Sunday, January 18, 2009

Combating Cholesterol

The recent lecture at Whole Foods ended up as a really positive experience and there's been such encouraging feedback from many who were in attendance. As I'd previously shared, I chose to highlight the importance of hydration and alkalinization and how they play a vital role in real and lasting detox. In my opinion, two of the most powerful super foods to help with both hydration and alkalinization are the Young Thai Coconut and Chia Seeds. Surprisingly, many in attendance at the lecture, weren't familiar with either. I thought it might be a good idea to share some of the facts about each here on the blog.

Young Thai Coconut water is the most incredible pure water containing one of the highest sources of electrolytes known to man. Forget the Gatorade! This amazing water, or milk as referred to by some, is nearly identical to blood plasma. When we drink this coconut water it's as if we give ourselves an instant blood transfusion. Consuming young coconuts is preferable to the more mature brown coconuts because in their young stage of growth is when they are most health enhancing. The meat of the young coconut contains lauric acid known for its beneficial anti-microbial effects. As with the meat, coconut oil doesn't contain trans fatty acids, and most of its saturated fat consists of medium-chain fatty acids, which is great news because this good fat gets digested and assimilated more easily, is less likely to be stored as fat and can actually help you burn more fat. In addition to antiviral and antibacterial properties, natural coconut fat helps normalize body lipids, protects against liver damage, and most importantly, improves the immune system’s anti-inflammatory response. Good saturated fats such as these also contain micronutrients and vitamins that are vital to metabolism. Young coconuts can be found in most health food stores and Asian Markets or you can find them online.

Moving on to one of today's most under-rated superfoods, the Chia Seed. Nothing compares to the chia seed when talking about hydration and endurance. Once soaked, these tiny seeds open up and absorb 9 times their volume in water. The seeds, once fully hydrated, form a gel that is phenomenal at helping to keep your body hydrated. This gel is also 90% soluble fiber, which is beneficial for your digestive track and helps to lower cholesterol even more effectively than oatmeal. And talk about an impressive nutritional profile....the seeds have twice the protein of any other seed or grain, five times the calcium of milk, copious amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 which are essential oils for the body. There are boast a long list of valuable nutrients. Because of the soluble fiber in the gel, incorporating chia into one's diet is very helpful for people with diabetes, as the gel forms a wall around ingested carbohydrates in the body, causing their release to be more slow and steady into one's system. Savvy dieters love the seeds because the addition of the gel incorporated into food or drink has no taste and helps to provide the feeling of being full and satisfied. Using the hydrated seeds is an excellent way to control one's appetite. Although these seeds have super star status, they are very affordable and are carried at most health food stores or you can find them here.

Two posts ago I listed a number of fantastic young coconut recipes to try and then over a year ago I shared my recipe for Chia Seed Ice Cream. Today I'd like to pass along our new favored recipe not only because it's so delicious but because I'm using it as a means to try to lower cholesterol in both my husband and father. I've got my guys eagerly awaiting a big tall glass of this every morning now. I hope you'll give it a try!

Chia Coconut Custard Shake

2 young coconuts, meat & water
2 Tbsp. chia seeds, soaked in 1 cup water
1/2 cup crushed ice
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup raw honey
a generous pinch each of cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt

Put all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

If you happen to be in the Tulsa area this coming Wednesday - January 21st, I'd be delighted to have you attend the next in my series of lectures: Juicing For Fun & Health. This lecture will be in the evening at 7 pm at Whole Foods - 41st & Peoria. This lecture will be educational, personal and full of creative ideas for making nutritious and gourmet tasting juices, shakes and infusions.
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