CUCKOO FOR COCONUT
For supple skin, don’t skip this tropical treat.
Dou you consider yourself lucky? You should, since it just takes a quick stop at the grocery store these days to reap the skin-nourishing benefits of coconut, a tropical fruit once found only in Southeast Asia and southern India. Centuries ago, inhabitants of the Pacific and
Indian ocean basins cultivated two coconut types that spread around the globe via explorers, migration, and flotation. Today, it takes very little exploration to find an array of skin-nourishing coconut products—from coconut oil and flour to fresh, young coconut and its electrolyte-rich water.
The most exciting beauty benefit of coconut comes from its supply of healthy fats, which provide the building blocks of skin-cell membranes and enhance your skin’s ability to retain moisture. Coconut fats are unique, as they’re saturated, medium-chain triglycerides that increase healthy cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and boost metabolism. Lauric acid, a rare fat type found in coconut, is naturally antibacterial and quickly absorbed for a quick boost of energy. Fats in coconut oil also support your body’s production of hormones, which must stay in balance for radiant, youthful skin.
Beyond healthy fats, coconut offers a host of other nutrients, especially manganese, a mineral that’s essential to the body’s collagen-formation process. Choose coconut meat, oil, and butter for the highest healthy-fat content. Opt for coconut flour if you need to boost iron and fiber. And replenish with coconut water for its rich stores of hydrating electrolytes like potassium and magnesium.
Jolene Hart is a certified health coach, a former beauty editor, and the author of the Eat Pretty books. You can find more of her insights on nourishing beauty from the inside out at jolenehart.com.