Coconut (‘coco’ derived from the Spanish word which means ‘skull’) is one of the most amazing fruits in the world. It is considered an exotic food in the West, but a staple in tropical countries. In Asia, South America, and Pacific Islands, coconuts grow abundantly. There’s been a report that in one Pacific island, the islanders consume coconuts as 60% of their total diet—and they are proved to be in optimum health! Coconut is so wonderful that in this article, you will find out why—or if you want, you can just listen to the song and get the whole idea.
From roots up to the trunk, its leaves, and the fruits, there really is nothing you can throw away with this tree. Coconut is so useful that many tropical countries use this tree abundantly for anything they need it for. Not only it is delicious, but in terms of health benefits, you could never go wrong with coconut. It is loaded with nutrition that a daily intake of coconut water, milk, and its flesh will bring good health to your body. And when this article says that it has numerous health benefits—it really has!
What’s In It?
A lot of people are claiming that coconut is a treasure-trove of vitamins and minerals, but what really is in it—specifically? First off, coconut is high in fats, but in a good way, and it is not going to make you literally fat. The good thing about this fruit is it’s full of fatty acids and highly healthy saturated fats that are not similar to the usual fats in your diet. Its oil, which smells so good (by the way), contains medium-chain triglycerides that are metabolized in your body differently. These special fats help your body in burning MORE fats during physical exercise. Now, do remember that most of the fats in your usual diet are called long-chain triglycerides. This simply means that the fats found in coconuts are shorter than the latter.
This wonder drupe also comes good for rehydration as it is packed with electrolytes such as potassium and sodium. Now, electrolytes are essentials in making your heart function properly. You lose some of these when you sweat or urinate. That’s why if you are always on the go for physical work, it is always good to have a bottle of electrolyte drink to keep yourself hydrated. Coconut water is a perfect natural energy drink because it is complete of your dietary needs. It comes with calories (about 445mg); it gives 10% of your daily intake of potassium, and about 30mg of sodium (per cup). It also has more minerals such as 9% of Magnesium (32mg), 19% of Iron (2.3mg) which is good for your blood, 22% of Copper (0.435), 12% of Zinc (1.1mg), 16% of Phosphorus which is also good for your bones, 71% of Manganese (1.500mg), and 1% of Calcium (14mg). Not only that, it is also packed with lots of Vitamins like: 6% Thiamine (Vitamin B1 0.066mg), Vitamin K, 2% Riboflavin (0.020mg), 2% Vitamin E (0.24mg), 4% Niacin (Vitamin B3 .540mg), 4% Vitamin C (3.3mg), 6% Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5 .300mg), 7% Folate (Vitamin B9), and 4% Vitamin B6). You can also add these to the list: Energy (354kcal), 9g of Dietary fibre, 15.23g of Carbohydrates, 6.23g of Sugars, Saturated Fat, Polyunsaturated Fat, Monounsaturated Fat, Isoleucine, Protein, Threonine, Lysine, Tryptophan, Valine, Tyrosine, Leucine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Cystine, Glycine, Arginine, Alanine, Histidine, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Proline, and Serine. And of course, don’t forget that it also has natural WATER (47g).
Well, that was sure quite a long rundown. With all these vitamins and minerals found in coconut (fruit), you’re probably more interested to know about what good it does to your body, right? So, here are the top 5 health benefits of Coconut that you will surely NUT find disappointing:
1. It’s Good for Your Hair
Let’s start from the top most part of your body—your hair. Coconut is a very common ingredient in most hair care products you see lined up in the market. It actually has a good reputation when it comes to making the hair look and feel better. And yes, it really does! The oil from the coconut milk serves is an effective milk sunscreen for the air which proves to block 20% of sun damage! Even better, it also gives your hair that shiny, youthful glow, and it turns dry and frizzy hair into soft manageable strands!
Buy fresh coconut milk from the market. Soak your hair with milk and cover it with a hair cover or towel and let it rest for about an hour. Then rinse it with water and don’t use any shampoo or conditioner yet! You can either do this during your off or at weekends if you’re not comfortable letting a day pass without using a shampoo.
Coconut oil is easy to apply to and easy to get wash off. If you don’t like its strong fragrant smell, it is advisable to apply it before bedtime. Simply pour a generous amount onto your palm and rub the oil in your hands. Massage your hair and scalp repeatedly until covered with oil. Now, sleep and let the coconut oil do the wonders.
