People are clamoring for coconuts. The delicious and plentiful fruit reaps a plethora of benefits. Aside from the produce section in your local grocery stores, coconut infused products can be found on a variety of shelves. There is coconut milk and water, butter, oil (for baking), coconut flour and coconut oil for cosmetics. Clearly there is a demand. What is it all about?
Spanish explorers identified the coconut by naming is coco, which means monkey face. They believed the coconut resembled a monkey. The scientific name is Cocos nucifera. Nucifera means “nut-bearing.” Diverse cultures from around the globe have found the coconut to be a valuable source of nutrition. Also used as a medicine in some countries.
Cracking a coconut and delving into its meaty texture and sweet milk inside is half the fun. The coconut is a staple food in many cultures around the world. They also provide islanders with a majority of their food source. In the United States we are fortunate to have options with the plentiful fruit. Coconut water is stacked on grocery store shelves and is excellent for hydration. The oil is used for baking but also for healthy for everyday consumption. Some are using the oil to help prevent and/or treat disease.
Only recently modern medicine has unlocked the secret to what is often referred to as “The Tree of Life.” Yet, for thousands of years coconuts have held a respectable place in local folklore. Modern day medicine and doctors continue to learn the uniqueness of the coconut. What exactly is the coconut known for? Medical journals have published that the coconut, in one form or another, may do the following:
Improves absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, mineral, and amino acids.
Helps relieve the symptoms of health risks associated with diabetes.
Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
Supports strong bones and teeth.
May protect against osteoporosis.
Improves bowel function.
Supports immune system function.
Supports healthy heart function.
Dissolves kidney stones.
Helps with obesity.
Supports healthy skin, prevents dryness and flaking.
Past reports indicated coconut oil to not be healthy because of its high saturated fat content. However, the oil has made its claim to fame by being called “the healthiest oil on earth.” Oils and fats are comprised of fatty acids, saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. There is also a classification of a carbon chain within each fatty chain. The chains are made up of short (SCFA), medium (MCFA), and long (LCFA). Approximately 98 to 100 percent of our foods are in the long (LCFA) chain such as eggs, meat, milk, and include most vegetable oils. Coconuts are in the medium chain (MCFA). Since coconuts fall into the medium category it is easier on the body hence lending exponential benefits to the human body. Research indicates very few foods fall into the medium chain category, therefore the coconut boasts and promotes endless advantages.
When in the grocery store you will not need to look far for coconut products. They are regaling from the shelves and are eager to serve your body. Go ahead, be a NUT!