The Many Health Benefits of Coconut!
Lately, you have probably seen on the internet and commercials quite a number of treatments and products based on coconuts. This fruit seems almost miraculous and have positive effects on our health, skin, hair and even our diet!
Coconut comes from the coconut tree (Who knew?). It is a species of palm that grows in the tropics and sub-tropics. Coconut is known for its versatility and can be used for its meat, water, oil, shell and even shell fiber! It is different than any other fruit (and a little hard to open!), and contains a lot of water. The oil and milk derived from the fruit is used for cooking and cosmetic products. This is one reason why it is so popular today!
Coconut has a high concentration of lauric acid. For this reason it is thought to have antibacterial properties. It is also rich in mineral salts like magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium. These minerals are fundamental for bones, muscles and teeth. There is also a lot of fiber, which is good for bowel functions. And last but not least it has a high level of Vitamin E, which makes it an excellent antioxidant.
On top of that, it tastes very good! But be careful! It has high levels of saturated fat (88,6% in total), and this means it has a high caloric content. So, although it is an excellent nutrient, you have to eat it in moderation.
As the oil is abundant, it is used, apart from cooking purposes, for beauty products. This is due to its humectant, antiseptic and natural antioxidant properties. This is why lipsticks, creams, facial masks, soaps, makeup removers, deodorants and shampoos are made with coconut extract or coconut oil! The aroma is also relaxing and makes us think of the beach. This is one reason why there are so many air fresheners, candles and perfume in scented coconut!
One of the most recent uses of this amazing fruit is to improve the appearance of cellulite skin. Using a vegetable brush with coconut oil on the affected area can help to make the skin firmer!
Many celebrities have started a trend with coconut water! And although I do not agree with what these famous individuals are doing, just because they are famous, I think in this case no harm is being done! Apart from quenching thirst, coconut also satisfies the appetite and restores mineral salts lost during physical activity.
Coconut milk, extracted from the shredded pulp contains calcium, fiber and antioxidants. It is ideal in cooking and milkshakes, but I want to remind you that it is not a daily fare. Remember, it has a high caloric value and although it’s high in saturated fats, it is a positive thing.
Coconut oil has a high degree of medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized in a different way. This can have therapeutic effects on various brain disorders like Alzheimer’s. These medium chain triglycerides can also increase energy output during 24 hours up to 5%, which contributes to significant weight loss on a long term basis.
Also, fatty acids in coconut can significantly reduce your appetite, which can contribute positively to weight loss on a long term basis. As noted previously, coconut saturated fats are positive, which can help to improve the level of cholesterol in the blood (Increasing good cholesterol) and reducing the likelihood of heart disease.
On the other hand, you may have seen on the market Coconut flour in the aisle which is gluten free. Coconut flour is a healthy way to add great flavor to your pastry dishes! This flour has a lot of benefits for diabetics, because adding coconut flour to your baking goods reduces the glycemic index.
I hope you find this information useful, and I hope it moves you to add more coconut to your life!