coconuts: my favorite superfood

If there is one thing, besides chocolate, that I could never live without it would be coconuts! Whether I am drinking coconut water fresh from a palm tree in Thailand or cooking with coconut oil, it is always stocked in my apartment. In Sanskrit the coconut palm tree is known as kalpa vriksha, which means "the tree that supplies all that is needed to live". So no matter where you are or how much you have mistreated your body, the fresh young coconut flesh, coconut water, coconut cream and coconut oil can always provide benefit to you!



When looking for coconuts to purchase try and buy young Thai coconuts - they are flat on one side, cylindrical and have a cone-shaped top. The brown and hairy coconuts are mature and still have health benefits but there is often not much coconut water in them and their flesh/meat is not as tender. 

Coconut water
  • Coconut water can be bought at most grocery stores (you should always purchase one in a cardboard container rather than aluminum - aluminum is toxic in high amounts and can leach into the water). 
  • Coconut water is packed full of potassium and magnesium and is great for re-hydration! 

Coconut Oil/Butter and Cream
  • Coconut oil is made by pressing the meat of the coconut to remove the fiber. This fat is solid at room temperature and therefore can be safely heated at high temperatures. Surprisingly, coconut oil does not have a strong taste making it a versatile oil. 
  • Coconut oil and cream are medium chain fatty acids (triglyceride), which require minimum effort to digest and are easily converted to energy. Check out my post on fat to learn about the benefits of consuming healthy fats.
  • Improves digestion and helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K)
  • Contains anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties 
  • Helps thyroid function and therefore can aid in weight loss and increase metabolism
  • Supports HDL (healthy) cholesterol formation in the liver and therefore aids in cardiovascular health

So go ahead - pretend you are on a tropical beach and enjoy the numerous benefits of coconuts!

best in health,
kate kokoski 


References:
All images from corbisimages.com
Enig, Mary G. 2001. The health benefits of coconuts and coconut oil. Nexus Magazine 9:2. 
Wolfe, David. 2009. Superfoods: the food and medicine of the future. North Atlantic Books: Berkeley, CA. 

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