In recent years, coconuts and coconut products have gained popularity, in part, because of their health benefits. Coconuts naturally contain high levels of vitamins C and B as well as trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and selenium. Likewise, coconuts can serve as an antibacterial, an antiviral, and they have properties that can boost the immune system.
Nutritional Benefits of Coconuts and Coconut Water
Firstly, coconut milk, which is made by blending and then straining the meat of the coconut, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a means to avoid dehydration. Similarly, coconut milk is rich in medium chain fatty acids, which do not raise total cholesterol levels and help in body weight maintenance. Coconut milk is also a good source of lauric acid, a fatty acid that can act as a potent anti-bacterial nutrient.
Meanwhile, in North America, coconut oil was one of the major sources of dietary fats prior to the advent of corn and soy oils in the 1940s. Like coconut milk, coconut oil is high in medium chain fatty acids, specifically caprylic acid, lauric acid, mystiric acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid. These medium chain amino acids are metabolized directly in the liver and turned into energy instead of stored as fat. Moreover, coconut oil can help suppress appetite and increase fullness without affecting total cholesterol levels. This means that a daily supplement of coconut oil can help decrease overall body weight, abdominal fat, and total cholesterol. Furthermore, virgin coconut oil has also been suggested to help mitigate the effects of atopic dermatitis, a condition in which the skin is not able to retain water and results in an inflamed cutaneous layer. One study done found that virgin coconut oil was far superior to mineral oil in treating mild to moderate atopic dermatitis in young patients.
In the case of coconut water, this substance is rich in electrolytes, it has been at times utilized as an intravenous drip. Coconut water is sourced from young, fresh, and green nuts, which are usually harvested at five to seven months for optimal nutrient-density. Meanwhile, more mature nuts contain more coconut meat mass, but less water and nutrients. Coconut water is particularly high in potassium and can help prevent fatigue, stress, and maintains optimal muscle relaxation.
Some studies suggest that coconut water can also be used by those seeking to mitigate the effects of diabetes, seeking to improve heart health, and control blood pressure. Likewise, coconut water, also known as nature’s energy drink, helps improve and maintain blood sugar at a favorable level, while controlling the levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and the amount of fat present in the liver. Lastly, potassium, which makes up a large part of coconut water, has been found to lower blood pressure in people of high or normal blood pressure. A study found that people with high blood pressure who consume coconut water can experience a decrease of up to 71% in systolic blood pressure.