Blog

15Aug 2017
dry skin

A Solution for Dry Skin

dry skin

Is your skin starting to feel like the desert?

Everyone deals with dry skin at some point. With all of the products that we use on our skin its no wonder that the skin begins to become unhealthy and eventually start to flake and dry. Your skin is an organ (the largest one you have) and it’s your bodies first line of defense as it acts as a barrier between your delicate body systems and the external world.

It’s incredibly important to nourish, love, and help your skin be on top of its “A” game so that you’re at your best when it comes in contact with unfavorable stimulants.

More people ask about dry skin than any other ailment when they walk in the store. I wanted to address, debunk, and help y’all get that skin to it’s most optimal.

Why do I always have dry skin?!

Chances are the products that you’re buying in large retail stores are actually sucking all of the good moisture out of your skin and leaving your vital barrier weak.

Wanna know why? Let me give it you: most products use powerful preservatives in their formulas. The number one offender is petroleum. You heard me right; petroleum. It’s perfect for big brands. For starters its cheap. It can be outsourced easily and ordered in HUGE quantities. Here’s the deal when it comes to petroleum though; it’s sucking you dry! Literally!

In a genius marketing tactic big name brands preserve their products with petroleum so that it keeps you hooked on their products. Those products go on smooth, they smell wonderful, and leave you feeling moisturized. Have you noticed though that you have to keep going back to the product? Petroleum actually draws moisture out of the skin causing it to rest on the upper layer of the skin. This creates the illusion that you’re replenishing the moisture in your body when your actually just pulling up your own moisture from deeper levels of skin.

This process can causes serious  chronic skin conditions like eczema.

Here’s your solution for that dry skin:

First, stop using products that contain petroleum. Look for products that contain wax, natural oils, and natural butters. When you use products that contain these healthy alternatives you actually push the oils into the skin and then seal them there with the wax. What a deal! At Blue Moon Elise we love our B: Free Body Lotion!

By altering your purchasing habits you can alter the health of your skin!

 

Blue Moon Elise

06Aug 2017
How to sleep better

How to Sleep Better

One of the biggest problems that many of us face in our lives is lack of sleep. Folks are always asking how to sleep better. I wanna start off by saying that it takes some dedication. Amid all of our technology, busy schedules, and pressure from our careers, it’s easy to justify slacking on our sleep. Studies have shown that folks who sleep better are more productive, think more clearly, and have a more positive disposition toward life. Ariana Huffington in her book  Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder goes into detail about a sleep practice (and it is a practice) and its benefits.

How to sleep better

Always trying to catch sleep whenever you can?

I know what you’re saying: no joke, Rachel! Of course sleep does all of those things, just tell me how to do it!

Here’s the breakdown on how to sleep better!

  1. Eat better!healthy habits

    Sounds obvious enough, right? Well it’s hard! Our diets today are loaded with sugars and bad carbs and those all process in our body as toxins. Those toxins build up over time and impede the bodies natural response to things such as energy, libido, concentration, and you guessed it: sleep! 

    When we start to eat better foods that have real nutritional value and foods that are giving 0ur bodies supplements, minerals, and organic compounds that it craves our body can begin to do what it’s designed to do for us and our sleep cycle.

    Often our stress levels can affect our sleep patterns as well. Check out my blog on herbs for stress relief.

  2.  Plan For It!

    I’m dead serious. Start getting really conscious and mindful surrounding your sleep. This is what I want you to do: go buy one of those clocks with the built in alarm that goes on your nightstand and start charging your cellphone in the kitchen. I want you to hop off of your cellphone thirty minutes before your scheduled to turn the lights out. The light in our phone disrupts the brains natural cycles that regulate sleep. It causes you to stay awake longer and to not fall into as deep of a sleep.

Also try to practice relaxation techniques around this time such as taking a warm bath. There  are various techniques that can relax you. Maybe you’re one of those who gets sleepy by reading something (not on your phone!) like a book! There are various techniques to get you in the mood to sleep.

Also, give meditation a try!

3. Sleep Better with Sleepy-time Plants!

Our herbal brothers and sisters are powerful allies in our how to sleep better journey! Try throwing some lavender or mugwort in your pillowcase. Both have been used for hundreds of years to promote sleep quality. I talk about lavender in my previous blog that I mentioned earlier. Sometimes I like to take a small thumb sized pinch of lavender and use my palm and thumb as a mortar and pestle and grind the dried flowers in my palm to release the oils. After discarding the lavender I can breathe in deeply the relaxing power of lavender right from my palm.

