Coconut

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Coconut Pandak 4years old
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Dwarf Coconut 4 years old
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Harvested Coconuts. Some are already husked. Ready to be split and baked.
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Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm
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Husked Coconut
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Split Coconut
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Dwarf coconut grove

Coconut The Giving Tree
by Franklin H. Maletsky

Coconut tree

The common names for the coconut are coconut palm, coco palm, and of course the coconut tree. The scientific name is cocos nucifera. The scientific name cocos nucifera was derived from the Portuguese language. Cocos is Portuguese for monkey, in reference to the face that appears on the stripped nut. Nucifera means nut bearing. The coconut tree is an ever giving tree. Almost every part of the coconut tree is useful. The Coconut Palm or coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is the only species in the cocos family that grows to 30 meters or almost 100 feet tall. The term coconut refers to the fruit of the coconut palm or coconut tree.

Coconut trunk

The coconut trunk can be used for lumber. In most of the countries where coconut trees are grown, the coconut tree is protected by the government due to rampant harvesting even of young coconut trees for coco lumber. The coconut tree can live to over 60 years. The coconut trunk narrows as it towers to the sky and close to 100 feet tall. The older the coconut tree, the better it is for lumber. The old coconut trunk can be so tough that a 4" nail would bend as it is hammered in. The softest part of the coconut trunk is the middle since it is the newest growth or part of the tree. The coconut trunk gets harder and tougher as it moves away from the center. The hardest part of the coconut trunk is the part immediately under the coconut tree skin because it is the oldest part of the coconut tree.

Coconut sap

The coconut sap is used to produce coconut wine, coconut vinegar and coconut gel. The sap of the coconut is gathered from the unopened coconut bud. The coconut bud is cylindrical in shape that tapers at the top and bottom (like a torpedo). The tip of the bud is cut with a sharp blade before it opens to flower. The coconut bud is then secured with strings around it from the top to bottom so that it may not open and flower. A container is then positioned to receive the dripping coconut sap from the cut bud. The sap is collected daily and the bud is cut again or "bled". The cut is usually about an eighth of an inch per day. A mature coconut tree can yield up to a gallon of sap daily. Some people like to drink the coconut sap fresh from the coconut tree. Others prefer to drink it after it ferments for a few hours thereby raising the alcoholic content of the sap. When this coconut sap is distilled it can produce about 96 proof coconut wine.

Coconut leaves

The coconut leaf is used for several things. firewood, broom, thatch roof, baskets, and other containers.

Coconut fruit

From the coconut fruit derives the:
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  • coconut meat
    • Copra
    • Coconut Oil
    • Virgin Coconut Oil
  • coconut husk (coir)
  • coconut shell
    • Charcoal
  • coconut water or juice.

Coconut Meat

The most common product of the coconut meat is coconut oil. There are three ways of making coconut oil; one is RBD (Refined, Bleached & Deodorized), home cooking, cold pressed. The RBD oil is produced (by large factories) from copra (dried coconut meat). Making copra is accomplished by drying the meat either by sun or by fire. Home cooking is accomplished by grating the coconut meat, squeezing the juice out of it, then cooking the juice in a pan over an open fire. Cold pressed is where VCO (virgin coconut oil) comes from. This method can be home made or commercialized by big factories.

Virgin Coconut Oil

Cold pressed coconut meat from the mature coconut produces VCO. You can use a blender or a food processor to grind the coconut meat. Get a clean empty glass jar. Put a cloth filter at the mouth of the jar. Squeeze the shredded coconut meat and let the coconut juice (milk) flow into the jar through the filter. This coconut milk is approximately 40% oil.

Let it sit for about 24 hours and the VCO will separate from the water. After it sits for 24 hours the coconut cream will divide into three parts.

  1. The very top (about 25%) will be the cream (Curd). The curd is soft but solid enough that you can simply scoop it out.
    • do not throw away. You can use it for cooking.
  2. The middle part about 40% will be the oil.
  3. The bottom part is water.
    • Do not throw away the water separated from the oil. You can still use it for medicinal value. It will help soften skin.

After clearing or scooping out the curd, the best way to pour out the water would be to refrigerate the content in the jar. (Below 76F* [24*C] VCO will solidify) The VCO at the top of the jar will harden and the water will be at the bottom. Break the hardened VCO in half and pour out the water. Now you have pure VCO. Store the VCO in a cool area and the VCO will turn liquid again. (At 76F* [24*C] and above VCO will liquefy.

