UK supermarkets (Waitrose, Marks and Spencer, Sainsburys) do have the actual coconuts containing the water ( they’ll be light brown not green though, they’ve removed the outer skin) They definitely taste good. The last I looked they sold for £3. per coconut, a bit pricey but if you can afford it…
These are older green coconuts. The mature fruit contains that delicious, sweet, firm white coconut meat we all know and love. Still extremely nutritious and delicious. You can just eat the meat straight or use it in recipes.
Drink it straight, warmed or chilled or or use it in sweets, desserts, curries, smoothies and more.
Yes you can buy it in tins and packets but the best thing is to make it yourself.
Find out how to make your own simply delicious coconut milk below.
Raw Dried Coconut
This is a briliant store cupboard staple. You can use it in baking, whole or by grinding down to flour.
But I prefer to eat it raw whenever possible so that I keep all the many excellent health and nutritional benefits intact.
How to eat it – cakes, desserts, curries, stews… make your own coconut milk.
Homemade Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is delicious to drink on its own warmed or chilled, you can use as your regular milk in teas , coffee and hot chocolates, cereals and desserts, in curries and its delicious in smoothies. (click for green smoothie recipe that includes homemade coconut milk)
I use both dried coconut chips and homemade coconut milk to make my chia seed pudding which I have every day for breakfast. The recipe is here in a previous blog post
How to make Coconut Milk
- Dried coconut (chips or desiccated, always unsweetened)
- Vanilla, a few drops to taste (fresh, essence, paste…)
Put all ingredients in your blender (high speed works best) at the highest setting and blitz until your milk starts to get warm. Squeeze milk through a nut milk bag into a large jug and you are done. I normally transfer mine into a sealable glass bottle and store it in the fridge. It keeps fresh in there for around 3 days but its normally gone before then.
- I often add spices like cinnamon and dried ginger for a nice, warming, relaxing drink.
- It’s naturally sweet but you can sweeten this more by adding a little honey or coconut sugar.
You can also use it to make the highly acclaimed Turmeric Latte.
Golden Milk/Turmeric Latte
This is the current Mrs Popular of the health world. I have to say these are truly delicious, well worth a try. I came upon it by chance in a vegetarian cafe, while I was in Canterbury visiting my daughter Daisy a few years ago. It was so good I immediately went home and found out how to make it. I messed about with a few recipes and started drinking it everyday until I got my invisalign braces. Bright yellow braces are not a good look. I’ve now finished with my invisalign but never really got back into my turmeric lattes again. I must rectify that.
It’s the Curcumin in the Turmeric that holds all the health benefits. It is widely held to be an absolute wonder substance with claims that it fights against cancer, heart problems, alzheimers and more. It really does seem to have wonderful benefits. This excellent article tells all about it.
To make the Latte you first need the paste…
Golden Milk/Turmeric Latte Paste
- 4 tablespoon ground turmeric (organic better)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Coconut oil (half tablespoon or enough to mix into smooth paste)
To make just stir all the ingredients together to make a smooth paste.
- The oil and the pepper are essential, they help your body absorb the Curcumin.
- You can, and I encourage you to, add other spices to this mix i.e. ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove. You can increase the amount of black pepper too if thats to your taste.
- Add Vanilla if you like.
- Sweeten with a little honey or coconut sugar if that’s more to your taste.
- Store this in a sealed jar in the fridge it should keep fresh for around a month.
- You can also freeze it in portion sizes as ice cubes
To make Turmeric Latte/Golden Milk
- 2 teaspoons turmeric latte paste
- 1 cup of your homemade coconut milk (you can also use other milks)
First blend a little of your cold milk with the paste so that the paste is more liquid and easy to blend into the rest of the milk. Gently heat this mixture with the rest of your milk in a small pot. Do not boil or overheat. Heat until just hot to touch. Pour into cup and enjoy. You can also serve this chilled
As already stated, its the fat that contains many of the beneficial nutrients of coconuts so this stuff is definitely nutritionally valuable.
I would err on the side of caution however, before you start stuffing it by the spoonful down your face. Its very high in calories (which I agree are not all equal but still do matter). I really do believe that it’s the fat in the whole item that’s beneficial not the fat stripped away from its natural source.
Even the best raw extra virgin coconut oil has gone through a process, the process of extracting it from its original source. So yes by all means use it in the kitchen…I do… just use common sense on portions.
Coconut oil is widely loved for its topical uses as a beauty product. More on that below.
Is made from the dehydrated sap of the coconut palm. It Is still sugar and so should be used sparingly. That said, unlike regular sugars and syrups which are empty calories (contain zero nutritional value)…
(thank you Mrs Bell, this is the one fact I have never forgotten from my ‘o’ level food and nutrition class, that sugar is an empty calorie, I knew it would come in handy one day)
…Coconut Sugar on the other hand does contain a little fibre and some nutrients iron, zinc, potassium and others in small doses. It is also a little lower in the GI index than normal sugars which is another plus point. Gi Index measures the speed in which sugar hits your bloodstream, basically, the lower the better.
I use the Groovy Food Company brand. It’s organic, tastes delicious and is easy to come by (Tesco, Morrisons, Amazon) and is relatively inexpensive.
Coconut and beauty
Coconut in all its guises can make a strong contribution to a healthy lifestyle. Healthy = Beauty, So coconuts work from the inside out helping us to Feel and look our best.
Coconut oil can also be used topically, to enhance , maintain and look after our physical bodies. Its widely used to look after our hair (hair masks, conditioner), skin (moisturiser) and teeth (oil pulling, as a base for homemade toothpaste)
I’m sending out some healthy beauty tips from my own beauty routine to my email subscribers this week. It was meant for a future post but then I realised just how full of coconut it was and so decided to send it out this week. If you’re not one of my email subscribers but would like to receive this you can subscibe in the box below.
I would love to hear any thoughts, questions or suggestions about this post in the comments section below. 😘