We also sale a ton of really awesome lavender products on the online store. One of the most popular is the Lavender Room Spray. A spritz on the pillow and linens will aid you your journey on how to sleep better.

 

I really hope that these pro-tips were helpful for you. Drop us some love in the comments below. Catch us on Instagram and Facebook!

Blue Moon Elise

 

 

30Jul 2017

So, folks are always asking me for healthy life hacks and how they can make small changes in their lives that will have lasting impacts.

 

I literally have a hundred suggestions for you, but I’m gonna narrow it down to two for right now.

1. Meditate

 

I know that you’re probably tired of hearing this preached from every corner of the healthy-life circuit but there’s a reason that everyone is so adamant about this practice. Meditation has been shown to lower blood pressure levels, decrease stress hormone levels, lower anxiety, and improve memory function.

healthy life hacks

Aside from that it’s an incredibly profound practice where you can take five to ten minutes to tune out and turn in. Often we’re running from ourselves, terrified of what will happen if we look at ourselves. When we can grasp that our thoughts are just that; thoughts. They’re not reality. They’re simply a product of our mind. Often random thoughts find their way into our conscious mind and we wonder how that even got there.

 

Meditation has been shown to improve productivity in the workplace as well as help practitioners cultivate a sense of well-being.

 

  1.    Meal Planning

 

Really, Rachel? That’s an obvious healthy life hack! Well that might be so but meal planning is more than just saving you time! Meal planning allows you to make conscious choices surrounding what you’re putting into your body.

 

You NEED this healthy life hack, Especially if you’re just beginning your lifestyle change.

stockthree

If you’ve planned your meals you won’t have to grab for that super quick unhealthy dinner for the family because the day got away from you. Chances are your house is still loaded with food items that you haven’t gotten rid of. And I get it; you paid money for those. It’s hard to throw money away.

 

My suggestion is that you donate those food items to a food bank. I know that it may sound awful but often those items are non-perishables and that’s what food banks ask for. Planning your meals is going to take an evening, some forethought, and some discipline. However, it’s going to be easier for you to slide right into choosing the meal that’s already been set aside.

 

Healthy Life Hack PRO-Tip: Soups, beans, lentils, and other grains, can easily be cooked in bulk and then frozen to reheat later.

healthy life hacks

 

 

If you’re ready to change your life and start on your journey to becoming healthy, having energy, and finding a deeper sense of well-being, sign up for a free 20 minute session with me.

And don’t forget; you are so loved!

20Jul 2017

Feeling completely overwhelmed…

stress2

And looking for a natural way to find some stress relief?

 

We’ve got you covered! Read below on some of our favorite herbs and remedies that I use to release tension, anxiety, and stress.

 

While there are various methods of relieving stress such as yoga, meditation, exercise, and therapy, I’d like to focus on all natural, organic, herbal remedies for the sake of time and your attention.

 

Stress is a natural, I’ll begrudgingly admit, part of life. Stress is an indicator that one or more of our systems is out of balance. Whether that be our mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual, bodies. Sometimes it’s a combination of two or more of the systems that has us feeling anxious and on edge.

 

Here are my top three favorite herbs for stress relief:

 

  1. Lavender

   8203d75380d60db526289ca9eedb648fxxl Despite mass assumption lavender is NOT a sedative, rather it is a relaxant. Basically that means that if you use lavender to manage your stress it isn’t going to knock you out for the count. It’s going to work on relaxing your muscles and your mind without sending you out for the count. We can barely keep our shelves stock with our roll-on Lavender Botanical Essence.

 

 

 

  1. Chamomile

chamomileChamomile is an herb for stress that doesn’t really get the attention that it deserves. Chamomile is a daisy-like flower that you might hear referred to as Roman Chamomile or German Chamomile. The German is known for being sweeter in remedies, and its sister bitter. The flavonoids and volatile oils work as an anti-inflammatory as well as have remedial calming properties. Chamomile has even been used, during the medieval age, as a remedy for asthma and even cancer.

 

 

  1. Valerian Root

Valerian Root has a long history of stress relief. Valerian does have sedative properties and is best valerian2used to unwind once you get home.Valerian works by increasing the GABA levels in your brain which can help with insomnia, stress, and even blood pressure. We love Valerian because it has very little morning drowsiness side effects. The root is a bit pungent, and ironically the flowering top was used as the main ingredient in many perfumes once upon a time.

