How much do we love coconut products? Let us count the ways…
So the coconut craze has been going on for a few years now (in certain circles, that is: we know coconuts and their myriad uses have been common knowledge among many peoples across South and Southeast Asia for far longer!), but just in case you’ve missed it, mama, we wanted to bring you up to speed on the many benefits of coconut oil along with some of our favourite coconut products.
So what’s so great about coconuts, coconut oil, coconut water, and other related products? Our friend Militza at Little Green Dot has got a great rundown of its many uses and benefits, but here’s a quick refresher:
- Coconuts contain lauric acid, which is thought to improve cholesterol levels (source) and help regulate normal thyroid function (source).
- Unrefined virgin coconut oil is thought to be extremely antifungal and antibacterial, in one scientific study even outperforming traditional antifungal drugs in treating Candida (source). For what it’s worth, we used coconut oil to treat my baby’s cradle cap and it cleared up immediately. Apparently Gwyneth Paltrow swishes it around daily (“pulling”) to keep her gums clean and her teeth extra white.
- Coconut oil is easily absorbed by the body, both internally and externally, meaning that it’s easily digestible (and therefore less likely to be stored as fat compared to other types of oils) and a fabulous moisturiser.
- Coconut water is rich in potassium (more than four bananas in one serve!) and low in calories, carbs and sugars (though not sugar-free), making it a refreshing alternative to sugary sports drinks (source).
- Coconut milk is a great lactose-free alternative to cow’s milk, and is lousy with vitamins (C, E, Bs) and minerals (iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous) (source).
If you don’t take our word for it, mamas, listen to any number of celebrities who’ve hopped on the coconut-crazy train (if it’s good enough for Mindy Kaling and Miranda Kerr, then it’s good enough for us!).
Our Favourite Coconut Products
Here in Singapore, we’re lucky to live amongst the world’s top coconut producers (Indonesia, The Philippines and India, with Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Thailand also in the top 10). As we’ve learned in recent years from the horrible haze, there are responsible, sustainable producers, and there are those who are not. We try to use and recommend only products that are ethically sourced and produced (not to mention organic and unrefined for maximum health benefits!). Here are some of our faves:
Sourced from Sri Lanka, cold-pressed, organic, and unrefined (meaning it’s free of chemicals and preservatives), this Virgin Coconut Oil is widely available at the supermarket (no longer do we need to trek to health food stores!) and competitively priced at $29.95 per liter. We’ve enjoyed its mildly nutty, fragrant taste in cooking all sorts of dishes (though our go-to is for making popcorn!).
Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Skincare
Already one of the world’s leading cocoa butter brands, Palmer’s clearly knows their oils and emollients when it comes to skincare. We got a sneak peek at the new Coconut Oil range (launching in Singapore in January 2016), and it is amahhhhzing. Not only does it smell heavenly, but it combines goodies like Tahitian Monoi, Vitamin E, sweet almond oil, Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter with organic Coconut Oil for an all-around awesome moisturising experience (for less than 10 bucks!). We also love that it’s free of nasties like phthalates, parabens, sulfates and dyes.
There are lots of coconut waters out there, but this is one of the originals, and it remains one of our faves thanks to its refreshing, natural flavour. We love adding this to smoothies and ice pops (as does our baby); check out Vita Coco’s Pinterest page for heaps of yummy recipes (and look out for their brand new coconut oil). We’re also fans of their sustainability initiatives; their factory in the Philippines is reportedly entirely self-powered by coconuts!
These hand-crafted, virgin coconut oil-based body balms smell heavenly (they’re infused with essential oils!) and work a treat (shop owner Joan Koh calls them “miraculous on bug bites”). They’re made by displaced Cambodians using traditional ingredients and every day kitchen tools; truly a “feel good” product in every sense of the word.
Available at 100 Good Things, 2 Balestier Road, #01-685, Singapore 320002, Tel: (+65) (65) 9383 1047
With a slight natural sweetness but no added sugar, these are a super yummy snack, or a wholesome add-on for yogurt, granola, or even salads. We love their nutty crunchiness (as does our toddler!).
There is seriously SO much more out there on coconut products, mama! Coconut oil must be one of the most versatile products on the planet; we suggest hitting up Pinterest or your favourite blog for even more recipes and tips!