There’s a helpful chart below that shows the healthiest fats for glowing skin and hair, as well as for good nutrition of the organs and hormones. All hormones are formed with healthy fats, so eating more of these foods can nourish you in many ways.
Eating healthy fats with our meals can play a vital role in helping us sleep better and achieve overall greater health as these provide the basic building blocks for cholesterol production — a surprisingly healthy substance in our bodies. The best fats to eat are nutrient rich foods like eggs, natural butter, salmon, sardines, fish oils, avocados, nuts, seeds and coconut oil.
For example, a healthy heart and long life are associated with eating walnuts. They have been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and also extend life spans in general. Walnuts contain the amino acid l-arginine, which offers protective benefits for the heart.
Walnuts can be a good sleep inducing food. Eating a handful of walnuts before bedtime may be a good way to calm down sleeplessness and insomnia. Russel Reiter, Ph.D., a professor of cellular biology at the University of Texas says, “Relatively few foods have been examined for their melatonin content. Our studies demonstrate that walnuts contain melatonin and that it is absorbed when it is eaten.”
Avocados are a healthy, creamy, tasty food, whether they sit on top of a sandwich, an omelet or a salad, or become transformed into guacamole. The healthy fats in avocados balance hormones and this food features over twenty vitamins and minerals.
In summary, eating good healthy fats can enhance one’s health in many ways. This information is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II.
Essential fatty acids are natural, healthy fats the body cannot make on its own: hence the term “essential”. These are called Omega 3 fats and Omega 6 fats. Omega 3 fats are things like fish, fish oil, olive oil, avocado, seeds and green vegetables. Recent research studies are finding these fats benefit the eyes, joints, heart, lungs, immunity and more.
Omega 6 fats include vegetable oils like safflower oil and corn oil, as well as mayonnaise, fried foods, dairy and beef. Many people eat more Omega 6 fats than Omega 3’s and when the balance between the fats becomes imbalanced, many health problems can occur – particularly high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
One study of people with dry eyes was recently published in the journal “Cornea”. They were given a daily dose of fish oil and flax oil. At the end of the 90-day study, 70% of the participants with dry eye had no symptoms and also had an increase in tear production and volume.
In the journal “Proceedings of the Nutrition Society,” researchers analyzed several controlled trials of fish oil use for arthritis. The trials showed a reduction in tender joint counts and a decreased use of anti-inflammatory drugs with fish oil supplementation. An important research note was that anti-inflammatory drugs can adversely affect the heart. Fish oil is known to have a direct, positive effect on the heart.
Here’s some more information on how to achieve good heart health from Dr. Joseph Mercola — a physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine. He says to: “Replace harmful vegetable oils and synthetic hydrogenated fats such as margarine with healthy fats, including olive oil, butter, avocado, pastured eggs and coconut oil (remember olive oil should be used cold only, and one should use coconut oil for cooking and baking).”
This natural health news is provided to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of nutrition articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.
The link between what we eat and how we sleep is closely related, especially when it comes to consuming healthy fats.
In an article from the journal “Endocrinology – An Integrated Approach” (endocrinology deals with the glands and hormones), the author writes that all hormones are made from cholesterol. This includes estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, adrenal gland hormones, vitamin D, and the sleep hormone melatonin.
Eating healthy fats with our meals can play a vital role in helping us sleep better and achieve greater health, as these provide the basic building blocks for cholesterol production and hormones. The best fats to eat are nutrient rich foods like eggs, natural butter, salmon, sardines, shrimp, cod liver oil, avocados and coconut oil.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, a physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine who provides up-to-date natural health information says: “If you’re confused about cholesterol, it’s not your fault. Cholesterol has been a highly publicized scapegoat for causing heart disease for decades, and many have diligently cut all cholesterol-rich foods (which are often also nutrient-richfoods) from their diets as a result.”
For good heart health, Dr. Mercola says to: “Replace harmful vegetable oils and synthetic hydrogenated fats such as margarine with healthy fats, including olive oil, butter, avocado, pastured eggs and coconut oil (remember olive oil should be used cold only — use coconut oil for cooking and baking).”