 

 

 

 

 

We hope that this quick overview of my favorite herbs for stress relief help guide you when you’re feeling the pressure! If you loved our blog follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

12Jul 2017

The “inner place” can sound so ambiguous sometimes.

 

I know that for me the inner place, the still place, is cultivated through a consistent practice. That deep surge of peace, of inner quiet, doesn’t happen over night. It takes getting on my yoga mat day after day, of sitting on my meditation pillow, of practicing mindfulness when I’m doing seemingly mundane chores around the house.When I sit and practice in the morning I remind myself that this is the work.

EliBeing a mother is the most beautiful part of my life, but I wouldn’t be as capable of handling all of the twists and turns that motherhood offers me if I didn’t have a practice. Building a business is thrilling, its terrifying, its downright crazy some days, but having a practice allows me to respond to the needs of the business rather than acting on a knee jerk reaction.

 

I remember when I was just starting out and having to fill orders that I didn’t have products for. I was selling on a website that actually charged me if I wasn’t able to follow through with producing a product for the customer. So what do you think happens when there’s an order for fifty bars of soap?! You make them! I didn’t have all the raw materials that I needed though so I would either pay ridiculous over night shipping costs, and I even drove all the way to Boone, NC one day to get a large enough supply of oils to be able to make the order. I was a baby, and I was learning.

My practice is more grounded these days. Today I can quiet myself, get still within, and search out for the right way to handle situations that happen unexpectedly. (Pro-tip: Expect the unexpected!) When I was just beginning I was just reacting a good portion of the time. I was just trying to make it. Don’t misunderstand; this is a vital part of the process. When the knee jerk reactions happen close enough together, and I had to pay the consequences of those choices, they began to hurt. I can handle a sting every now and then, but when the bee hive of life has got your scent and it’s raining down, it can feel incredibly overwhelming.

Today things are a little different. My baby boy has some health issues and that can sometimes feel like the beehive of life raining down on me again. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I try and get lost in the woods for a moment of respite, but what happens more often today is that I get quiet. I can access that inner foundation that I’ve been slowly constructing, one brick and slab of mortar at a time, over the years. When it comes to my offspring, that beautiful creature that formed in my womb, I can go into mama bear mode. I can sink into some primal thought processes. My inner place has given me the ability to pause though. To begin to sort through the emotional layers of the situation and move forward better equipped to respond to what Eli needs.

It’s like that with all of us. We need to build a refuge within ourselves if we mean to build a refuge for others around us.

signature

23May 2017

I’ll bet you’d love to have more energy, to sleep more deeply and to have a body that feels YOUNGER as you get older. Am I right?

So here’s your first tool in your Healthy Choices toolkit:

Eat an earlier, lighter dinner.

Why?

Because you’ll have more energy AND lose weight doing this!

 

Many of us eat after 6 pm, when digestion starts to get very weak. When we eat late, we put a load on our body that bogs down our digestion. That means you feel sluggish and also tend to gain weight.

If you eat early BUT you eat too heavy at night, the same thing is true.

So wondering what to make for dinner?

Try Lighter or Plant-Based Dinners like quinoa with steamed veggies. This takes about 20 minutes.  Or how bout a baked sweet potato with a green salad topped with a few nuts like cashews or walnuts to help sustain you into the evening?Toasted-Quinoa-with-Veggies1 (1)

The rule of thumb is that our digestive fire isn’t strong at night. Our human body doesn’t produce much bile in the evening to burn through heavy meals, fat or protein, so we tend to gain weight from this undigested food instead of turning it into energy to burn.

It’s best to eat dinner lighter and earlier, if you want to:

  • sleep deeply

  • have energy the next day
  • keep your body light

Want to know the key to success?

Make a small, regular change.

So don’t try to change your mealtime by 3 hours earlier, or go from a 1000 calorie meal to a green salad.

Go gradual. Be regular. Notice the effects.

Now I want you to tell me what change you are going to make for yourself. Remember small and gradual! Hop on over to my private Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/Healthy-Habits-358658887653344/ and let me know. You’ll also find more tips on Healthy Happy Living!

Here’s to your Rockin’ Healthy LifeStyle!

Rachel Elise

21Apr 2017

do’s

Listen for your body’s fatigue. 
Your body speaks in signs and symptoms. Learn the early signs of fatigue. Parents watch children rub their eyes. Learn your body’s signs, such as the desire to recline. Practice taking action on fatigue.

Plan ahead. 
You have to schedule an earlier dinner. If you normally work out after work, you’ll need to move it to before work. You’ll have more time in the morning from going to bed earlier.

