Coconut: The Unknown Super-Food
Hailed as part of the superhuman food pyramid, coconuts are very diverse in themselves. They are nutritious for you and for the environment. Whether you're eating the meat, drinking the juice, or consuming it as oil, coconuts are a delicious and nutritious. They are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Coconuts have tons of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as plenty of electrolytes. What isn’t used easily biodegrades, nourishing the soil: no waste, just compost.
The coconut only grows in the tropical regions of the world. But is widely available in the American consumer market. This is very fortunate, since a wide variety of coconut-derived ingredients are increasingly being used in homes, restaurants, and in packaged food. This can have a positive effect on your overall health. But today, we are here to talk about the awesomeness that is the coconut meat.
Coconut meat is the rich white lining that is contained within the shell of a coconut. It can be juicy and tender, slightly thick and crunchy, or tough and fibrous. This depends on how long the kernel has been stored.
Coconuts have been recently hailed as a super-food because it helps with neurological and heart disease.
For years this has been called an unhealthy type of food, in high part because of the high saturated fat content. But through much research, studies have shown the type of fat present in coconut meat are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). When consuming coconut meat, the MCTs is transported from the intestinal tract to the liver and immediately turned into fuel. This means, there is little left to actually deposit in fat tissues in your body.
The MCTs in coconut meat are concerted into Ketone, which can be used to replace energy substrates for the brain. Why is this an important fact? Well, the brain uses glucose as an energy source. For individuals with degenerative neurological disorders like Alzheimer's Disease, the brain's ability to use glucose is impaired, which contributes to the progress of the disease. MCT's from coconut products help to increase the Ketone levels, which can become a dietary therapy to alleviate the symptoms and possibly prevent the onset of neurological diseases.
Consuming coconut meat has also shown to protect against heart disease and stroke. The amount of Vitamin A and E, as well as polyphenols and phytosterols, function together to decrease the levels of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol. LDL Cholesterol are fats that stay in the blood and in skin tissues. IN high levels they have been found to be a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
With the protective properties of coconut meat, this can be a reason the Kitavans of Papua New Guinea or the Tokelaus of New Zealand have no incidence of stroke or heart disease in their respective populations. Coconut is a staple of food for these populations.
Coconut meat is so very versatile that it can be eaten raw, cooked, or as a preserve. This can be used as a topping for salads by grating or shredding the meat. It can also be blended to make a smoothie. Or mix it with yogurt.
With how versatile this fruit is, why not give it a try and see the many uses they have.
Learn more about the health benefits of coconut milk.Learn to cook with coconuts on our other blog post.