A superfood defined by wikipedia is “used to describe foods with supposed health benefits.” With that definition my mind immediately goes to foods like kale, spinach, asparagus, apples, cucumbers, onions, swiss chard and sauerkraut. These ‘superfoods’ all have definite health benefits that we have been enjoying for generations!

Did you know that as of 2007 the marketing term of “superfoods” is not allowed by the 28 states in Europe that make up The European Union. All 28 nations require labeling of GMOs, and 16 of these 28 nations have taken the “opt-out” clause that “allows its 28-member bloc to abstain from growing GMO crops, even if they are already authorized to be grown within the union.” Gosh, even Vladimir Putin wants to protect his citizens from what he calls “substandard products.” Why do you we, as Americans, which many will say is the greatest country on Earth, allow such abomination to exist in our food system?

Maca, camu camu, noni, yacon, lucama, chuchuwasi! For most, these are words spoken with a marbled mouth, but for those who know what they are supposed to do, they are superfoods!

I believe that our body digests the foods it recognizes better than a food it hasn’t seen before. So when you start taking in a new ‘foreign’  super fruit or food, your microbes may hold it suspect by not taking in all the nutrients. If you decide to add one in to your daily plan, may I suggest you do it in small increments and repeat over time so it becomes a recognizable food to your body’s system of taking in food, digesting food and absorbing nutrients?superfood

Ok, so what made me look up superfood to begin with? My interest in coconut oil. Maybe you know someone who is beating their chest, tarzan-like, by ingesting bulletproof coffee (this has many variations) made with coconut oil as one of the ingredients. Maybe someone told you it’s good for you and you decided to start downing it in large quantities because if it’s good for you  – more must be better for you, right? Ummm….

When we look to the experts from Harvard, and other professional M.D.s (Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Joseph Mercola) along with some very well respected others – I like Dr.  John Douillard who follows an Ayervedic lifestyle – the advice conflicts. Even then how can we compare our use of coconut oil in the U.S. against cultures like India, Sri Lanka, etc. whose daily diets include large amounts of coconut oil (and coconut products), but also much better nutrition (more fish, more veggies) than the typical American diet.veggies rule

I have waffled over what the right thing to do is in my diet in regards to coconut oil, but here is where I’m at with it right now.  I use organic refined coconut oil to cook with because it can withstand heat up to 450 degrees, and organic unrefined (350 degree smoke point) for use on foods or in backed goods. I stick with organic because some refined coconut oils are processed by bleaching and deodorizing to make it palatable, while others are processed using natural, chemical free processes such as an organic product would provide. One is good the other is not. So if you are going to used refined, look for the organic virgin and extra-virgin (no difference) oils which are made from fresh, raw coconuts. Unrefined coconut oil has more flavor, and the coconut taste can be strong or mild. You can experiment till you find the one you like best.

vivaNo matter which one suits you best and how you choose to use it, check out Thrive Market (https://thrivemarket.com/). They are an online market that I like to say is ‘a more health conscious Amazon’. However, if you are a prime member, keep shopping Amazon. I buy Viva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut oil like the one pictured here. It has a mild taste.

There is no precise recommended amount to take in so use your judgement and enjoy the benefits! If you haven’t tasted a fresh coconut, it’s worth the work of cracking it open and drinking the water and tasting the true flavor of the coconut. Like a lot of distinctive flavors, seems people either love it or hate it.

Coconut oil is touted for oil pulling, skin care, mouth health and more. Again, just because it’s popularized through the media doesn’t mean it’s right for you. I used it as a whole body moisturizer but if I use it for my face, it clogs my pores. Many people love to use it as a make-up remove and facial moisturizer. If you like to experiment, go for it and see if it’s the right product for you.

It’s so important to remember that we are all bio-individual so what works for one may not work for another. Recognize your individuality and listen to your body when it tells you a product is not for you – even if it is a ‘superfood’.