Take baths in winter.
Winter nights are long with the sun setting earlier.  Use the nights to take care of yourself. Enjoy a hot tub. Add sea salt, epsom salts and a few drops of lavender or eucalyptus essential oil.

Take walks in summer.
  
Enjoy the long nights of summer by talking a stroll with your friends or family. Spend time planting a garden.

Massage your feet.
  
Taking a moment to massage your feet, dry or with coconut oil, before nodding off ensures a deeper sleep. Just take your feet in your hands and rub the tension of the day out. You’ll sleep better.

Meditate + give thanks
.  
Before your day is done, sit up, either on a cushion or in bed. If you’re too tired, lie in savasana in bed. Reflect on what you learned on this day. Give thanks for that and to anything that helped you learn. If you worry at night, keep a pad by your bed, and write down any next actions you can take the next day.  Then, practice releasing the world of the relative… or the reality of your thoughts, emotions and even sensations. Let go into being. And go to sleep.

don’ts

Blow off signs that you are tired.
  
After dinner, take stock. How was your energy today? Were you tired? Did you need caffeine for a lift? Listen for your body’s fatigue.

Be a regular  T.V. watcher!
  
Each Sunday, set out your intentions for your evenings. Include reading, writing letters, journaling, playing games, 
or taking walks. What is most important, relaxing and enjoyable? Schedule that in. If you like watching t.v., sports or movies, schedule it in, instead of surfing randomly.

Don’t eat a late dessert. 
If you had dinner early enough, your mind might convince you to have a little something sweet before bed. Ignore your mind! Your joints will work better the next day.

Burn the candle at both ends.

Perhaps you’ve heard this expression. If you’re someone who tries to get things done before bed… you’re never going to experience the vibrant health your body is capable of. Start to be reasonable with what you can do 
 in day. Take the best time for yourself, in the early morning, and before bed.

Work evenings.
If you are trapped in an evening job, take a long term horizon. See the long term — how do you want your evenings to be in 6 months? In 1 year? In 2 years? Start to make choices each week to get your evenings back. Soups, stews, fruit salads, green salads, marinated salads, one pot meals. Keep it simple.

Here’s to your Rockin’ Healthy LifeStyle!

Rachel

26Mar 2017

Food & Focus for Earlier, Lighter Dinners

Food

Keep the meal simple. Dinner used to be called supper… meaning  a “little supplement.” Not a show-stopper… but a little something. Soups, stews, fruit salads, green salads, marinated salads, one pot meals. Keep it simple.

Make a weekly meal plan If you don’t plan ahead you can’t change your momentum. Schedule a time each week on your day off. Put it in your schedule. Print a blank meal planner. Fill it out. Make a grocery list at the same time. Pin the planner to your fridge.

Don’t snack.You won’t be hungry for an early dinner if you eat something besides a piece of fruit between lunch and dinner. Let your hunger develop for an early dinner.

Prepare food in the morning. This one might seem impossible. Preparing food in the morning is easy when you plan ahead. You can use a rice cooker or a crock pot. You can bake root vegetables while you get ready for the day, and thenhrow them into a blender to make soup at night.

Quick ideas:

  • Roast root vegetables in the morning while you get dressed to put on a salad for a quick dinner. Click here for easy recipe! 
  • Add veggie broth cubes and hot water for a soup.
  • Have quinoa in a rice cooker ready when you get home from work.
  • Marinate a kale salad in the morning when you’re making breakfast.

FOCUS

Simple & Yummy. Dinner needs to be easy to digest. Humans are primates, and don’t produce much bile at night to digest food. Create a simple and yummy meal. The later you eat, the lighter it needs to be. Soups and salads… raw or cooked… cold or warm, depending on season.

Plan ahead. Schedule an earlier dinner. If you normally work out after work, you’ll notice it may be easier before work, once you have more time in the morning from going to bed earlier. Read more about the benefits of sleep here.

Know your triggers.. If you usually go out with friends for an 8 or 9 pm meal it’s going to be a trigger when you go to make plans next. Think about other ways or times to connect with your peeps.

Set a cut-off time. Set a time. The hard-core of you will choose dusk. Others, might simply move your ingestion cut-off time back 30 minutes, until it ends up around 6 pm most nights. Having an exception here and there is a.o.k. But, aim for the cut off to be consistent at least 5 x a week.

After Dinner Time. You will have more time after dinner when you move your dinner earlier. Take a walk in summer. Play a game or work on a fun project in winter. Go to bed early.