Coconut Water

Coconut water is claimed to be medicinal. One thing for sure it is clear of any bacteria. It can be used as the sterile water for most powdered medicine for injection.

Coconut water when mixed with hot water is supposed to turn the regular water alkaline and therefore a "cancer cell" killer. I have no scientific proof to this but there is absolute no side effects for this kind of use. Only good can come out of it.

Coconut shell

Used for ornamental products and charcoal. Used as a piggybank.
Used as a bowl: When the coconut is split in half, with the "eyes" facing up or down, the other half without the "eyes" can be used a bowl. The bottom of this half shell is not flat so it leans to the side. In order to use the half coconut shell as a serving bowl a base must be made. The base is usually made out of any piece of wood (4"x4"x2"). The center of this base is carved out, so there is a hole in a form of a circle in this base. The coconut bowl is then placed in this hole of the base. It is a perfect fit. The hot soup in the bowl won't spill as it passed around the table.

Coconut flowers

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coconuts
Most coconuts are self-pollinating. The coconut tree continuously bears flowers.

The coconut flower starts off as a pod or bud shaped like a torpedo. When the coconut bud opens there are several pistils. The pistils are connected to the stem of the flower and they are staggered. The stem where the pistils come out can be 10 to 12 inches long. Each pistil that extends out from the stem is about 10 to 16 inches long. The coconut flower looks like an oak tree without leaves.

There are several "seeds" in each of these pistils. Not all the "seeds" mature. Each of these seeds that mature turn into the coconut fruit. There can be 5 to 12 coconuts attached to the coconut flower.

After the harvest, these coconut flowers are sometimes used as brooms or rakes.

Coconut Husks

The husk is the outer layer of the coconut. The coconut husk surrounds the coconut shell. The skin of the coconut husk is very smooth.

Coconut Coir

The fiber between the outer shell and the skin of the husk is called the coir. Coir is twisted and prepared to be made into rope. The coconut coir is used for flower pots, filters, seat cushions, and other creative things.

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Coconut root

The coconut tree does not have a tap (prime) root. The root system of the coconut tree is fibrous. The coconut root is about 1/3 of an inch thick. Used as medicinal concoction for stomach aches Some of the uses of the coconut root:

Medicine for diarrhea (dysentery)
Dye
I remember using the root also as toothbrush. Get a root and fray it. Usually available only from coconuts with partially exposed root system.

Coconut "Blanket"

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As the coconut grows, the very tip or the shoot of the coconut is surrounded by this "blanket". It looks like a woven thread, it is interlaced. As the leaves form and grow out, this blanket surrounds the trunk of the coconut tree. As the leaves grow old and fall out of the tree so does the "blanket". The common folks use this "ginete" as a natural filter. In fact the "tuba" or coconut sap gatherers use this "blanket" as a filter to filter the "tuba" before they pour it into the final container.

Virgin Coconut oil the best antidote against obesity and diabetes

By MEDIATRIX P. CRISTOBAL

For several decades, man's search for sensible weight loss program remained futile. People buy to the hype of fast, exercise-free diet pills, and often times end up either frustrated because of unfulfilled results, or worse with yo-yo effects.

Dr. Nestor Fuertes, a respected Australia-based Filipino doctor and Virgin Coconut oil advocate, said the most effective weight loss supplement had been right under our noses – the VCO. "The difference with VCO (compared to other diet pills) is that you take it, it basically feeds your cell immediately. The fats are instantly converted into energy, so no fats deposited in your body." He added.

Foods taken everyday, such as pork or hamburger, usually contain bad fats, which are deposited and accumulated in the body - usually in the mid-torso section, or locally known as "bilbil."

VCO's medium chain triglyceride is the good kind of fat, set highly apart from all the other fats found in our everyday food. "Once we actually swallow the VCO, it immediately goes to the liver and it will be redistributed immediately into the cell. It repels attraction with fats…after it is absorbed by the cell, it is immediately converted to energy." He explained.

He added that VCO has a thermogenic effects on the body, that slowly, but effectively increases the body's metabolic rate making it easier for the body to burn fats and perform better. VCO is famous for the plethora of health benefits it offers. Over the years, it gained popularity and has been ubiquitous in the local grocery aisles. It is only recently that health practitioners advocate on its potential slimming effects. Typically, an individual taking VCO regularly may lose 4 to 6 pounds in just a month.

