The humble coconut has traveled many miles and years to become a world-renowned food, and its uses don’t stop at its flavor profile. It’s a great addition to your diet because it comes packed with nutritional benefits, never minding all the uses people get from the inedible parts. The meat, milk, water, and oil all carry their own unique benefits, which means a coconut can do great things for your body no matter the stage at which you consume it. Read on to find out how this tropical fruit can benefit your health.
Coconut meat has a good serving of protein and other nutrients antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal coconut oil easier for the body to process Lauric acid weight loss and diabetic control Coconut water and coconut milk“nature’s sports drink”
Coconut meat can be eaten young or mature, and both types come with a healthy dose of necessary minerals. Mature meat, in particular, carries a good serving of protein and other nutrients, but both offer fiber, potassium, healthy fats, and more. The meat, alongside the other edible coconut byproducts, have also shown antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, meaning they’re great for the immune system, as well. Its ability to improve the body’s calcium absorption can strengthen bones and teeth in the process, too. The meat makes a deliciously nutty, crunchy addition but can be eaten alone as a snack, so don’t be afraid to include it.
Speaking of healthy fats, coconut oil is composed of medium-chain triglycerides, which can be easier for the body to process and helps with digestion problems; MCTs can help treat other conditions, as well. Lauric acid is also worth a mention since this disease-fighting fat is found in nature the most within coconuts. Otherwise, the oil shows signs of contributing to weight loss and diabetic control and has antioxidant properties that may ward off worse conditions. It’s well-known as a beauty product, too, since the fat content makes for an excellent natural moisturizer. Coconut oil is best consumed in virgin form with no additives, and you can use it to replace other oils and fats when cooking. If you’d rather drink it or eat it solid, it’s safe to do so. Since the fats are saturated, however, it’s best to eat the oil in moderation.
Coconut water and coconut milk come from the fruit at different stages of its life, but they’re both refreshing beverages. You can find the water in young coconuts, clearer than the matured milk you find in older fruit. While both drinks keep much of the meat’s vitamins and minerals, the water, in particular, has been called “nature’s sports drink” for its electrolyte properties. While it isn’t a perfect replacement, due to its low amount of sodium, you can still get replenished without all the sugar and additives of commercial products. Coconut milk is more akin to the meat, in that the fat content is more significant than what’s found in the water. It nonetheless has a place as a lactose- and nut-free milk alternative, not to mention its high content of manganese. The electrolyte and fat content has shown promising evidence of fighting anemia, inflammation, and other conditions with a ¼ cup serving. While this one may be better left to the occasional drink, it still comes with benefits.
Though the fat content might keep you from fully indulging, the coconut boasts a wide array of benefits for those who consume them. It brings flavor and health boosts to the diet, regardless of its form, without being hard to find or expensive. It's come a long way since its introduction to the modern world, but the healthy coconut is here to stay.