Coconut: Nutritional value
Vitamin B1 |Vitamin B2 | Vitamin B3 | Vitamin B5 | Vitamin B6 | Vitamin C | Vitamin E | Folate | Calcium | Copper | Iodine | Iron | Magnesium | Manganese | Phosphorus | Potassium | Selenium | Zinc | Fibre | Protein | Carbohydrate | Medium Chain Fatty Acids
Coconut Health Benefits
• Balances Blood Sugar
• Good for the Heart
• Boosts the Immune System
Almost everything in the tropical fruit Coconut is edible and health-giving.
Actually, what many people believe is a nut, the coconut is actually a drupe. Some of the plants that produce drupes are: most of the palms, like coconuts, oil and date palms, pistachio, mango, olive, coffee, ans all the members of the genus Prunus. This includes the well known cherry, plum, almond, peach, nectarine and apricot. Amazing, isn´t it? It´s very fitting that our first ingredient post for the year 2013! And if you´re still thinking of resolutions, take a look at our article: New Year’s Juicing Resolution for 2013 – A Few Do’s & Dont’s
Now that we´ve established that the coconut is actually a type of fruit, let´s look into its health benefits. Although its white flesh is rich in saturated fats, these fats are a different kind than those that are found in meat and dairy products. The fats found in the coconut are called Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) and don´t offer the same health risks the other kind of fats do. The MCFAs are easily digested and equally easily metabolized by the body. This means that rather than be stored in the body as fat, they are used as a source of energy by the body.
Besides using the flesh, you can also use the water of the coconut in juices and smoothies recipes. The water kept inside both the green and brown coconuts is one of the most balanced electrolyte sources in nature. This means it can rehydrate the body after intense exercise, or if you´ve had a fluid and electrolyte loss through diarrhea or fever.
We learned all of this about the coconut fruit on the Wikipedia (see the Coconut entry) and also in one of our favorite books: The Top 100 Healing Foods: 100 Foods to Relieve Common Ailments and Enhance Health and Vitality (The Top 100 Recipes Series), by Paula Bartimeus. We got it on Amazon and we refer to it all the time, when we are making juices and smoothies, and also when we plan our meals. Super useful!
P.S. We took the coconut pictures on this post during our Christmas break in Rio, in a paradisaical place called Angra dos Reis. Fresh coconut water tastes wonderful, but it´s not always available where we live – Iceland. If you can´t get a hold of the fresh thing, opt for the ones sold in cartons in the shop that are pure coconut juice – not with added conservatives. It tastes great in juices and smoothies.