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, M.D., says: “Hormones accomplish a myriad of functions in the body, from regulation of our metabolism, to energy production, mineral assimilation, brain, muscle, and bone formation, to behavior, emotion and reproduction….People whose bodies are unable to produce enough cholesterol do need to have plenty of foods rich in cholesterol in order to provide their organs with this essential-to-life substance.”
Milk is well-known for its positive effects on sleep, and dairy foods contain cholesterol, however some people are not able to digest dairy well and are better able to assimilate fermented dairy foods. Milk also has the benefit of containing calcium, which has been found in studies to soothe insomnia.
In one study from the European Journal of Clinical Neurology, researchers tested the use of milk that was fermented with yogurt cultures for its effect on sleep quality. They discovered that there was a significant improvement in the time needed to fall asleep, as well as a reduced number of night time awakenings for the participants who drank the fermented milk daily. No significant changes in sleep were observed for the placebo group.
Regarding the use of minerals for better sleep, one study called “The Nutritional Relationships of Magnesium”, notes that the type of insomnia associated with a calcium deficiency causes difficulty with falling asleep. The classical sign of magnesium deficiency is insomnia characterized by falling asleep easily, but awakening frequently throughout the night, with individuals finding themselves tired even after several hours of sleep.
A balanced calcium magnesium ratio is important to overall health, and these two minerals should be taken together for best results, in a two to one ratio with twice as much calcium as magnesium. The original research on this recommended ratio appeared in 1935 in the Journal of Physiological Reviews.
In addition, a softgel form containing healthy carrier oils mixed with the minerals is more digestible than tablets or capsules and provides a deeper, longer-lasting sleep. One popular formula that has these qualities is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of the best minerals for relaxation: calcium and magnesium, combined with vitamin d, zinc, and heart-healthy rice bran oil in a softgel.
Kimberly B. of Troy, Michigan says: “I have been taking Sleep Minerals II for about a month now. I have tried everything out there and this supplement is amazing. I have suffered with insomnia for 2 1/2 years. I have also had restless leg syndrome my entire life and this is the first relief I’ve ever had…gone for a month now.”
In summary, eating good healthy fats and also taking enough sleep-inducing minerals, can be a good combination for achieving better sleep.
By Kris Gunnars, CEO and Founder of Authority Nutrition, BSc (Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine)
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of the effective calcium and magnesium
based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II **************************************
Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.”
Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health.
This includes fat loss, better brain function and various other amazing benefits.
Here are 10 evidence-based health benefits of coconut oil.
1. Coconut Oil Contains Fatty Acids With Powerful Medicinal Properties
Coconut oil has been demonized in the past because it contains saturated fat. In fact, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man, with almost 90% of the fatty acids in it being saturated (1).
However, new data is showing that saturated fats are harmless. Many massive studies that include hundreds of thousands of people prove that the whole “artery-clogging” idea was a myth (2).
Additionally, coconut oil doesn’t contain your average run-of-the-mill saturated fats like you would find in cheese or steak.
No, they contain so-called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – which are fatty acids of a medium length.
Most of the fatty acids in the diet are long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently.
They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies (substances produced during the metabolism of fats), which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
Bottom Line: Coconut oil contains a lot of medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently and can have therapeutic effects on several brain disorders.
2. Populations That Eat a Lot of Coconut Oil Are Healthy
Coconut is kind of an “exotic” food in the Western world, primarily consumed by health conscious people.
However, in some parts of the world, coconut is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for many generations.
The best example of such a population is the Tokelauans, which live in the South Pacific.
They eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts and are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world.
These people are in excellent health, with no evidence of heart disease (3).
Another example of a population that eats a lot of coconut and remains in excellent health is the Kitavans (an island near Australia)..
Bottom Line: Plenty of populations around the world have thrived for multiple generations eating massive amounts of coconut.
3. Coconut Oil Can Help You Burn More Fat
Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world.
While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others (myself included) believe that the sources of those calories are critical too.
It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is NOT a calorie.
The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats (5).
One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totalling about 120 calories per day.
Bottom Line: The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.
4. Coconut Oil Can Kill Harmful Microorganisms
Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is Lauric Acid.
When coconut oil is digested by enzymes, it also forms a type of fat called monolaurin.
Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi (8).
For example, these substances have been shown to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus (a very dangerous pathogen) and the yeast Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections in humans (10).
Bottom Line: The fatty acids and breakdown products in coconut oil can kill harmful pathogens, potentially helping to prevent infections.
