All things coconut are often labeled as something for “crunchy” people (which is just silly). First of all, coconuts are a staple food in a lot of cultures around the world. Second, crunchy people are considered modern day hippies that care about what they put into their bodies, as well as what they put into the Earth. Do you hear how silly that sounds. Shouldn’t ALL people care about these things? Well, shouldn’t they????
Coconut has amazing health benefits. It also comes in many forms. Coconut oil and coconut water are probably the most popular. Oh and coconut milk. And shredded coconut. Yum.
I’ll admit, the first time I ever tried coconut water, it was at a Costco. And it was room temperature. I thought it was disgusting! After gagging on the sample, I bought a 12 pack. Because I make smart choices like that. I suffered through about 6 of them. By the time I hit the last couple, I was craving them. Weird, eh? I kept reading about how good it was for you and that it was an acquired test. They weren’t lying.
I also learned that a lot of coconut water sold in stores doesn’t actually taste like real coconut water. A blogging friend from Costa Rica said this Harmless Harvest coconut water is the most authentic flavor. I tried it and it really is way different than the mainstream waters.
Sometimes you can also buy coconut water with pulp in it. I like to get a big mouthful of pulp and stick my tongue out to show it to my husband so he can go puke in a trash can. Because I am nice like that. He hasn’t acquired the taste.
Coconut milk is a lot milder. It’s a great dairy alternative, too. Coconut oil is a favorite in our house. Well, for 3 of the 4 of us. Majority wins. It’s so healthy and tasty that I sometimes eat it right off a spoon.
The death-defying health benefits of coconut.
1. Coconut oil is the richest source of saturated fat. Isn’t that comforting? But really, studies have shown that saturated fat is mostly harmless. And the saturated fat is different than what you would find in dairy and meat. They are made up of Medium Chain Triglycerides that are metabolized differently than long chain fatty acids. They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract and produce quick energy and ketones.
Because of how it breaks down in the body, it is entirely digestible for people that have had their gallbladder removed.
2. Weight loss. The MCTs in coconut oil increase the amount of calories you burn compared to other fats. They also make you feel fuller faster resulting in consuming less.
3. Antimicrobial, antiviral, antiparasitic, and antifungal. The composition of coconut oil has an antimicrobial effect that protects the body against harmful pathogens. It contains lauric acid (just like breastmilk!) that the body converts into monolaurin. Monolaurin is the powerful warrior that kills all kinds of garbage in our bodies.
4. Coconut is healing externally, as well. It prevents aging when massaged into the skin because it protects against free radicals. It is also healing on cuts and skin issues. I have eczema and it works wonders when my skin flares up.
5. It is brain-boosting. MCTs produce ketones. Ketones can have therapeutic effects on those suffering from epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
6. It improves blood cholesterol. Coconut oil has been studied in rats and humans, and has shown a positive effect on cholesterol levels. Increasing HDL and lowering LDL.
7. Improved body function. Coconut is packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. All of these are necessary for proper body function. The water even has more than double the electrolytes of traditional sports drinks. Made perfect by nature.
8. Healthy teeth. If you can’t eat you die. Obviously. You could live the rest of your life on smoothies and purees, if you wanted. Or eat coconut oil and save the teeth! Have you heard of oil pulling? Here is a great how-to on oil pulling. It is basically a daily mouth detox. Here and here are 2 studies done on the dental health benefits of coconut oil.
Read this for a great introduction on why coconut oil (and butter and olive oil and REAL food) got such a bad reputation). Money, basically.
If this hasn’t convinced you that you need coconut in your life, I don’t know what will. A healthy diet along with exercise for your body and mind are proven ways to increase the length of your life.
What do you think? I would love to hear from you in the comments.