What are health benefits of coconut?
Health benefits of coconut are the health importance of it to our entire body. This fruit helps prevent the risk of having urinary tract infection, regulates acidity/heartburn, enhances healthy bones/teeth, prevents skin cancer, helps remove eye makeup, important for pregnant women, and lowers the rate of seizure in epileptic children.
Coconut is one of those fruits that have gradually become a very hot commodity being used for cooking and for beauty regimens. In some years back, coconut was being addressed as one of those foods that expose one’s artery into clogging and a cholesterol packed food that brings about heart disease.
A typical coconut that falls from a coconut palm has a hard and greenish layer known as the exocarp. Immediately after this layer, is the husk which appears hairy and brownish in color, known as the mesocarp. The mesocarp housed the endocarp, which is the outside of the seed. Inside the seed, you will discover a white layer of coconut meat and liquid and are very delicious.
Current researches have shown how highly nutritious this fruit is and the numerous health benefits of coconut to our entire body.
Is coconut a fruit, seed, or a nut?
It can be a fruit, seed, and nut. It is a drupaceous fruit whose outer fibrous husk yields coir and has only one seed.
Nutritional facts associated with coconut water, milk, oil, and meat
Coconut water (8 ounces)
- Carbohydrates: 9 grams (3% DV)
- Calories: 46 (2% DV)
- Fat: 0.5 grams (1% DV)
- Fiber: 3 grams (12% DV)
- Protein: 2 grams (4% DV)
- Saturated fat: 0.4 grams (0% DV)
- Sugar: 6 grams
Coconut milk (8 ounces)
- Carbohydrates: 13 grams (4% DV)
- Calories: 552 (27% DV)
- Fat: 57 grams (88% DV)
- Fiber: 5 grams (20% DV)
- Protein: 5.5 grams (11% DV)
- Saturated fat: 50 grams (250% DV)
- Sugar: 8 grams
Coconut oil, one Tbsp (tablespoon)
- Carbohydrates: 0 gram (0% DV)
- Calories: 121 (6% DV)
- Fat: 13 grams (20% DV)
- Fiber: 0 gram (0% DV)
- Protein: 0 gram (0% DV)
- Saturated fat: 11 grams (55% DV)
- Sugar: 0 gram
Coconut meat, dried (unsweetened), one ounce
- Carbohydrates: 7 grams (2% DV)
- Calories: 187 (9% DV)
- Fat: 18 grams (28% DV)
- Fiber: 5 grams (20% DV)
- Protein: 2 grams (4% DV)
- Saturated fat: 16 grams (80% DV)
- Sugar: 2 grams
Fresh coconut fruits could either be young or mature as the young coconuts have either a white husk or a green shell. Enough water is present in young coconuts and it has soft gel-like meat. The mature coconuts are usually brown-haired in color and its water contents are few with firm meat.
Also, the water content in a young coconut is one of the best sources of electrolytes and they are healthier than a mature coconut. Why not drink the water from a young coconut to keep your body properly hydrated after an intense workout instead of consuming most sports drinks being advertised?
Coconut water is also low in carbohydrates, calories, sugars, and almost completely free of fat. It is also rich in B vitamins, ascorbic acid, and proteins. In addition, the fleshy part of the coconut aids the restoration of oxidative tissue damage and has enough proteins, healthy fats, and several minerals and vitamins.
Furthermore, coconut oil has surprising natural healing effects, especially when sprinkling on salads or used in cooking. Usually, pure coconut oil is gotten from the mature coconuts with hard flesh. Its white flesh is then cut into smaller pieces, collected, and finally cold pressed between 90oF to 100oF. Also, most unrefined/unprocessed virgin coconut oils are not hydrogenated and are suitable for consumption.
Consequently, the coconut fruit is rich in a medium-chain fatty acid that helps in fat loss and stimulates metabolism. Coconut oil aids the detoxification of harmful substances from the body and maintains your digestive tract immensely. Its oil is mainly used for cooking foods, making delicious raw, vegan desserts, and for baking.
You can also apply coconut oil on your hair and skin as it makes both your skin and hair look very soft. Coconut oil is used in moisturizing our scalp, hair, and skin.
Best proven health benefits of coconut
The following are the best-proven health benefits of coconut you can’t just ignore:
Coconut helps boost your immune system health since it has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-parasite, and anti-fungal properties.