He cited a study in a prestigious university in Australia which notes overweight men who took high doses of VCO have lost a significant 3-4 kilograms in just four months. But Fuertes said such pace is not usually recommended, because high doses of VCO causes loose motion syndrome and 4-6 pounds weight loss is too drastic for the body system.

Fuertes recommends taking 1 to 2 tablespoons of VCO at least half an hour before meals. Anyone who've just been introduced to VCO may start with a lower dosage of ½ teaspoon. A person needs to take the required dose twice a day to achieve the desired results, he said. Though it has no claims of any therapeutic effects, VCO's potential to cleanse clogged arteries out of the bad fats had been proven effective not only here. His patients abroad have testimonies about the effects of VCO in their health and wellness.

"VCO may actually push you right back into being normal and healthy," he added. He cited too much fat deposit in the body retards its functions and is oftenly manifested in the fastest growing lifestyle diseases nowadays known as obesity.

The 2006 world health organization figures said that 3.3 million Filipino female's aged between 20 to 25 are over-weight. Half of them are obese. About 1.2 million Filipino males on the other hand are overweight and half of them are obese. What makes the figures alarming is it occurs to population who are at their productive stage, peaking at the age 35 and half of these obese population are likely to be diabetic, hypertensive and are at risk of heart attack.

"Why do we need to get into this stage before we do something?" he said. "Taking 2 tablespoon of VCO twice a day coupled with a sensible diet and exercise may stop you from progressing from being obese to hypertensive, diabetic, etc,." he advised.


Dr. Conrado Dayrit, eminent Cardiologist, Professor Emeritus at the University of the Philippines, and then President of the Philippine Heart Association, published a book entitled “The Truth About Coconut Oil, The Drugstore in a Bottle”. Dr. Dayrit published..
“Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) prevents HEART DISEASE. Coconut oil, like other vegetable oils, has no cholesterol. In fact, VCO intake in substantial amounts keeps cholesterol low, between 170 and 200 milligrams per deciliter, by promoting the conversion of cholesterol into pregnenolone to be utilized in the production of adrenal and sex hormones. VCO’s cholesterol-lowering effect is a regulatory action since it can also beneficially raise cholesterol when it is too low for the body’s needs, thus maintaining the healthy ratio between low density lipoprotein-cholesterol and high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C).
On the other hand, the lowering of total cholesterol by the omega-6 oils (corn and soybean oils) is not beneficial since it also lowers the good HDL-C, subsequently depositing the lost oxidized cholesterol in the arterial plaque, which could clog the arteries. While statins block cholesterol synthesis, this does not address the inflammatory nature of atherosclerosis. VCO does, having the ability to kill major types of atherogenic bacteria and viruses in the blood while exhibiting anti-inflammatory action in synergy with omega-3 fatty acids."

News About Coconut

Here's how coconut oil can accelerate your weight loss plan

(TNN)

Not just one but many studies say that adding coconut oil to your diet can help you lose weight and specifically, that stubborn belly fat. The combination of fatty acids in coconut oil have a powerful effect on your metabolism. In fact, coconut oil is said to be the world's most weight loss friendly fat. The benefits do not end here as there are many reasons why coconut oil is the best oil for weight loss.

It boosts metabolism

The fats in coconut oil vastly differ from fats in other food items. The difference is that most foods contain long-chain fatty acids whereas coconut oil has medium chains fatty acids. These medium chain fats are sent straight to the liver where either they are turned into ketone bodies or used for energy right away. According to an animal study, these medium chain fats are stored less efficiently than other fats. In another animal study, a group of rats were fed with medium chain fats and another group was fed with long-chain fats. The results were that the rats that were fed with medium chain fats gained 20 per cent less weight and 23 per cent less body fat than the rats fed on long-chain fats.

It helps you burn calories while at rest

Another important property of coconut oil is its thermogenic nature. Eating it increases energy expenditure as compared to the same number of calories coming from any other source. According to a recent study taking 15-30 grams of coconut oil (medium chain fats) per day increased the burning of fat by 5 per cent which is 120 calories per day. Calories coming from coconut oil are different than calories coming from butter or olive oil though these are healthy too.

Coconut oil can reduce weight

We all know the first thing that we need to do to lose weight is creating a calorie deficit. Calorie deficit means burning more calories than what you intake. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil give you a feeling of fullness more than the same number of calories coming from other fats. A study where participants had high amount of medium chain fatty acid food consumed 256 fewer calories per day. Having medium chain fatty acid foods in a meal leads to less calorie intake in the subsequent meal.

