Coconut Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits
How This Helps
Coconut seed, fruit, and nut
Coconuts have been grown in tropical areas for over 4,500 years and used for its food and health benefits. It's the fruit of the Cocos nucifera, otherwise known as the coconut palm tree. The coconut's water, milk, oil, and tasty white fleshy meat make it a popular food and drink source around the world. Coconut water is fat-free, cholesterol-free, and a refreshingly hydrating drink packed with nutrients. Only recently have the coconuts increased in popularity because of their taste in the kitchen, home medicinal remedies, and possible health benefits.
It's commonly sought after in many recipes around the world. Flaked or shaved, coconut adds a great flavor to savory dishes. Its meaty texture and taste work nicely in curries, fish stews, rice dishes, or even on breaded shrimp.
While technically it is a nut, it can loosely be classified as all three: a seed, fruit, and nut.
See: Coconut Chia Pudding
Health benefits of coconut
Coconut health benefits
Coconut is a versatile and indispensable food thing for most people under the tropical belt. It's a complete food full of minerals and nutrients. The high saturated fatty acid in the coconut is lauric acid that is known to raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels in the blood. Coconut water is a refreshing beverage to beat tropical summertime thirst. The juice is full of simple sugar, electrolytes, minerals, and bioactive compounds and enzymes that assist in the digestion process. Research studies indicate that cytokinins in coconut water revealed significant anti-carcinogenic, anti-aging, and anti-thrombotic consequences. The kernel provides an excellent source of minerals like calcium, manganese, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Coconuts have gain recognition due to their health benefits.
- Weight Loss
A research report in the Journal of Food Science points out that the fatty acids in coconut contain potent antioxidants that help enhance the immune function and reduce systemic inflammation within the body. It's these antioxidants that some think may help reduce the risk of metabolic and aging-related diseases by removing free radicals that cause cell damage. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut and coconut oils are thought to increase the metabolism rate by up to 5 percent. That helps body fat burn faster and promotes weight loss. Coconut oil comprises of 55 percent MCT. Recent research indicates that the MCTs in coconut and coconut oil could also suppress appetite when included as part of a low-carb diet.
- Heart Disease
A 2016 study indicates that coconut oil may potentially change the blood lipid profile in a manner that's beneficial to the heart. The researchers point out that just switching to coconut oil in typical Western diets will do little to reduce cardiovascular risk. Instead, it would require that you make substantial changes in your diet, maybe ones similar to those used by the people of Tokelau in the Polynesian Islands. Tokelauans, for whom coconut represents 60 percent of the daily diet, had no signs of cardiovascular disease or hypercholesterolemia regardless of the high consumption of lauric and myristic acid. It illustrates how changes in dietary facts can profoundly impact your cardiovascular health.
- Diabetes blood glucose control
Coconut is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber and fat, so it could help stabilize your blood sugar. The high fiber content of coconut meat may improve slow digestion and enhance insulin resistance, which may help regulate glucose levels. One animal study found that coconut had antidiabetic effects. One reason cited is because of its arginine content. Arginine is an amino acid that is very important to the performance of pancreatic cells, which releases the hormone insulin to regulate your glucose levels. When rats were fed protein made from coconut meat, their blood glucose, insulin levels, and other sugar metabolic markers were much better than those that didn't consume coconut protein.
- Antioxidants for cell health
Coconut meat comprises phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants that can help protect cells from oxidative damage. The Primary phenolic compounds identified include gallic acid, caffeic acid, salicylic acid, and p-coumaric acid. The polyphenols found inside it may prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol), which makes it less likely to form plaques in arteries, which may boost the risk of cardiovascular disease. Some test-tube and animal studies also have shown that antioxidants found in olive oil might help protect cells from damage caused by chemotherapy.
