5 Healthy Kitchen Treasures: Part 1

I love the idea of using things that you probably have in your own kitchen to create budget-friendly, eco-friendly, and health-friendly creations for you skin, hair, and body! I also think it's empowering and socially responsible to use nearby available resources to take care of your health needs, kind of like how I discuss here and here. Know your treasures! When I first embarked on my healthy hair/life journey, I really had no idea that I had all of this stuff in my house. I used to go out and buy all of these different products, when all the while I had these basic ingredients in my own kitchen.
So today I want to share 5 Healthy Kitchen Treasures. For me, probably like many of you, the number of healthy kitchen treasures is more like 15, so this post will be part of a series.
You'll start to notice a trend about the benefits and uses of these amazing kitchen treasures. All of these items are healthy, cheap, and easy to find!
Admittedly, I like to use these kitchen treasures in conjunction with each other. Stay tuned for a "DIY" (Do it Yourself) series where I'll talk about my different concoctions!

Upper left: Trader Joe's Aloe Vera Gel; Bottom Left: Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Juice (bought from local health food store); Right Picture: My aloe plant in my house

Some Benefits:
  • Regulates Digestive Health and Immune system health
  • Promotes healthy skin; hydrates dry skin, restores softness, contains anti-aging properties
  • Aloe vera juice can increase your metabolism, making it good for weight control *I take shots of aloe vera juice occasionally as a nutritional supplement/detoxifier
  • Source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E. Contains folic acid and Niacin
Some Uses:
  • Can treat burns and inflammation
  • Can help in retaining hair length
  • I like to add the juice to a mixture of water and essential oils as a hair spritz; I use the gel as a skin-soother when its irritated, as a moisturizing leave-in after I was my hair, and as a moisturizer in conjunction with pure unrefined African Shea butter.
  • Prevents scarring, eczema, stretch marks and acne
2. Olive Oil
I really like using Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Trader Joe's because it is the purest kind

I love this oil so so much!
Some Benefits:
  • Reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases; the vegetable mucilage, as well as high levels of Vitamin E, phenol, and monounsaturated fats in olive oil helps protect your body's digestive tract *ever wonder why it's so popular in Mediterranean diets?
  • Rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, E and iron
  • Contains rich moisturizing properties
Some uses:
  • Can be used for cooking, especially with vegetables and very lean meats
  • Can be applied directly to the skin as a moisturizer, exfoliator, and makeup remover. *I love doing facials with olive oil
  • Can be used as a deep conditioner or a hair sealant *I do a hot oil treatment with olive oil at least twice a month

3. Coconut Milk
I buy this brand of coconut milk for less than $1 at local grocery stores
NOTE: It was recently brought to my attention that another option is to dilute coconut cream bars with water or buy coconut milk in cartons to avoid the additives that are put in cans. Great info.

I LOVE everything about coconuts....besides their taste. Ya, I know.
I LOVE coconut milk and coconut oil...and coconut water, all for different reasons. Look out for posts on those as well.

Some Benefits:
  • Excellent source of manganese, phosphorous, potassium, zinc and iron which can lead to stronger bones, a decrease in blood pressure, and prevention of anemia
  • High concentration of dietary fiber, which will make you feel full
  • Rich in vitamin C, which promotes immune system health
Some Uses:
  • Can moisturize skin and hair if used as a moisturizing bath or soak
  • When applied topically, it can soothe symptoms of psoriasis, dermatitis, and aging skin
  • *I like to do deep conditioning treatments with coconut milk, since it is also high in protein; I mix it with my conditioner, honey, or henna or sometimes I use it alone

4. Apple Cider Vinegar
I like to buy colored raw ACV from local grocery stores

Some Benefits:
  • Can reduce sinus infections, cure various skin conditions (age spots, cellulite, etc.) cure constipation, can cure heartburn, and prevent bladder stones and UTI's
  • Contains high levels of potassium, pectin, malic acid, and acetic acid *It is very acidic and your stinging eyes will tell you that if it ever gets in them
  • Removes toxins from the body
Some Uses:
  • Can cure sunburn if used as a bath or soak
  • *I love to use ACV as a hair rinse to maintain its ph level/seal the cuticle (which aids length retention, and thus hair growth). I also like to use it as a scalp cleanser, as it gently removes buildup
  • Can be used as a skin toner. *I mix it with some distilled water, green tea, and a few drops of tea tree oil as a toner
  • Can serve as a natural cleaning agent for tiles, windows, and kitchen surfaces!
5. Honey
I typically buy this honey from a local grocery store for about $2

Some Benefits:
  • Its natural source of carbohydrates and antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties can boost your energy, reduce muscle fatigue, and build your immune system
  • Can decrease cholesterol and potentially protect against heart disease
  • Can remove acne
Some Uses:
  • Use as an antiseptic to clean wounds and help them heal quicker
  • Can be used as a skin moisturizer, facial, or hair mask (especially when mixed with another less sticky ingredient, such as coconut milk or yogurt)
  • Can treat sore throat! *This is particular popular amongst us Haitians. You know what I'm talking about. Just mix some honey and lemon juice and drink-it-up. Might not help you instantly, but it sure will taste god ;)

What are some of your healthy kitchen treasures?

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Medical Disclaimer: Naika, the writer of this blog, is Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist. Please do not take this as medical advice, without consulting your health care practitioner. Also remember, knowledge is power and your health is your wealth!