Visualize. Right now take a minute and see yourself enjoying a lighter, earlier dinner. Notice how it feels to go lie down for sleep with a lighter feeling in your belly.

Here’s to your Rockin’ Healthy LifeStyle!
Rachel Elise

31Jan 2017

Eucalyptus2 Interestingly, small towns in Australia discovered that eucalyptus oil could be converted into a gas to light their homes, hotels and shops. Little did they know that they stumbled upon one of the most powerful forms of natural medicine ever.

Today, eucalyptus oil uses have a broad range of health benefits including:

1. Colds & Flu

Eucalyptus works as an expectorant and helps cleanse your body of toxins and harmful microorganisms that can make you feel sick. One of the most effective ways to utilize eucalyptus for colds is to drop several drops of the essential oil into your diffuser before going to sleep so you can take advantage of the healing benefits all night long.

For more acute situations, you can make a steam bath by pouring a cup of boiling water into a bowl, and then mix 10 drops of eucalyptus EO, place a towel over your head and inhale deeply for five–10 minutes.

2. Hair Nourishment

A few drops eucalyptus oil with some coconut or olive oil gives your hair a nice moisturizing pick-me-up. This is especially great to ward off dandruff and an itchy scalp. Also, eucalyptus is used as a natural remedy for lice in replacement of chemical treatments.

3. Hand Cleaner

Eucalyptus EO is an excellent cleanser to remove grease and grime from your workday and can rejuvenate sore hands and feet when mixed into your salt bath. Simply mix sea salt, epsom salt and eucalyptus oil to remove grease and dirt for good.

4. Sinus and Allergiessinuses

A study from NYU Medical School found that using eucalyptus was effective at treating sinusitis. Patients experienced faster improvement when supplementing with eucalyptus oil for allergies and sinus issues. The study had participants take eucalyptus oil internally, and it’s also recommended to gargle with it to clear the throat.

5. Natural Home Care

Not only does eucalyptus give a nice, fresh fragrance to your home products, but it adds vital anti-microbial properties as well. You can’t go wrong putting several drops into pretty much everything: soap, laundry detergent, mop water, toilet cleaner, window cleaner … the list goes on!

6. Odor Remover

Whether you’re battling smelly shoes or a stinky dog bed, topically wash items to remove odors with a wet rag soaked in eucalyptus oil-infused water, and place outside to dry in the sun. This can prevent odors as well as keep the shape intact! You may also mix it with lemon oil or tea tree oil for an anti-stink spray.

7. Air Cleanser

Try putting a few drops into your vacuum and clothes dryer filters to freshen them up and sanitize them a little. Also, it’s great for killing mold in your home, and you can mix eucalyptus with other oils like clove and tea tree oil to cleanse the air and maintain a mold-free home.

8. Spot Remover

Like lemon essential oil, eucalyptus oil is highly effective at removing spots on your carpet, clothes and basically every fabric you have in the house. It even works to get gum off your shoes! Make sure to “test” it on an inconspicuous place first just to make sure the oil doesn’t react strangely with the material you treat. You just don’t know what’s in the synthetic materials nowadays!

9. Respiratory Problems

Eucalyptus essential oil is highly effective for treating respiratory problems, such as asthma, bronchitis, COPD, pneumonia and even tuberculosis. Using eucalyptus for asthma is a proven treatment that dilates the blood vessels and allows more oxygen into the lungs. Simply mix eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil and coconut oil for a Homemade Vapor Rub, and put on upper chest.

10. Wound Treatment

Eucalyptus oil has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that are effective at treating wounds, burns, cuts, abrasions, sores and scrapes. It also can be made into a salve or healing ointment and put on bug bites and stings. Along with acting as a natural pain reliever to the area, it also keeps the area from getting infected, which speeds healing.

The list goes on, but don’t forget to use eucalyptus on your pets! It’s proven to be safe in pretty much any way that you would use it on yourself. Just be sure to keep it out of eyes and any open wounds!

20Jan 2017

Check out this amazingly educational guest article by Brenda Davis, RD. If you or someone you know wants the more on coconut oil, read on! It’s all yours, Brenda…

Coconut-and-Coconut-OilThere are few foods that have been at once maligned and acclaimed as much as coconut oil. Some view it as a notorious health villain because it’s the most concentrated source of saturated fat in the diet – even higher than butter or lard. Not surprisingly, it rests at the very top of the list of foods that must be strictly avoided in many heart-healthy diet programs. At the other end of the spectrum are people who view coconut oil as a fountain of youth and the greatest health discovery in decades. These advocates claim that coconut oil can provide therapeutic benefits for cancer, diabetes, digestive disturbances, heart disease, high blood pressure, HIV, kidney disease, osteoporosis and overweight. So what is the truth? Is coconut oil a menace or a miracle where health is concerned?