Calories

At the end of the day, calories are calories no matter from where they come. Coconut oil has 9 calories per gram, so adding coconut oil to your diet above what you are eating will only increase the number of calories. So what you can do is you can replace your cooking oil with coconut oil which will not only not balance the number of calories but will also provide you with healthy medium chain fats.


Coconut Water Benefits: 6 Reasons to Add this Wonder Drink to Your Diet

By Sarika Rana

Tropical fruits are known to be healthy and delicious, out of which coconuts top the list. Not only it has numerous uses in our kitchen, but also otherwise. We all love to relish this versatile fruit in the form of oil, savoury, snacks and drink. Coconut water makes for a naturally refreshing drink that consists of easily digested carbohydrates in the form of sugar and electrolytes. This water is actually the juice present inside the endosperm, which is the interior cavity of the young and green coloured coconuts.

According to Bangalore-based Nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood, "Coconut water consists of various vitamins and minerals that help replenish the electrolytes in the body. It hydrates your body and keeps you fresh through the day."

According to the book Healing Foods by DK Publishing, a pure and perfect balance of electrolytes, coconut water was given intravenously to soldiers during the Second World War when regular IV saline solution would run out.

1. Aids in Weight Loss

For all those looking to lose weight can have coconut water, why? It is low in calories and easy on the stomach. It also consists of bio-active enzymes that aid digestion and boost fat metabolism. Drinking coconut water at least 3-4 times a day may help in losing those extra kilos.

2. An Ingenious Alternative to Sports Drinks

As per the book Healing Foods, hydrating coconut water from the immature fruit is a superior drink for restoring electrolyte balance during and after sports. You can easily drink before and after playing any sport to stay fresh. The excess amount of potassium present in it also makes it better than any sports drink.

3. Facilitates Digestion

Due to the presence of bio-active compounds and its high concentration of fiber, it aids indigestion and reduces the occurrence of acid reflux. The moment you feel bloated or face acidity, gulp down a glass of coconut water to reduce the burning sensation.

4. Boosts Hydration

Its hydrating properties helps keep the body full of required fluids. It is refreshing as well as has a slightly sweet and nutty flavour that you would not want to miss. It is also due to the electrolyte composition that keeps the body rehydrated.

5. Lowers Blood pressure

Thanks to the presence of vitamin C, magnesium and potassium content, coconut water makes for a great drink that helps reduce blood pressure levels. Drinking a glass of coconut water daily may actually help get the desired results. According to the study published in the journal West Indian Medical in the year 2005, coconut water helps control hypertension.

6. A Perfect Remedy for Hangover

If you have been drinking all night, keep coconut water handy as it makes for an amazing hangover remedy. It replenishes the electrolytes in the body and boosts hydration along with preventing from vomiting and headache. The antioxidants in coconut water combat oxidative stress caused by too much alcohol.

Go ahead and enjoy some wonderful coconut water and keep yourself healthy and hearty!


The Health Benefits of Coconut Milk

By Tanya Brown

Coconut milk is a creamy, rich liquid made from the meat of mature coconuts. It is a popular beverage in the Philippines, the Caribbean and anyplace where coconut trees are abundant. Coconut milk has the scent of a coconut and a slightly sweet taste. It is an excellent substitute for cow’s milk because it is easy to digest, simple to make and contains an abundance of nutrients. You can drink it plain, use it for cooking or blend it with smoothies to benefit from its nutritional value.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins C, E and many B vitamins are abundant in coconut milk. Vitamins C and E help to boost the immune system, and B vitamins are responsible for providing energy to the cells. Coconut milk is also rich in magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and iron. Magnesium is responsible for many biochemical functions in the body, including regulating the heart’s rhythm and supporting the function of nerve cells. Potassium maintains the tissues of the heart, kidneys, brain and muscles. Phosphorus keeps teeth and bones strong, and iron creates red blood cells and carries oxygen throughout your body. Add coconut milk to your cereal and baked goods, or drink a glass or two each day to receive these benefits.

Antioxidants

"Ceylon Medical Journal" notes that coconut milk is rich in antioxidants, which prevents free radical damage. Free radicals are associated with the development of many diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and age-related dementia. Antioxidants can help reverse previous damage and delay the aging process. Drink a glass of coconut milk while eating other antioxidant-rich foods, such as pecans, raisins and cranberries. Energy-producing snacks that are rich in antioxidants will boost your immunity while rebuilding the damaged cells in your body.

