By Bernice James
Coconut is one of the fruits that are highly neglected in this part of the world. Many people do not see it as worth spending time or money on. Some have the coconut trees in their compounds which might have been planted by their grand parents or great grant parents. But they will never spend time to take from it and eat. It is always about take it to the market. As is our culture to take every good thing to the market – vegetables, fruits like coconuts etc, people that know the values will come and bag them home to better their health.
Coconut is referred to as Kalpa Vriksha (Sanskrit for “the tree that supplies all that is needed to live”). In ancient India, the coconut palm has been recognized as a top immune booster, antifungal, antibiotic, antiviral and antibacterial remedy for thousands of years all over the world.
Yet, it was only recently that modern researchers began to fully discover the massive health benefits this amazing fruit seed offers.
To give just one example of coconuts’ life-saving properties, they were used extensively in the Pacific during World War II. Since blood plasma supplies were scarce, it was very common for medics to siphon pure coconut water from young coconuts to be used as emergency plasma transfusions for soldiers who were injured. Since coconut water is nearly identical to human blood, it was suitable for people of all blood types.
Because of its strong antioxidant properties and health benefits, the coconuts can be used to:
- lower cholesterol
- improve digestion, ward off wrinkles,
- stabilize glucose levels fight off viruses, build cells, regulate hormones, increase thyroid production,
- lose weight, Increase metabolism, fight infections,
- stave off memory loss,
- kill bacteria.
Considered as one of the most treasured foods of all time, coconut products including coconut flesh, coconut water, coconut oil and coconut cream, each deliver superb health benefits.
Coconut oil, for instance, is considered the best and safest oil to use for cooking even superior to extra virgin olive oil when it comes to giving the body what it needs for optimum health.
Unlike other fats and oils that we typically use for cooking and baking, coconut oil does not form polymerized oils or dangerous trans fatty acids in our bodies, which can raise our cholesterol levels, clog our arteries and even make our skin sag and wrinkle. Furthermore, this ultra-safe oil can give your body important antioxidants that can help build stronger cells and improve your overall health and well being.
Coconut health benefits found all-in-one
Here are a few ways that you can take advantage of coconut products to stave off disease and recapture the look and feeling of youth:
Coconut Water: The coconut is a natural water filter. It takes almost 9 months for a coconut to filter every quart of water stored within its shell. This makes the resulting coconut water completely pure and sterile, which is one reason why it can be used for blood transfusion.
Another benefit of coconut water is the fact that it has the highest concentration of electrolytes than anything else found in nature. This makes it an excellent source of hydration.
Coconut Oil: In addition to being superior for cooking and baking, coconut oil also makes superb topical oil that can help to naturally rid the skin of dangerous toxins. It also gives the skin the perfect mix of hydration and antioxidants that it needs to stay healthy, smooth and younger-looking longer.
Another great benefit of coconut oil is in protecting your teeth from the bacteria that can cause cavities and disease. Simply rubbing a little fresh coconut oil on your gums and teeth can keep them stronger and healthier than virtually any other dental treatment.
Most people don’t realize that coconut oil can actually help you lose weight! Yes, simply changing your cooking oil from the unsaturated fat variety to coconut oil can help you lose those extra pounds.
Here’s why: Unsaturated fat found in canola, corn and other vegetable oils, as well as margarine, suppresses the metabolism, which makes it hard to lose weight and easier to gain it. Over time, this metabolism suppression may result in 20-30 pounds of excess weight that your body cannot get rid of ordinarily. Coconut oil, on the other hand, helps to increase thyroid function and boost your metabolism two important components to shedding unwanted pounds.
Coconut Cream: The best skin treatment product one can use to achieve flawless skin may quite possibly be coconut cream. Unlike traditional skin creams which can actually introduce fats and oils to the skin that will break it down over time, making it look older, creams derived from the coconut can actually replenish the skin, giving it a more youthful and healthy glow than most other skin care products in the market.
When it comes to buying coconut products, coconuts are not all created equal. Wild coconuts are always best but can be hard to obtain if you don’t live in a tropical country. Whether you are using this wonder food to boost your immune system; increase your metabolism or fight wrinkles, using products from young coconuts will help you reap the most benefits.
Coconut Secrets for Optimal Health
If you’re anything like me, you prefer the basic facts highlighted for you in bullet point fashion ~ everything important you need to know about the naturally occurring health benefits of coconut tree products. So, I’ll get right to it!
Helps prevent obesity by speeding up metabolism, providing an immediate source of energy with fewer calories than other fats. People, who consistently use coconut products, report a stronger ability to go without eating for several hours with no effects of hypoglycemia.
Improves Heart Health by providing healthy short chain and medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) that are essential to good health. Close to 98% of all fatty acids consumed are composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA), which are very different from MCFA that have no negative effect on cholesterol ratios and help to lower the risk of atherosclerosis and protect against heart disease. Studies have shown that populations in Polynesia and Sri Lanka, where coconuts are a dietary staple, do not suffer from high serum cholesterol or heart disease unlike other fats, the unique properties of coconut also contain a large amount of lauric acid which is the predominant fatty acid found in mother’s milk.
High in Dietary: Fiber rivaling other fiber sources such as Psyllium, Wheat Bran, Oat Bran, and Rice Bran. Coconut supplies an impressive 61% dietary fiber! Foods contain two types of carbohydrates – digestible and non-digestible. Digestible carbohydrates (soluble fiber) consists of starch and sugar and promote calories. Non-digestible carbohydrates (insoluble fiber) contains NO calories. Since the body cannot digest the dietary fiber in coconut, no calories are derived from it and it has no effect on blood sugar.
Low Glycemic Index (GI) measures how fast available carbohydrates in food raise blood sugar levels. Coconut fiber slows down the release of glucose, therefore, requiring less insulin to utilize the glucose and transport it into the cell where it is converted into energy. Coconut also assists in relieving stress on the pancreas and enzyme systems of the body, in turn, reducing the risks associated with Diabetes. Coconut nectar and crystals have a very low GI of only 35 (compared to honey with a GI of 55-83, and sugar with a GI of 65-100.)
Reduces sweet cravings and improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose: The healthy fat in coconut slows down any rise in blood sugar and helps to reduce hypoglycemic cravings.
Improves digestion and many of the symptoms and inflammatory conditions associated with digestive and bowel disorders, by supporting absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids while also providing beneficial dietary fiber.
Quick energy boost that provides a super nutritious source of extra energy. Coconut is utilized by the body to actually produce energy rather than to store it as body fat. It supports improved endurance during physical and athletic performance. As well, it promotes healthy thyroid function and helps to relieve the symptoms of chronic fatigue.
In addition, coconut contains No Trans-Fats, is gluten-free, Non-toxic, hypoallergenic and also contains antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-parasitic healing properties. Coconut helps to aid and support overall immune system functions.