Health Benefits Coconut
Whether eating the meat, drinking the juice, or consuming the oil, coconuts are a delicious and nutritious source of food packed with amazing health benefits.
The health benefits of coconuts and coconut water have been known for years. In fact in many island nations coconut forms a staple of their diet and provides the majority of the food eaten. As well as providing nutrition, coconuts and coconut products have been long used in traditional folk medicine due to their antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic properties.
Coconut & Coconut Oil
Once regarded as being unhealthy due to their high level of saturated fat, it is now known that the fats contained in coconuts and coconut oil are actually good fats. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides, such as lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid and myristic acid.
Unlike all the seed oils, coconut oil’s unique structure makes it more easily digested than the other oils which have fats of long chain length. Humans can quickly metabolise medium chain triglycerides into energy, whereas the body stores long chain fatty acids for future use.
As coconut oil will actually speed up your metabolism, your body will burn more calories in a day, reducing the risk of heart disease and lowering your cholesterol.
The most recent explosion into the health market is young coconut water, the latest craze amongst celebrities, athletes and health conscious shoppers. Often referred to as nature’s soft drink, pure young coconut water is rich in nutrients and contains only small amounts of fats, sugars and carbohydrates.
“Coconut water contains a complex blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, antioxidants, enzymes, health enhancing growth hormones, and other important nutrients.
Because its electrolyte (ionic mineral) content is similar to human plasma, it has gained international acclaim as a natural sports drink for oral rehydration. As such, it has proven superior to commercial sports drinks.
Unlike other beverages, it is completely compatible with the human body, in so much that it can be infused directly into the bloodstream. In fact, doctors have used coconut water successfully as an intravenous fluid for over 60 years.”
Source: Dr Bruce Fife, Certified Nutritionist & Naturopathic Physician
Health Benefits of Coconut
They have been many studies into the health benefits of coconut, coconut oil and coconut water with the following health benefits now widely publicised:
- Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
- Coconut improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
- Supports tissue healing and repair.
- Supports and aids immune system function.
- Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
- Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.
- Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
- Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
- Functions as a protective antioxidant.
- Is completely non-toxic to humans.
- Coconut oil kills disease-causing bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses because of the antimicrobial effects of its fatty acids.
- Coconut oil prevents strokes and brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Coconut oil protects against heart disease by increasing good cholesterol and lowering the ratio of bad and good cholesterol.
- Coconut oil helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.
- Coconut water is 99% fat-free and is loaded with calcium, potassium and magnesium. It also has zinc, selenium, iodine, sulphur, manganese, boron, molybdenum, ascorbic acid and B-group vitamins.
- Coconut water is a natural electrolyte and isotonic beverage which helps increase the body’s metabolism and replenish hydration levels in the body.
Note: This information has been compiled from a variety of sources and is not intended to be considered as medical advice.
How to include more coconut in your diet
- Use coconut oil in all your cooking. Replace your other cooking oils such as canola or all purpose vegetable oils, with virgin or expeller pressed coconut oil. You can also bake with coconut oil too!
- Add to soups, drinks and yogurt. Gently melt your coconut oil and slowly stir it into your smoothies or yogurt. This will help the coconut oil from clumping when added to cold food. The coconut oil will melt when added to hot drinks or soups.
- Add shredded raw coconut to salads and stir fries.
- Toast shredded coconut in the oven and use to garnish cakes and curries.
- Use shredded raw coconut when baking slices, cakes and brownies. You’ll get a much moister result than using dried coconut!
- Snack on raw shredded coconut.
- Add coconut water to casseroles, soups and curries.
- Make a young coconut smoothie. Simply add fresh fruit, coconut water and the soft young coconut meat to a blender and voila, a healthy coconut smoothie.
- Drink young coconut water and eat the soft flesh by scooping it with a spoon.