Lauric Acid

Coconut milk is rich in lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that is abundant in mother’s milk. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, lauric acid has many germ-fighting, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties that are very effective at ridding the body of viruses, bacteria and countless illnesses. Lauric acid may also reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which lowers heart disease and stroke risks. There are only a few foods that are rich in lauric acid, so drink coconut milk regularly to benefit from this nutrient.

Heart Disease

According to "Ceylon Medical Journal," coconut fats do not contain trans-fatty acids. The fats that are present in coconuts are less likely to clog arteries, which makes coconut milk a healthy alternative to cow’s milk when it comes to preserving your heart’s health. Coconut meat contains monoglycerides, which the body absorbs and uses as energy shortly after it is consumed. Because the body does not store coconut fats, there is less chance that your arteries or blood vessels will clog, which lowers your risk of heart disease.


Why is coconut good for you?

(Body And Soul)

Coconut is full of diverse health benefits from protecting against heart diseases to preventing tooth decay!

Some experts believe coconut can do the following for our health:

• Protect against heart disease by increasing good cholesterol and lowering the ratio of bad and good cholesterol.
• Helps treat malnutrition because it is easy to digest and absorb.
• Kills disease-causing bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses because of the
• antimicrobial effects of its fatty acids.
• Helps diabetics by slowing sugar release into the bloodstream.
• Prevents strokes and brain disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
• Boosts metabolism and increases energy because it is more likely to be burned as fuel than stored as body fat.
• Prevent tooth decay - coconut oil fights bacteria responsible for tooth decay and could be a healthy, non-chemical additive in toothpaste and mouthwash, Irish research suggests. Scientists found that when the oil was treated with digestive enzymes it became a powerful killer of mouth bugs that can lead to dental caries.
The cons:

While protection against heart disease is one of the claimed benefits of coconut oil, the Heart Foundation strongly recommends avoiding it. "Coconut oil, milk and cream are all high in unhealthy saturated fat, which raises bad cholesterol levels, clogs the arteries and increases the risk of heart disease," says Barbara Eden, the Heart Foundation's senior manager of food supply. "Our recommendations are based on good-quality scientific evidence and don't recommend eating foods high in saturated fat. There are many healthier oils that don't raise cholesterol levels or increase the risk of heart disease." DAA spokeswoman Tania Ferraretto agrees and says the evidence of any health benefits from coconut oil is inconclusive.

How much coconut oil?

The Coconut Research Center's Dr Bruce Fife recommends one to three tablespoons of coconut oil a day for health maintenance. It can be used for frying and baking or it can be added to foods such as popcorn instead of butter.

At a glance

Coconut meat (raw): The super high-fibre content acts like a probiotic, feeding the good bacteria in the intestines and keeping you regular.

• Fresh coconut juice: Rich in electrolytes, it aids in hydration, providing minerals essential for bodily functions such as movement and brain function.
• Coconut oil (from the meat): Said to have numerous benefi ts, from protecting against heart disease to helping with weight management.
• Coconut cream/milk: High in lauric acid, it may boost your immune system and protect against viral and bacterial infections.

Crazy for Coconuts: 5 Healthy Ways to Enjoy Coconut

By Cynthia Sass (MPH, RD)

Coconut products are flooding the market – first there was coconut water, now there's coconut milk, coconut milk yogurt, coconut kefir and coconut milk ice cream. This decadent nut used to be considered a major nutritional no-no but it now enjoys a serious health halo and is touted for weight loss benefits. Is this tropical treat really all it’s cracked up to be? Here’s my take on five popular products:



Coconut Water


Coconut water is the clear liquid that pools inside whole green coconuts. It’s different from coconut milk, which is pressed from the fatty “meat” of the fruit. An 11 oz serving of pure coconut water contains about 60 calories, no fat, a gram of protein and 15 grams of carbohydrates. It’s often promoted as nature’s sports drink because it’s rich in the electrolyte potassium (lost in sweat), and packs twice as much as a banana. It’s not linked to weight control, but a recent study found that coconut water was just as effective as a statin drug for lowering cholesterol in rats, and numerous studies have pegged potassium as a key nutrient for controlling blood pressure. 


