Why coconut oil is good for you

Pukka Herbs coconut_oil

Pukka Herbs coconut_oil

Coconut oil is my hot-product of the moment – as a spread for toast and oil for cooking – but a friend recently said it’s not good for us as it’s saturated fat, i.e. a heart health and weight-loss no-no. Yes, it’s a saturated fat but no, it isn’t bad for us, it’s actually very very good. So off I went to consult the powers of Google and I came back with some very very confusing answers. Luckily, health journalist Anna Magee, in her brand new book The De-stress Diet, explains why this is a wonder oil for our health and wellbeing, inside and out…

“Not all saturated fats behave the same. Plant versions like medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut cannot be stored as fat and so act thermogenically, raising fat-burning and metabolism. These are the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory fats like lauric acid caprylic acid, also found in human breast milk, pumpkin seeds and butter.” 

Even more interesting, she says: “High dietary coconut is associated with low obesity and heart disease in culture that eat it a part of their traditional diet, showing abilities to regulate insulin, prevent metabolic syndrome, reduce heart disease risk factors and as a healthy addition to a weight-loss diet.”

So there you have it, a secret powerhouse. It comes as a solid in a jar or tub but turns liquid in warmer temperatures so it’s very versatile. I’ve also heard it’s great for applying straight to skin – I met a woman once who lives in Thailand (think of all the wrinkle-causing sun rays) but honestly she looked about ten years younger which she said was down to using only coconut oil on her face. I’m sold.

So, thank you Anna for the fab explanation that’s helped sort out the bad from the good. Now go forth and get coconut oil into your life! And please check out the exceedingly good health, diet and wellbeing book for an insightful (and seriously easy) way to live a healthier and happier life without stress and weight-gain: The De-Stress Diet by Anna Magee and Charlotte Watts (£12.99, HayHouse). Buy it. Now. You won’t be disappointed.

A berry vitamin boost

Perricone Super Berry Acai

Perricone Super Berry Acai

A belated Happy New Year! Just a quick one to tell you about a great vitamin-boosting drink I tried the other day that helped prop up my weak January immune – Super Berry Powder with Acai by Dr. Perricone – a good winter supplement perhaps?

It contains a blend of a zillion berries – raspberries, blueberries, bilberry, goji and others – as well as acai, a Brazilian berry containing lots of antioxidants and essential fatty acids.  (Although I have to say at this point the nutritional information on the pack isn’t so detailed so I couldn’t tell how effective it really is).

I double-dosed and poured two sachets into one big glass (not sure if you’re supposed/not supposed to do that!) but I needed a mega health boost.

It’s a bit pricey  but just thought I’d tell you about it anyway as I’m a bit of a Perricone fan – currently reading his latest book Forever Young. Let me know if you’ve tried other vitamin-boosting drinks that you’ve liked – always on the lookout for more.

Hope you’re having a great and healthy start to the year – there’ll be more health-related posts this month including info on The De-stress Diet – a fabulous new book, that’s just out, by one of my editors so stay tuned!