There are numerous coconut oil products on the market. But if you want to go a little organic, you can make your own oil. Simply buy fresh coconut milk from the market and heat it in a non-stick pan. Continue to stir until the milk curdles. A few more minutes of stirring and your will notice the milk curdle separating from the oil. When the milk curdles turn brown and flaky and the oil becomes clear, then you can filter and transfer the oil to a clean container. (Note: Use a sifting paper or a cloth to entirely sift the coconut curdles from the oil)
2. It’s Good for Your Skin
Yes, studies show that coconut oil or milk can improve your skin’s moisture. Although it doesn’t have as much Vitamin E as other fruits, the milk in it, along with the other vitamins and minerals present, is a sure ball when it comes to moisturizing and giving your skin that youthful glow. Both coconut milk and oil can be applied to the skin. If you’re keen on splurging more, you can buy fresh coconut milk. Before showering, have a coconut milk bath by applying the milk all over your body using a loofa or a soft cloth. You can also add other skin care products like sea salt for the best results. Let the milk stay on your skin for about an hour, rinse, and see the difference.
Do you know what’s good about this? It can also reduce the symptoms of eczema! Not that you have it, but it’s also a plus, right?
Coconut oil and milk are not the only ones that give your skin health a boost. By drinking coconut water daily, you will always stay hydrated and the cytokines found in the coconut water will work as natural nutrients that moisturize your skin. These cytokines also reduce the chances of having the dreaded pre-mature wrinkles and pigmentation. Coconut water also helps in making your skin immune to unwanted conditions like acne and skin irritation.
3. It’s Good for Your Internal Organs
Not only is coconut good for the external parts of your body, but it is all the more proven to be very good for your internal health. Your daily intake of coconut water/flesh won’t go in vain—and that is guaranteed. Why, apart from keeping your body hydrated and packed with electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals, coconut also promotes cardiovascular health. Your heart, of all organs, will benefit greatly from this wonder food. Because you are fuelled with a long list of nutrients from this food, your cardio performance will do better, helping you keep up with your daily physical activities.
Your kidneys are also one of the organs that will benefit greatly from coconut water. because those kidneys are in charge of keeping your blood clean from toxins, it should be well-taken care of, too—and coconut water is a good cleansing agent, not only for your kidneys but for other digestive organs as well. And speaking of digestion, coconut contains fibre, which is good for regular metabolism and digestion. If you’re that person who’s having a little problem with digestion and doesn’t regularly go number 2, this natural home remedy might improve your metabolism. You just have to drink coconut water every day, before eating or drinking anything. Don’t take your breakfast yet for about an hour if you can take it. This way, your large and small intestines are cleansed with coconut water and the fibre found in it. (Note: For people with allergies, kindly consult your personal doctor first, before taking this advice. Some people have a sensitive digestive system that taking on an unnatural diet might cause an upset stomach.) There have also been studies that coconut water also promotes liver health. The fats from the fruit are absorbed into the liver and are turned into ketones, which are powerful agents in promoting brain health.
4. It’s Good for Your Oral Health
What?! Is that for real?! But you haven’t seen any toothpaste with coconut ingredients on it, right? Yes, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not an effective agent for keeping your oral health good. The process is called oil pulling. Because coconut oil has properties that can kill oral bacteria like streptococcus mutans in your mouth, swishing a good amount regularly will kill these unwanted components over time. Put a spoonful of coconut oil into your mouth and swish it while doing house chores or anything. Now, you will know that you’ve pulled enough oil once you spit it out milky and watery. If you’ve to spit out the oil, then you haven’t pulled enough. Remember to spit out the oil after a good swish into the toilet, and not the sink, since the bacteria may be harmful. After that, rinse your mouth with warm water with salt and thoroughly brush your teeth. Keep in mind that you NEED to brush your teeth after oil-pulling. These bacteria cause tooth decay, plaque build-up, and bad breath, so it’s THAT serious. For this, you will need pure and 100% organic coconut oil. If you can, it is advisable to cook your own coconut oil for great results.
5. It’s Good for Your Health Maintenance
Most ageing folks need to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to keep their health at good status. If you’re one of those who are struggling to find an effective diet, including coconut in your daily food consumption might just be the answer.
Coconut water is effective in managing diabetes. It is not too sweet but the nutrients found in it are enough to keep the body in good hydrated condition daily. It also helps in fighting free radicals and preventing the dreaded BIG C. Even in simple sicknesses like headaches, fever, and diarrhoea. And if you’re into losing weight, this is also a good addition to your diet. What’s more? Coconut water is also great for keeping your blood pressure at regulated levels.
So, what is your verdict? Did this article talk you into considering coconut as part of your healthy diet? The top 5 health benefits of coconut written here are just a few of the numerous good things you’ll get from the food itself. Regular consumption of coconut is one thing—and consistency is another. What are you waiting for, at least buy a coconut product from the market today!