- Simple to add to your diet
Coconuts are used in many forms other than the fruit and water. Some brands include additional sugar, which may not be great for some savory dishes. Make certain to check the ingredient label. Shredded coconut is used in baking and adds a touch of natural sweetness and warmth to cakes, biscuits, or bread. Coconut flour in baking provides a substitute for wheat flour. It is gluten-free, nut-free, and a popular alternative for anybody who is counting carbs. As it is grain-free, the flour can also be great for those on the paleo diet, which does not permit grain products such as regular wheat flour. Coconut oil is also a tasty heat-stable fat which may be used in baking.
Coconut home remedies
Ayurvedic home remedies of coconut
Coconut is considered a superfood in South Asia utilized in various forms like coconut oil, coconut oil, and coconut fruit. Each part has medicinal value, too, so every part may be used for medicinal purposes.
- Eyes: According to Ayurveda, coconut has a cooling effect on the eyes. Eyes are the origin of fire elements and eye diseases, and vision loss occurs due to excess heat. Coconut water, coconut oil, and coconut oil will help to decrease the surplus heat from the eyes and enhances vision.
- Conjunctivitis: Coconut doesn't only enhance vision/eyesight, but in addition, it benefits eye diseases, particularly in conjunctivitis and eye influenza.
- Male infertility: Coconuts are a natural cure for male infertility. Infertility might have many underlying causes, and among these is oligospermia. Coconut pulp can help to take care of oligospermia, improve amount, motility, and quality. It provides proper nourishment to the testes and enhances its functions.
- Nosebleed: The frequent source of nosebleed is hot temperature and dryness of the nose. This might lead to blood vessels rupture in the nose. Coconut is beneficial for reducing body heat and reduce the dryness of the nose. All coconut products may be utilized in this circumstance.
- Asthma Coconut pulp will help strengthen the lungs and enhances immunity. Eating coconut pulp every day reduces the frequency of asthmatic attacks.
- Nausea and headache: Coconut dried pulp may care for the frequent attacks of migraine and chronic headache.
- Dysmenorrhea (Painful periods): Coconut may help painful periods. All sections of the coconut tree may be used for this issue. You may generally use coconut oil, coconut fruit, and water. Their everyday consumption can assist you with painful menses.
- Kidney stones: Coconut water assists in preventing kidney stones. The stone formation property is due to the alkaline properties of the coconut water.
- Burning feeling in urine: Coconut fruit and coconut water reduce the burning sensation of the urine. It cleanses the urinary tract by eliminating amorphous deposits from the bladder.
- Urinary tract infections: Coconut oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties, so its regular use helps to reduce urinary tract infections.
- Fever: Coconut water aids in bringing the temperature down and gives immediate energy to the individual. It may be utilized in thyroid fever together with orange juice.
- Coconut water in pregnancy: It is safe to use in pregnancy. It helps reduce acidity, heartburn, acid reflux, nausea, and constipation. Indian doctors recommend its regular use during pregnancy.
- Coconut Oil in pregnancy: You need to use coconut oil in cooking when pregnant. It contains lauric acid, which enhances the immune system of developing fetus. In the case of nursing mothers, coconut oil will help to increase breast milk. All edible portions of the coconut tree may be utilized in pregnancy and considered secure.
Precautions & Side Effects
Allergies and interactions
Coconuts are categorized as nuts from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and must be revealed as a possible allergen on food labels. Coconut allergy is rare but can happen, especially in people who have a known allergy to hazelnuts or walnuts.
Some people can also experience a food allergy after eating coconut. Symptoms may include nausea, stomach pain, swelling of the lips, runny nose, diarrhea, vomiting, and an itchy or burning mouth sensation.
The contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction that can be caused when coconut or coconut oil comes into contact with skin.
Coconut is a high-fat fruit which has a wide selection of health benefits. These include providing you with polyunsaturated fats, boosting blood glucose regulation, and reducing specific risk factors for heart disease. However, coconut is quite high in calories and fat, so watch your portion sizes if you're trying to eliminate weight or will need to stick to a low-fat diet. You can eat it raw, dried, or as flour, coconut meat is delicious and easy to integrate into both sweet and savory dishes.
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See: Insulin Side Effects