For optimal health, our diets need to include anti-inflammatory fat sources. Point blank, end of story. By following a diet free of excess saturated fats and instead packed with healthy fats, our bodies aren’t only capable of looking better, but feeling better also. That’s right—we’re talking a decreased appearance in wrinkles and sagging skin, increased energy levels, elevated mood, better brain function, decreased body fat, greater muscle mass, stronger bones and a more powerful immune system.
But the question becomes, what are some of the best food sources for those healthy fats? We’ve got the answer right here. The essential fatty acids found in chia seeds and extra-virgin coconut oil are not only anti-inflammatory, but also have the unique ability to help stabilize the cell plasma membrane; this makes them great food sources for skin and body health.
The seeds from the chia plant are a concentrated source of high-quality macronutrients required by the body—Omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, high-quality complete protein and low-glycemic carbohydrates. But there’s more. Chia seeds are also rich in antioxidants, meaning that they can help reduce inflammation and mitigate the signs of premature aging. What makes chia seeds even more valued as a nutrition source is their ability to slowly release their nutrient content and water into the digestive track over extended periods of time. This helps provide an even and sustained source of nutrition, hydration and energy for the body as it passes through the digestive tract. We have their high-soluble fiber content to thank for that, which causes chia seeds to form a hydrophilic colloidal suspension (or to put it more simply, gel) in water. Not too shabby, right?
Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
Long vilified as an unhealthy food choice, coconuts and extra-virgin coconut oil are now rightly taking their place as a healthy food and a healthy type of fat. The types of fats found in coconut oil boost immune function and the anti-bacterial, anti-microbial compounds are metabolized efficiently to hydrate and repair skin from the inside out, imparting a supple glow. But that’s not all.
Coconut oil is also a beauty food that appears to help promote weight loss. According to research, diets rich in coconut potentially stimulate weight loss by helping to increase metabolism; in fact, it may even aid in the prevention of obesity. Revered by athletes for its ability to help boost endurance and enhance performance, coconut oil contains less calories than other oils and its fat content is easily converted into energy. In fact, as a plant-based medium chain triglyceride (MCT), coconut oil is digested quickly and doesn’t lead to the accumulation of fat in the heart or arteries. So forget all that low-fat, fat-free mumbo jumbo and remember this—not all fats are bad fats.