It aids the digestion of foods and absorption of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
Coconut enhances insulin secretion and symptoms associated with diabetes. Its water is rich in potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and stabilizes sodium levels in the body.
Helps lower your chance of having heart diseases and improves good cholesterol (HDL). A study deduced that about half of the saturated fat in coconut comes from lauric acid, which improves the levels of heart-protective HDL (good) cholesterol.
Coconut prevents the body from having cancer as a result of reducing insulin, removal of free radicals that may be associated with rapid aging and degenerative disease.
Helps improve the functioning of the thyroid gland and also restores any malfunctioning.
Coconut aids in weight loss.
It boosts your natural energy rapidly and aids the overall performance of an athlete.
Coconut protects your body against any kidney diseases and bladder infection.
It aids skin health thereby making it glow and boost your hair health greatly. Shields your skin from the sun, prevents rapid aging, wrinkles, and weaker skin.
Coconut flour which is dried has 5 grams of fiber content in just 2 tablespoons making it suitable for people following a gluten-free diet as an important replacement for local white flour.
What are the health benefits of coconut in the kitchen?
Since coconuts are naturally low in glycemic index rating, it has substituted butter, refined sugar, cream, and flour. The following are the various ways coconut acts as delicious recipes with creative culinary delights.
This is usually dried, ground up coconut meat. It’s gluten-free, rich in fiber, low in carbohydrates, and suitable for baking.
It is gotten from the sap of coconut, the sweet juice extracted usually when the budding flower starts to grow. This process brings about a delicious, sweet taste similar to brown sugar having a hint of caramel, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. This low glycemic food can be consumed by diabetic patients. You can use coconut sugar the same way you use other sugars and sweeteners.
Today coconuts are highly praised for its potential health and beauty benefits making her lost glory to be reclaimed at ease.
Coconut cream and milk
This is prepared by mixing shredded, fresh coconut meat with clean water, then squeezing it carefully to pass through the cheesecloth or sieve. The coconut milk is the thick, creamy-like liquid that was derived from fresh coconut and is used for preparing Thai stews and curries.
Coconut milk devoid of all the water is regarded as coconut cream. It becomes pastier and thicker, unlike other coconut products. Do you want to prepare a thicker coconut curry without all the added liquid? Use coconut cream in lieu of milk for optimal result.
Can you lose weight eating coconut?
Adequate researches are not in circulation to back up this claim that consuming coconut can help you lose weight not forgetting the fact here that coconut is a calorie-dense food. Most studies deduced that coconut oil may help you lose fat since it’s an ideal source of MCT (medium-chain triglycerides), which increases the rate of metabolism in the body efficiently.
But some people tend to compound things by assuming that coconut and MCT oil have the same influence on the body. Coconut oil works by reducing your appetite, enabling you to eat less without trying.
Is coconut healthy?
Yes, it is and you can eat the whole coconut or at least its parts that are edible as they are rich in fiber and protein with the fat. Mere consuming coconut oil will provide you with mainly fat. But to be candid with you, a lot of researches are in process to ascertain if coconut oil may aid heart health so to help settle the dispute between coconut oil and heart health.
Consequently, there’s recent research on coconut oil and heart health as unluckily it is pretty mixed, deduced that the tropical oil was known to improve “good” HDL cholesterol, but it also enhances your “bad” LDL cholesterol.
What are the side effects and health risks of consuming coconut?
There is no way you can talk about this fruit without shedding more light on its saturated fat content it contains. A situation where your dietician asks you to cut down on saturated fat, and then you have to do away with coconut oil whenever you want to cook.
A 2017 advisory from the AHA (American Heart Association), published in the journal Circulation, deduced that “coconut oil increases LDL without known beneficial effects.” The AHA also said that replacing saturated fat like butter or coconut oil with saturated fat like olive oil can help lower the risk of having heart disease.
Another study deduced that coconut oil may contain more fat and saturated fat than butter; it doesn’t increase LDL levels as much as butter does and may help improve HDL cholesterol.
Now that you have known the amazing health benefits of coconut and its health risk, it is advisable to consume coconut or coconut oil in a moderate amount. You are advised to consult your dietician or doctor to know if consuming this fruit won’t have any adverse effect on your health, especially for diabetic patients.
Coconut oil should be store in a cool dry place instead of refrigerating it. Your coconut milk may be refrigerated and store in cans to avoid spoilage while the whole coconut fruit can be shredded and kept in a cool dry place.