Fun fact: Coconut growing regions are as far north as Hawaii and as far south as Madagascar
Coconut nucira palm is known as the tree of life as attributed to the many uses it could provide- from the trunk to the leaves to the fruits itself. Even the fruit itself has many benefits including its nutritional effects on one’s health.
Grown in many tropical areas in the world, coconut has been used as an ingredient in many healthy and nutritional food and drinks. The spherical or oval fruits of this tree contain its meat and juice loaded with large quantity of vitamins and minerals for the daily grind.
Coconuts are great source of energy with 354 calories. Its total fat is at 33.49g per 100 grams of coconut comprising 167% of the daily recommended level. It also contains 3.3g or 6% daily-recommended allowance of protein and 15.23g or 12% DRA of carbohydrates.
The huge amount of dietary fiber is very helpful to normalize bowel movement as it lowers cholesterol level and regulates blood sugar. If you are trying to lose weight, then eating foods high in dietary fiber will make you full faster and longer thus controlling your hunger.
It is also important to note that the fats contained in coconuts are primarily lauric acid, which increases the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol. HDL is found to be helpful in preventing blockage in the vessels.
Coconut’s juice is made up of electrolytes, sugar, bioactive compounds, and enzymes. All these improve digestion and metabolism.
The kernel is a good source of vitamins that include vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin B complex. Vitamin C is generally an essential vitamin that fortifies body resistance against diseases. Vitamin E is involved in the production of red blood cells as well as in metabolic activities. Moreover, vitamin B complex, as a group, is important in the conversion of energy from the food. Folates or folic acid (6.5% DRA) aids in the making and maintaining new cells, while preventing changes to the DNA. Pantothenic acid (6% DRA) helps in the synthesis of red blood cells and the use of proteins, fat and carbohydrates to produce energy.
The distinct nutritious benefit of coconut can be viewed by the large quantity of minerals it contains. It has 65% DRI of manganese, 48% DRI of copper, and 30% DRI of iron. Other minerals include selenium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, and calcium. Such minerals along with vitamins and macro nutrients make coconuts a great addition to your healthy diet or lifestyle.
The Delicious Health Benefits of Coconuts
Low Glucose Levels
Coconuts are good for diabetics and those that bear high risks of diabetes due to medical history because of the fact that this fruit is low in glycemic index. Glycemic index is the measure for the food’s effect on blood sugar levels. Coconuts are great sources of fiber that helps in normalizing sugar levels on the blood. It also lessens insulin levels to assure the transport and conversion of glucose. This is a significant factor in preventing diabetes.
As mentioned above, intake of coconut aids in diabetes prevention. Despite the sweet and refreshing taste of coconuts, it has very low glycemic index. Its richness in fiber also helps in relaxing the enzymes of the body as well as the pancreas that reduce risks of diabetes. This is why coconut crystals, oil and nectar are becoming popular these days due to their ability to stop diabetes and many other ailments that are triggered by this disease.
The immune system plays a very significant role in the totality of our health. A strong immune system means that you will not easily get sick and that your body is resilient to irregularities that can lead to sickness. Coconuts are rich in antioxidants that are able to strengthen the defense mechanism of the body making it equip to fight diseases on its own. If you have a strong immune system, it generally means that you get to enjoy your days free from sickness and you will be able to live longer. It is very important to always eat foods that are great sources of nutrients that can boost the immune system.
Contains Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Fungal, Anti-Viral, and Anti-Parasitic Properties
Eating coconuts in any form can help in cleansing the body from bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses that are stepping stones to various types of diseases. If you want to avoid some of the most horrible diseases caused by such, make sure to consume coconut whether raw or in form of oil and milk. Regular consumption of coconut is proven to prevent and treat giarda, influenza, herpes, gonorrhea, bronchitis, infections in the throat, urinary tract, and others more.
Vitamin and Minerals Powerhouse
You will be amazed with all the vitamins and minerals that coconut contains. This fruit is a very nutritious source of minerals that the body needs for it to function and work accordingly. There are vitamins and minerals that the body highly depends on the food intake and eating coconut can suffice them. On top of fiber, coconuts have calcium, potassium, magnesium and electrolytes that the body extremely needs.
Excellent Source of Electrolytes
Electrolytes are very much needed by the body so that it is able to maintain energy levels needed for everyday functioning. Your body must maintain high electrolyte levels so that when you engage in physical activities, you will be a condition to perform utmost efficiency and productivity. Lack of electrolytes can also cause strain, cramps, etc. Studies have shown that coconut water is very high in electrolytes that it has the same electrolyte level with human plasma. And in fact, there have been plasma transfusions wherein they utilized coconut water. If you want to always give your best in everything you do, boost your energy levels through consuming coconut regularly.
Ageing reflects not only on how your systems work but also on how you look. Coconut has popularly proven to defy effects of ageing inside and outside the body. This is because of its abundance in effective antioxidants that are able to protect your body from free radicals and their harsh effects. Intake of coconut will cleanse your body from harmful toxins that inhibits ageing. Coconut oil is also very common when it comes to skin and hair care. The oil of coconut negates dry and dull skin. It makes your skin moist, smooth, and glowing. The same applies with the hair. Applying coconut oil to the hair repairs damaged thus avoiding dryness, hair loss, etc.
Treat Skin Disorders
Aside from making the skin healthy beautiful, coconut oil also has the power in treating skin disorders such as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and others more. It is able to soothe the skin eliminating the bacteria and repairing the damage not only from the outside but on a cellular level.
Keeps the Bones and Teeth Healthy and Strong
Because coconuts are excellent sources if magnesium and calcium, it is able to promote the health of the bones and the teeth. Eating coconut is very popular to those who are lactose intolerant because despite the fact that they cannot eat other common sources of calcium, they get to improve the quality of their bones and teeth without compromising their intolerance.