The primary criticism of coconut oil is that over 90 percent of its fat is saturated. Saturated fat is known to increase blood cholesterol levels. When coconut oil is blacklisted, it’s almost exclusively because of this extreme saturated-fat content. While many people imagine saturated fat as a single tyrant that clogs arteries, there are actually several different types of saturated fats. These fats contain between four and 28 carbons. Depending on the length of their carbon chain, they have very different effects on blood cholesterol levels. These saturated fats, listed with foods that include them, are most plentiful in the diet:

  • Lauric acid (12 carbons): coconut, coconut oil, palm kernel oil
  • Myristic acid (14 carbons): coconut, dairy products, nutmeg oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil
  • Palmitic acid (16 carbons): animal fats, palm oil
  • Stearic acid (18 carbons): beef, butter, cocoa butter, lard, mutton

Saturated fatty acids with 12–16 carbons increase blood cholesterol levels, while stearic acid does not. When stearic acid reaches the liver, it’s converted to oleic acid (an 18-carbon monounsaturated fat), which may help explain why it doesn’t raise cholesterol. As a result, consumers are often advised not to be concerned about their intake of stearic acid. However, cholesterol is not the only marker for heart disease, and adverse effects of stearic acid have been reported. In one large study, stearic acid increased coronary artery disease risk more than lauric, myristic or palmitic acid.1 Stearic acid may reduce good HDL cholesterol, increase Lp(a), which is another risk factor for heart disease, increase certain blood-clotting factors and result in lipemia (excess fat in the blood) after eating.2, 3 In a critical review of dietary fats and coronary artery disease, the authors advised that stearic acid not be distinguished from other saturated fats when providing dietary advice to reduce coronary artery disease.2

Coconut oil is about 50 percent lauric acid, 18 percent myristic acid and 8 percent palmitic acid. This adds up to 76 percent of the fat in coconut oil being the kind that raises cholesterol. Case closed? Not exactly. The predominant fat, lauric acid, does raise total cholesterol, but it appears to raise good HDL cholesterol to an even greater extent than bad LDL cholesterol. The effect on the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol is consistently favorable.4, 5, 6 Myristic and palmitic acid do not have this effect. Does the 50 percent lauric acid in coconut oil cancel out the 26 percent myristic and palmitic acids? We don’t know.

Fats rich in lauric acid, such as coconut oil, result in more favorable blood cholesterol levels than hydrogenated vegetable oils laden with trans fats.4 Trans fatty acids raise bad LDL cholesterol and decrease good HDL cholesterol. Coronary artery disease risk is reduced most effectively when trans fatty acids and saturated fatty acids are replaced with unsaturated fatty acids.2 The effect of coconut oil, rich in lauric acid, remains somewhat uncertain. However, in many parts of the world where coconut and coconut oil are staples in indigenous diets, rates of chronic disease, including coronary artery disease, are low.7, 8, 9 There is one major caveat. The benefits apply only when coconut products are consumed along with a diet that is unprocessed and rich in high-fiber plant foods. When the indigenous diet gives way to a more processed, Western-style diet laden with white flour, sugar and fatty animal products, disease rates escalate even when coconut continues to be consumed.

Most of the fatty acids in coconut, particularly lauric acid, have significant antimicrobial properties.10, 11, 12, 13 Virgin coconut oil also contains a variety of protective phytochemicals, including phenolic acids, which are largely eliminated through the refining process.14, 15

Close up of halved coconuts

Another important attribute of coconut fat is its stability. It is so highly saturated that it is not easily oxidized or otherwise damaged.16 Plant foods that grow close to the equator have a higher quantity of saturated fatty acids to protect themselves from the ravages of oxidation that occurs in warm temperatures. Foods that grow in cold climates generally contain higher amounts of unsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids. This is necessary for the survival of the plant and its seeds; certain fluids in the plant need to remain liquid, even in very cold temperatures. The saturated fat that comes from whole plant foods, such as coconut, may be of benefit for vegans. Vegan diets sometimes contain excessive amounts of unsaturated fats, which are more prone to oxidation, while the saturated fats in coconut are stable fats with a low risk of oxidation. While we want to keep our total intake of saturated fat low, we don’t want to completely eliminate it (impossible on any diet).