Coconut Health Benefits

Coconut provide a powerhouse of delicious nutrition

Coconut is a true super food.  Long misunderstood as being an unhealthy source of oil, it has become the darling of the holistic nutrition world. Coconut oil, milk, cream, meat and water can be enjoyed raw, in smoothies and juices, and also cooked. The coconut provides a large array of health benefits. Coconuts have been shown to help with weight loss, heart health, allergy issues, diabetes, immunity, energy,  athletic  performance, mental and neurological health, and skin care. In traditional cultures, coconut has been used for centuries to treat numerous conditions including irregular menstruation, kidney stones, malnutrition and syphilis.  Coconut has been consumed as a dietary staple for thousands of years in Polynesia, Hawaii, Malaysia, Africa, South America and the Philippines.

The bad reputation of coconut oil in the U.S. and its redemption

Coconut oil was avoided for more than 50 years in the United States because of its reputation as an unhealthy saturated fat. This misinformation was caused by poor research done on highly processed coconut oil which contained unhealthy trans fats.  The invalid lipid hypothesis also contributed to the fear of the saturated fats in coconut oil.  See: The big “Fat” lie and its impact on health

To the contrary, virgin organic coconut oil has proved to be one of the healthiest and safest oils.  Heart disease in the Philippines, known for its high coconut oil consumption, is one of the lowest in the world. Coconut oil is comprised of two thirds medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), which are absorbed quickly by the intestines and used for energy.  Because coconut oil does not require insulin to be converted to energy, the pancreas can rest, helping to prevent and reverse type 2  diabetes.  Coconut oil also contains lauric and caprylic acid which together can destroy bacteria, viruses and fungi, so it is a strong immune builder. Coconut oil has been shown remarkably to improve memory and to reverse Alzheimer’s disease.  Dr. Mary Newport discovered the curative powers of the ketones found in coconut oil, when searching for a cure for her husband with Alzheimer’s disease. For curative uses, 2-4 daily tablespoons of coconut oil are recommended to treat various ailments.

Health benefits of coconut cream and milk

Coconut cream and milk contain vitamins K, C, E and B6. Coconut milk has the important nutrients zinc, copper, manganese, potassium, sodium, phosphorous, selenium, calcium, iron and protein. Coconut milk and water also contain medium-chain fatty acids with all of their health benefits.

Coconut milk and cream can be utilized in smoothie and ice cream recipes, as well as a substitute  in cooked food recipes. It is highly prized by cooks following a Paleo diet who want to avoid dairy products, as well as those avoiding milk for allergy reasons.

The unique benefits of coconut flour for those with food allergies

Coconut flour, made from the meat of the coconut, is high in protein and fiber.  The flour is also gluten free.   It can be used to make excellent breads, muffins, and snacks for those avoiding grains and gluten.  60% of Americans are estimated to suffer from some sort of food allergy which can contribute to gastrointestinal distress, joint and muscle pain, skin rashes, headaches, anxiety or asthma. Gluten is one of the most common undiagnosed food allergies.

Summary

Coconut has been enjoyed for centuries in traditional cultures for its medicinal and health benefits. Americans have feared eating coconut due to the long held myth that the saturated fat in coconut oil was unhealthy. Holistic health followers now embrace coconut for its many health benefits.  The uses of coconut in the kitchen are versatile and can be enjoyed in its many forms.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.coconutketones.com/whatifcure.pdf

http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/index.htm

http://www.coconut-info.net/coconut_milk/coconut_milk_benefits.php

Sandage, Anji, Bull, Lorena. The Everything Coconut Diet Cookbook. 2012.  Adams Media: MA

http://www.coconut-info.net/coconut_milk/coconut_milk_nutrition.php

http://www.naturalnews.com/043137_saturated_fats_carbohydrates_heart_disease.html

Coconut provides a powerhouse of delicious nutrition, written by Michelle Goldstein, first published in Natural News on December 11, 2013

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