Do you love eating coconuts but are worried about eating them regularly?
If you are one of those who avoid eating coconuts, I am sure it’s because you remember having been told that coconuts are not good for your health as they are high in saturated fats and may harm your heart.
But in recent times many people have started embracing coconut as it is highly nutritious and promotes good health.
Coconut is a versatile fruit as it can be used in various forms. It’s used in cooking and to make beauty products.
Let’s understand what’s exotic about this superfood by knowing more about its benefits.
Benefits of Coconut
Coconuts can be used in various forms i.e Coconut Milk, Water, Flesh, and Oil. It’s a good source of digestion-friendly and satiating fiber and is rich in Vitamin B6, iron, and minerals like manganese, magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium.
There are 2 types of coconut available in the market
1) Tender coconut with the green shell
2) Mature coconut with a brown shell.
Tender coconuts contain more water and soft coconut meat whereas mature coconut has less water and firm meat.
The coconut meat can be used in preparing curries, desserts, and baking.
You can drink coconut water, which is a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps balance sodium levels in the body and regulates blood pressure.
The coconut flour, which is dried ground coconut meat serves as a good replacement for the white flour especially for those following a gluten-free diet. It is advisable to consume coconuts in their whole food form rather than using coconut oil which is saturated fat.
1) Prevents dehydration – Coconut water is one of the highest sources of electrolytes. It helps in keeping the body hydrated so that the muscles and nerves can function properly. Hence it is beneficial to drink coconut water when you are sick and also after your workout session.
2) Helps in meeting the nutritional requirements – Coconut water is low in calories, carbohydrates, sugar-free and fat-free. It is high in Vitamin B and proteins.
3) Rich in Antioxidants – Coconut meat contains healthy fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It helps in restoring the muscle and tissue damage in our body.
4) Prevents constipation and aids in weight loss – People across all age groups suffer from constipation problems. This happens when your diet doesn’t contain fiber. Coconut is rich in fiber and helps in improving your bowel movement and digesting your food better.
As coconut is rich in fiber, it helps in losing weight. It keeps you full for a long period of time and you don’t end up overeating/binge eating. Also eating coconut helps in burning fat faster.
5) Improves immunity – Coconut is antibacterial and antiviral in nature. Having raw coconut helps in improving your immune system and keeps you away from diseases.
6) Boosts your skin and hair condition – As raw coconut has high fat content; it provides good nourishment to your skin and hair and keeps it smooth and hydrated. As it is antifungal and antibacterial, it keeps you away from skin issues like acne and also helps in keeping your hair healthy.
Instead of using chemical-laden lotions and creams, coconut oil can be used to nourish and moisturize your skin, scalp, and hair.
The benefits of coconut continue to impress many in the kitchen while preparing the culinary delights and also in the beauty world.
Due to its health advantages and low glycemic index, coconuts have replaced cream, butter, flour, and refined sugar.
What is a low glycemic index?
The Glycemic index or GI rating is a ranking of how carbohydrates in our food affect the body’s blood glucose level. Carbohydrates which are classified as low GI means they digest and metabolize slowly, creating a slow rise in blood sugar and insulin levels of the body.
The health benefits of coconut have enabled more and more products of coconut available in the market like
a) Coconut flour is dried ground coconut meat. It is gluten-free, low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, and ideal for baking.
b) Coconut Milk and cream – Coconut milk can be prepared by grinding coconut meat with lukewarm water and then squeezing it through a sieve or a muslin cloth. This thick white creamy liquid that comes out is coconut milk. This is used in Thai curries and stews.
Coconut cream is coconut milk without water. It is thicker and in a paste form. Coconut cream can be used to make dairy-free whipped cream and coconut yogurt.
c) Coconut Sugar is derived from coconut sap. The juice is extracted when the budding flower is about to grow. It has a delicious sweet taste similar to that of brown sugar with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It has a low glycemic index and is diabetic friendly. It can be replaced with sugar and other sweeteners.
There are numerous benefits of using coconut in your daily life. They can add flavor, variety and provide all nutrients necessary for your body.
Coconut lovers are enjoying the health and beauty benefits it offers ranging from consuming it internally and externally.
Have you benefited from using the coconut for health or beauty reasons? Do share your thoughts in the comments section.
If you have not tried it to date, I would highly recommend you start using it regularly.