On 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:
- High in lauric acid which is antimicrobial and antiviral, giving coconuts excellent immune boosting properties
- High in capric acid, which helps fight some viruses and cancer, as well as helping combat AIDS, cystic fibrosis, and epilepsy
- High in fiber which helps aid digestion
- High in minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium
- High in antioxidants, coconut butter/oil is great for your skin
- Low in sugar – only 3grams per ½ cup shredded (unsweetened)
- Considered by many doctors and research scientists to be a heart-healthy fat
- 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
- Coconut water contains electrolytes, a perfect substitute for sports-drinks or to help recover from the flu
- 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.