10 Health Benefits of Coconuts

coconutOn our recent tropical vacation we saw coconut palm trees everywhere—which reminded me to post about the health benefits of coconuts.

Coconuts have always been one of my favorite foods. As a kid I loved cracking open a coconut to drink the water and eat the sweet-meat. As an adult I loved sipping fresh drinking-coconuts on our Jamaican honeymoon. Little did I know they were actually a very healthy treat too. Coconuts are considered a super-food due to their abundant health benefits.

Coconuts got a bad rap in the 1960’s and 70’s because they contain saturated fats. However, not all saturated fats are created equal. The saturated fat found in coconuts (and other healthy plant-based-fats like avocados, nuts and olives) is different from that found in animal fats. But the fat-free craze of the 70’s created a backlash against the amazing coconut from which it is still trying to recover.

The human body actually needs fats to survive… Your brain is 63% fat. Fat protects your internal organs, helps to lubricate your joints, and access fat-soluble vitamins like A and D. There are several well-documented research studies on the health benefits of coconuts by Mary Enig, Ph.D.

10 health benefits of coconuts are:

  1. High in lauric acid which is antimicrobial and antiviral, giving coconuts excellent immune boosting properties
  2. High in capric acid, which helps fight some viruses and cancer, as well as helping combat AIDS, cystic fibrosis, and epilepsy
  3. High in fiber which helps aid digestion
  4. High in minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium
  5. High in antioxidants, coconut butter/oil is great for your skin
  6. Low in sugar – only 3grams per ½ cup shredded (unsweetened)
  7. Considered by many doctors and research scientists to be a heart-healthy fat
  8. Coconut oil is one of the best oils for high-temperature cooking (think stir-fries in your wok) because it has a high smoke-point
  9. Coconut water contains electrolytes, a perfect substitute for sports-drinks or to help recover from the flu
  10. Coconuts add a delicious flavor to a variety of meals and desserts, and are a healthy snack on their own, visit my Facebook page for a delicious recipe using coconut milk.

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