The Health Benefits of Coconut
Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm, used for its water, milk, oil, and tasty meat. Its unique combination of fatty acid has profound positive effects on health. This includes fat loss, better brain functioning, and various other amazing benefits. Coconuts have slowly become a very versatile food commodity, and are used in almost everything from our daily cuisine to our beauty regimens. Earlier, coconuts had a bad reputation as being an artery-clogging, cholesterol packed food that contributed to heart disease. Today, however, the coconut is making a huge comeback as the new miracle food. Coconuts are highly nutritious, rich in fiber, and packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
Health Benefits of coconut:-
- Coconut is a very versatile and indispensable food item for most people under the tropical belt. It is a complete food rich in calories, vitamins, and minerals. A medium-sized nut carrying 400 g edible meat and some 30-150 ml of water may provide almost all the daily-required essential minerals, vitamins, and energy of an average-sized individual.
- 100 g kernel consists of 354 calories. Much of this comes from fats and protein. Although its meat is disproportionately high in saturated fats in comparison to other common edible nuts, coconut has many bioactive compounds that are essential for better health.
- The important saturated fatty acid in the coconut is lauric acid (1:12 carbon fatty acid). Lauric acid increases good-HDL cholesterol levels in the blood. HDL is a high-density lipoprotein, which has beneficial effects on the coronary arteries by preventing vessel blockage (atherosclerosis). Physicians recommend high HDL to total cholesterol levels in the blood for the same reason.
- Coconut water is a very refreshing drink to beat tropical summer dehydration. The juice is packed with simple sugar, electrolytes, minerals, and bioactive compounds such as cytokinin, and enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, peroxidase, polymerases, etc. Altogether, these enzymes support in digestion and metabolism.
- Coconut oil extracted from the dry kernel (copra), is an excellent emollient agent. It is used in cooking, applied over the scalp as hair nourishment, employed in pharmacy and medicines.
- Research studies suggest that cytokinins (e.g., kinetin and trans-zeatin) in coconut water showed significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects.
- The kernel is an excellent source of minerals such as copper, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc.
- It is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine.
- Coconut meat and water contain a very good amount of potassium. 100 g of fresh meat contains 356 mg% or 7.5% of daily required levels of potassium.
The above health benefits of coconut show that it can surely be a part of a healthy diet. How do you use coconut in your daily life? Tell us in the comment section.
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