Top 5 Health Benefits of Coconut!

Coconuts originally come from the Indonesian region and are widespread across south-east Asia, but it now grows in the middle-east, as well as south and central America. Coconuts have plenty of goodness but at different stages of maturation. After 7 months, they are green and contain mostly coconut water which contains a close to perfect balance of nutrients, electrolytes and minerals for your body. Between 12 – 14 months, they are brown and contains much more flesh which is rich in saturated in fat, (mainly medium-chain triglycerides). Read on for these Top 5 Health Benefits of Coconut! (Including in its water and oil forms.)

1. Nutrient-rich
As far as the coconut water goes, a cup of it will give you 600mg of potassium (17% of your RDA), 10% of your vitamin C,  17% of your manganese, and 15% of your magnesium RDA’s.

2. Lowers blood pressure
This is thanks to the large amounts of potassium contained in the water, which also helps optimize your cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and bone health and growth in tandem with the manganese.

3. Increases good cholesterol
In terms of its oil, it has been shown that when combined with a nutritional plan, extra virgin coconut oil can help raise your HDL (good) cholesterol level and eventually reduce the circumference of your waist.

4. Helps delay the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease
The medium chain fatty acids create ketones that your brain can use as a source of energy and serves as an alternative to the insulin no longer produced by the brain.

5. Fights infection
This is thanks to its lauric-acid which makes up to 50% of its fat content. It has been shown to kill pathogens, viruses, and fungi such as Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans.

So, how to best consume it? The water contained in the green coconut is delicious to drink on its own, mixed in smoothies or Malaysian, Indian and Japanese curries. You can use coconut flesh to make puddings and ice-cream, it gives a delectable coconutty taste to your cakes while keeping them moist. I spread it on bread, it’s delicious. The coconut oil (also from its flesh) can be used to replace the usual oils you might use in recipes. It’s also an excellent moisturizer for your skin. It’s interesting to note that healthy communities consuming a lot of coconuts also tend to eat whole and mostly plant-based diets. Fan of eating, drinking and cooking with coconut? Let us know below,  join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. (Check out our previous Top 5’s to help you Keep YOUR Fit ON!) 

Sebastien Combret

Sebastien, from Alsace, France is a food enthusiast with a background in design. He loves to experiment with recipes and find ways to improve them. He's a die-hard culture-vulture having lived in Italy and China, and travelling throughout south-east Asia, Europe and North Africa. Now living in the UK, he's completed an MBA in environmental management, carried on into an MSc in International Innovation, launched a startup and is now going into research. He loves learning and researching science, all things culinary, cooking including of course eating (he's French afterall!) He also practices meditation, qi gong, yoga etc and is always ready to travel!

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