Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm that has a wide range of health benefits. It is rich in fibre and medium chain triglicerides (MCT) and can aid with weight loss, digestion, hydration and improved heart health. It contains water, milk, oil and nutritious flesh. Coconuts grow mainly in tropical regions. The tall tree is on average 80 feet tall and the dwarf tree is on average 20 feet tall.
The harvesting of coconuts are either done by climbing the tree with the help of a rope ring round the feet or ankles of the climber or with the assistance of a power operated ladder. In some countries, monkeys are trained to pick coconuts. Monkeys are a lot faster and on average, a male monkey can pick 1,000 coconuts a day compared to a human whose average is 80 coconuts a day.
The coconut palm is a member of the Arecaceae palm tree family.There are over 150 soecies of coconut trees growing in 80 countries. It grows naturally along tropical coastlines in full sun.
The tree can be found in South East Asia, Indonesia, India, Australia, the Pacific Islands, North and South America, Africa and the Carribean.
The entire tree, branches and fruit can be used.
Coconut is widely marketed as a superfood. Coconut water is very hydrating and is identical to human blood plasma and can therefore be safely injected into the bloodstream. During World War 2, when regular saline solution was short in supply, coconut water was given intravenously to those who needed it. Coconut water is a great thirst quencer in humid countries and also during and after strenuous exercises. We loose a lot of liquids during our sleep as well, so it is a great idea to keep hydrated as soon as we wake up. Ever wondered why many accidents happen during the day after we have just woken up? This is because our brain is dehydrated and affects our actions and ability to think.
The unique combination of fatty acids in coconut oil boosts fat loss, improves heart health and brain function. The MCTs in coconut oil provide a quick supply of energy. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a fatty acid that makes up approximately 50% of the MCTs in the oil. Lauric acid has antimicrobial and antifungal properties and can act as a bacteriostatic agent. This is a substance that can preven bacteria from multiplying without killing the bacteria.
Coconut oil can also be applied to the skin to moisturise it and calm the symptoms of certain skin concerns such as acne, eczema or Psoriasis. Watch our short video recording to learn more.
Coconut oil can improve the moisture content of dry skin and reduce symptoms of skin concerns. It can also protect against hair damage. Coconut oil can also be used as a mild sunsceen blocking out 20% of the sun’s ultra violet rays. It gives your skin a pleasant and natural scent as well.
Oil pulling involves swishing coconut oil in your mouth like mouthwash. This kills some of the harmful bacteria in your mouth and may improve dental health and reduce bad breath.
Coconut flesh is delicious and nutritious. It is also very filling and may help reduce hunger. It is best eaten fresh, immediately when the coconut is cut to benefit from its nutrients.
The dried and processed coconut flesh may have sugar and preservatives added and also lose some of its nutrients during processing and packaging.
Coconut flesh is rich in several important minerals such as manganese and copper. It is also high in insoluble fiber, which means it does not get digested. It therefore works to move food through your digestive system and aids bowel movement and health.
Coconut meat contains coconut oil which boosts HDL (good) cholestero and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol.
The MCTs in coconut meat strengthen gut bacteria which protects against inflammation. It also has anti-viral, anti-fungal and tumour suppressing properties. The antioxidants in coconut help boost your immune system.
Coconut flour is a natural byproduct of coconut milk production. It is a white or off white flour that can be used for baking. This is ideal for those who would like gluten free meals and ingredients. It gives a nice flavour when used in breads, cakes and biscuits.
If you live in a Tropical country where coconuts are easily accessible, we highly recommend you consume at least one coconut daily or at least 3 to 4 times a week. If you live in Western countries where coconuts are not easily accessible or affordable, do attempt to drink a litre of coconut water from cans or cartons. These should be not from concentrate, which means you are drinking the coconut water that is not reconstitued with water. Do also ensure where possible, no sugar is added.
Following our above recommendations will go a long way in keeping you healthier for the foreseeable future.
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