Coconut water made a huge push for trendiest health food about three years ago — and with good reason.
Coconut water is the clear substance in the center of the fruit, but Pacific Islanders swear by a diet rich in many forms of the fruit. It doesn’t matter how you consume coconut — raw, in it’s oil, water, milk, meat or through butter or flour — you’re getting some really great health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of eating a diet that includes coconut:
The saturated fat lauric acid, which increases good cholesterol in the blood and overall cholesterol ratio levels, is found in coconut oil. Likewise, coconut fat, called medium chain triglycerides, is special “good” fat in that it’s efficient in burning energy and lowering the abdominal fat that leads to heart problems.
Immunity properties make them antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial and able to kill harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Likewise, a diet that includes coconut will protect against illnesses caused by microbials, such as influenza, giardia, lice, throat infections, urinary tract infections, tapeworms, herpes, gonorrhea, bronchitis and others. No wonder it’s been billed as a “cure-all” food.
Coconut water is the liquid with the health benefits and low calories (about 45 for an 8-ounce glass) per serving. Coconut milk is a mixture of coconut meat and water that, yes, has health benefits, but also packs a ton of calories (think 450 per serving), so keep that in mind when you make delicious Thai coconut soup.
Studies show that coconut oil is good for cholesterol levels, but it’s also important to note that, while this type of oil is better for you than butter, it’s still not as healthy as vegetable oil. It contains a high amount of saturated fat, which the 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting to 7% to 10% of your calories.
Hydration is key in boosting energy, but add in high levels of potassium (which help the body recover faster), natural sugars (to boost energy) and fiber (to keep the digestive system running properly) and you have a winning project in coconut milk.
Coconut oil can actually hydrate your skin and hair. Plus, consumption will boost metabolism to showcase that glowing skin.