Amazing Health Benefits of Coconut
Coconut water is world famous as a naturally refreshing drink on hot summer days. But did you know that not just coconut water, but each and every edible part of coconut is equally beneficial for your health.
Here are listed some proven benefits of coconut and the varied coconut uses. After reading these outstanding health benefits of coconut you will definitely want to make it a part of your daily diet.
What is a Coconut?
First things first, coconut is not a nut! In fact, coconut is the fruit or seed of the coconut tree. It is technically a drupe which means that coconut has a seed surrounded by a hard covering. It is a single seed drupe.
Coconut is basically of two types, old coconut and young coconut. The young coconut is green or light brown in color and has more water inside. The flesh of young coconut is quite tender.
The old coconut on the other hand is dark brown in color. It has little water inside, may be half a cup. The flesh of old coconut is firm and thick.
Both types of coconut are equally nutritious.
Talking about nutrition here are some of the facts about coconut nutrition.
Nutritional Values of Coconut
The above chart shows raw coconut nutrition value. As you can see in a glance coconut is rich in saturated fatty acids and minerals. Though it is high in saturated fats it has zero cholesterol. Then is coconut good for you?
Find out in the following sections the benefits of eating raw coconut. Also, some amazing benefits of coconut oil, coconut water and coconut milk are discussed below.
Benefits of Eating Coconut Meat
Helps to Lower Cholesterol
Coconut meat contains saturated fatty acids, but before you assume otherwise, these saturated fatty acids are actually good for you. Coconut contains lauric acid that helps to increase the good cholesterol levels.
Helps to Keep Blood Pressure in Control
As you can see from the nutrition chart coconut contains quite a good amount of potassium. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure naturally hence it is quite beneficial to people who suffer from high B.P.
Helps in Digestion
Coconut is rich in fiber which helps to aid in digestion. The soluble fibers in coconut helps to improve the bowel movement and the insoluble fibers help prevent constipation.
Helps in Weight Loss
Since coconut contains less carbohydrate, it is an ideal food for people who are on low-carb diet. The high fiber content of coconut also makes you feel full for a longer time thereby helping you in your weight loss regime.
Has Healing Properties
Coconut contains many acids like ascorbic acid and lauric acid that help the body fight against inflammation. Coconut meat is traditionally believed to have healing, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Benefits of Coconut Water
Coconut water is different from coconut milk. Coconut water is the transparent liquid that is naturally found inside the coconut. Coconut milk is obtained by soaking the shredded coconut meat in water and then straining it through a cloth. Coconut water has much less calories than coconut milk.
Perfect Energy Drink
Coconut water contains many minerals and electrolytes that the body needs and hence is a perfect energy drink after a workout. It helps you keep hydrated and energized at the same time.
Can Help Prevent Kidney Stones
One of the best ways to prevent formation of kidney stones is to drink enough water. Coconut water not only fulfills the water intake requirements but it also prevents the crystals from sticking to the urinary tract and kidneys.
Has Anti-Diabetic Properties
Coconut water from old or mature coconuts is said to have anti-diabetic properties. A study on rats has shown that coconut water helps to reduce the glucose concentration in blood.
Most of the studies related to kidney stones or diabetes have been done on rats. More research is needed to see the same type of effect of coconut on humans.
Benefits of Coconut Milk
Since coconut milk is obtained from the shredded coconut meat, the benefits it provides are also similar to those provided by eating coconut meat. Coconut milk helps lower cholesterol, fight inflammation and helps in weight loss.
Proven Benefits of Coconut Oil
Helps in Weight Loss
Coconut oil is probably the only oil that actually helps reduce weight. The effectiveness of coconut oil in weight loss has prompted people to adopt the coconut weight loss diet. Here is how coconut oil helps in weight loss:
- Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids that help boost metabolism.
- Coconut oil makes you feel fuller for longer. This makes you eat less thereby helping in weight loss.
- Studies have shown that consuming coconut oil helps reduce belly fat.
You can either replace your regular oils by coconut oil or you can simply eat coconut oil by spoonful. Wait!! Can you Eat coconut oil??
Well, yes. Though it might sound bizarre but by eating coconut oil by the spoonful (just 2 spoonful’s’ daily) has proven to be quite effective in weight loss.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Skin
Coconut oil is also used as a beauty product. It helps to moisturize dry skin and also acts as an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. It also helps to protect the skin from the damaging effects of sun.
Coconut oil is good for dry skin and not for oily skin. Applying coconut oil to oily skin may cause blackheads.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Hair
Coconut oil is regularly used for hair by the people living in the Indian subcontinent. Since the oil is rich in many minerals and vitamins, it helps to provide nourishment to the hair thereby helping in its growth.
Coconut oil also helps prevent hair loss and baldness.
People generally apply coconut oil to the hair before washing. This helps reduce protein loss of the hair.
Wrap up – Health Benefits of Coconut Fruit
Coconut is an amazing fruit. Not only each and every edible part of it can be used in various nutritious recipes but even the non-edible parts can be used for commercial purposes.
Did you know that the coconut shell can be used as a fuel and the husk can be used as a dish scrubber?
Coming back to coconut, just remember that moderation is the key while using the various coconut by-products, be it the meat, milk, oil or even water. Since more studies are needed to prove the various health benefits of coconut on humans, do not over-indulge.