Mother nature is a genius! There is no other explanation as to why there exists such a perfect health food as coconuts! This tropical food source is not only a staple for about a third of the world’s population, but it also offers us countless health and nutritional benefits. In fact the benefits of coconuts are so highly valued in some cultures that the coconut palm is known as the “Tree of Life.” Talk about a great advertisement! In Asian and Pacific cultures coconuts are believed to have great healing powers and can sustain good health and fight disease. Here are some other great health benefits of coconuts.
In our fat-fearing world, I have watched many poor and unknowing souls avoid coconut sources because it’s a saturated fat source. Let’s clear something up: While it’s true that coconuts are sources of saturated fat, its structure of medium chain fatty acids make it easy for the body to digest and utilize. Therefore, these fats are actually a quick source of energy for your brain and body. These amazing fatty acids present in coconuts also make them a rejuvenating, skin-glowing totally natural moisturizer. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. Your skin will be naturally radiant, and what’s more, it will likely also have a positive effect on any other skin-related problems that you’re having. Whether you’re eating it or slathering it on your skin, you’ll reap the benefits coconut oil has on improving and maintaining your glowing skin.
Coconuts also kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. They can also strengthen your immune function and help you fight off anything from the flu to candida infections.
Coconut oil is my go-to oil for most cooking and baking. It has an extremely high heat tolerance so it does not chemically alter into nasty trans fats at high heat like other sources of oil. It’s perfect for stir-frying, sautées, roasting, and baking. You can also throw a tablespoon into your smoothie, and voila! Coconut oil also helps normalize blood sugar levels so it’s great for people with hypoglycemic tendencies or even diabetes.
After all this you’re probably wondering about some other ways to take advantage of this great food source. Well, coconut water is another great way to reap some of these benefits. Coconut water is extremely high in electrolytes which makes it great for a hot summer day, or after a workout to help you replenish the fluid and sodium that your body loses through sweating, exercise and physical exertion. In fact, these days it’s getting a reputation as being Mother Nature’s Gatorade – trendy but true!
Cooking with coconut milk and baking with coconut flesh are also options. However, just be sure that if you’re using shredded coconut in baking that there is no added sugar. Commercial coconut has lots of sugar added, so make sure to buy it unsweetened when using it for baking or otherwise.
And lastly, like any other food source, don’t go overboard as it is still a saturated fat source. Remember the golden rule – everything in moderation.