5. Coconut Oil Can Reduce Your Hunger, Helping You Eat Less
One interesting feature of coconut oil is that it can reduce your hunger.
This may be related to the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized, because ketone bodies (substances produced during the metabolism of fats) can have an appetite reducing effect.
In one study, varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides were fed to 6 healthy men.
The men eating the most MCTs ate 256 fewer calories per day, on average.
Another study in 14 healthy men discovered that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate significantly fewer calories at lunch (13).
These studies were small and only done for a short period of time. If this effect were to persist over the long term, it could have a dramatic influence on body weight over a period of several years.
Bottom Line: The fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite, which may positively affect body weight over the long term.
6. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Are Turned into Ketones, Which Can Reduce Seizures
A so-called ketogenic (very low carb, very high fat) diet is currrently being studied to treat various disorders.
The best known therapeutic application of this diet is treating drug-resistant epilepsy in children.
This diet involves eating very little carbohydrates and large amounts of fat, leading to greatly increased concentrations of ketone bodies in the blood.
For some reason, this diet can dramatically reduce the rate of seizures in epileptic children, even those who haven’t had success with multiple different types of drugs.
Because the MCTs in coconut oil get shipped to the liver and turned into ketone bodies, they are often used in epileptic patients to induce ketosis while allowing for a bit more carbs in the diet (16).
Bottom Line: The MCTs in coconut oil can increase blood concentration of ketone bodies, which can help reduce seizures in epileptic children.
7. Coconut Oil Can Improve Blood Cholesterol Levels
Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fats, which actually do not harm the blood lipid profile like previously thought.
Saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change the LDL (bad) cholesterol to a benign form.
In one study in 40 women, coconut oil reduced Total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL compared to soybean oil.
There are also rat studies showing that coconut oil reduces triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol, increases HDL and improves blood coagulation factors and antioxidant status.
This improvement in cardiovascular risk factors should theoretically lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over the long term.
Bottom Line: Studies in both humans and rats show that coconut oil improves important risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease.
8. Coconut Oil Can Protect Hair Against Damage, Moisturize Skin and Function as Sunscreen
Coconut oil can serve various purposes that have nothing to do with eating it.
Many people are using it for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair.
Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve the moisture and lipid content of the skin (22).
Coconut oil can also be very protective against hair damage and one study shows effectiveness as sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Another application is using it like mouthwash in a process called oil pulling, which can kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health and reduce bad breath (26).
Bottom Line: Coconut oil can be applied topically as well, studies showing it to be effective as a skin moisturizer and protecting against hair damage. It can also be used as a mild form of sunscreen and as mouthwash.
9. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Can Boost Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Patients
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia worldwide and occurs primarily in elderly individuals.
In Alzheimer’s patients, there appears to be a reduced ability to use glucose for energy in certain parts of the brain.
Ketone bodies can supply energy for the brain and researchers have speculated that ketones can provide an alternative energy source for these malfunctioning cells and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
In one 2006 study, consumption of medium chain triglycerides led to immediate improvement in brain function in patients with milder forms of Alzheimer’s.
Other studies support these findings and medium chain triglycerides are being intensively studied as potential therapeutic agents in Alzheimer’s disease (31).
Bottom Line: Studies show that the fatty acids in coconut oil can increase blood levels of ketone bodies, supplying energy for the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients and relieving symptoms.
10. Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Fat, Especially The Harmful Abdominal Fat
Given that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it makes sense that it can also help you lose weight.
Coconut oil appears to be especially effective in reducing abdominal fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs.
This is the most dangerous fat of all and is highly associated with many Western diseases.
Waist circumference is easily measured and is a great marker for the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.
In a study in 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day led to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in a period of 12 weeks (19).
Another study in 20 obese males noted a reduction in waist circumference of 2.86 cm (1.1 inches) after 4 weeks of 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day.
This number may not seem too impressive on the surface, but be aware that these people aren’t adding exercise or restricting calories. They’re losing significant amounts of abdominal fat simply by adding coconut oil to their diet.
11. Anything Else?
In order to enjoy the health benefits outlined in the article, then you must get organic, virgin coconut oil… NOT the refined stuff.
I personally cook almost everything I eat in coconut oil and my health has never been better.
This health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.