Verdict: Try it either during or after exercise. Just remember that though it’s not very sweet, one serving does contain 60 calories, so even though it’s called water, it’s not calorie free. You can sip it as is or blend some into a smoothie.



Coconut Oil


For weight loss, pure coconut oil, not water, is where the research lies. Several studies have found that coconut oil may aid weight loss because the type of fat it contains, called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), are metabolized differently than fats from other oils. Most of the fat in this delicious oil is saturated, but more and more research confirms that not all saturated fats are villains. Coconut oil can actually raise your “good” HDL cholesterol and provide antioxidants similar to those in berries, grapes and dark chocolate.

Verdict: Try it. I use it myself and recommend it, but keep it occasional and go easy – it still contains 120 calories and 14 g of fat per Tbsp. Look for it in the natural section of your supermarket. It’s a perfect alternative to butter in baked goods, it’s one of the secret ingredients in my dark chocolate truffle recipes in my new book, and it’s my go-to oil for pan-searing – major yum. 



Coconut Milk (from the dairy case)

Coconut milk includes some of the “good” coconut fat – 66 percent of the fat comes from MCTs, and while the unsweetened is low in carbs (just 1 g per cup), it’s also low in protein (1 g vs. 8 in cow milk or soy milk) and calcium (10 percent of the daily value vs. 30 percent in cow milk or soy milk).

Verdict: If you decide to try it, buy unsweetened (vanilla has nearly double the calories) and don’t count it as a protein source. It’ll work in cereal, coffee or smoothies. 



Coconut Kefir

Kefir, sometimes referred to as drinkable yogurt is fermented with “good” probiotic bacteria linked to better digestive health, immunity and possibly weight control. Coconut kefir contains live active cultures with the added benefit of its natural MCTs. 


Verdict: Try it. Compared to kefir from cultured cow’s milk, coconut kefir has just 70 calories per cup (vs. 160) and only 6 g of carbs, half of which come from dietary fiber (compared to 15 grams with the equivalent 3 g fiber from cow milk kefir). The only down side is less calcium – 10 percent of the DV vs. 30 percent. 
 


Coconut Milk Ice Cream

There are a few brands of coconut milk ice cream on the market now. I compared the chocolate version of one brand side by side with a pint of premium ice cream and here’s what I found: the coconut provides about the same number of calories as well as the same number of total carb grams, but contains just 2 g of saturated fat vs. 11 in the cow’s milk ice cream - and 6 fewer grams of sugar.

Verdict: Try it, but stick to just a half cup. It’s very rich so you should feel satisfied with a small portion but you can pump up the volume with fresh berries or grilled fresh fruit like plums or pineapple. Again, the major downside is less calcium (0 percent DV per serving vs. 10 percent in ice cream).



10 Impressive Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

By Kris Gunnars (BSc)

Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a "superfood."

Its benefits include weight loss, better brain function, skin health and many more.

Here are 10 impressive health benefits of coconut oil.

1. Coconut Oil Contains Fatty Acids With Powerful Medicinal Properties

Coconut oil has been demonized in the past because it contains saturated fat.

In fact, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man, with almost 90% of the fatty acids in it being saturated.

However, new data is showing that saturated fats are mostly harmless. Many studies with hundreds of thousands of people have found no link to heart disease.

Additionally, coconut oil doesn't contain your average saturated fats, like the ones you would find in cheese or steak.

They contain Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) - which are fatty acids of a medium length.

Most of the fatty acids in the diet are long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently.

They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source of energy or turned into so-called ketones, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer's. Bottom Line:Coconut oil contains a lot of medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently and can have therapeutic effects on several brain disorders.

2. Populations That Eat a Lot of Coconut Oil Are Healthy

Coconut is an exotic food in the Western world, primarily consumed by health conscious people.

However, in some parts of the world, coconut is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for many generations.

The best example of such a population is the Tokelauans, which live in the South Pacific.

They eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts and are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world.

These people are in great health, with no evidence of heart disease.

Another example of a population that eats a lot of coconut and remains in excellent health is the Kitavans.

Bottom Line: Plenty of populations around the world have thrived for multiple generations eating massive amounts of coconut fat.

3. Coconut Oil Can Help You Burn More Fat

Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world.

While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others (myself included) believe that the sources of those calories are important too.

It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is not a calorie.

The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase how many calories you burn compared to the same amount of other fats .

One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totalling about 120 calories per day. Bottom Line: The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase calories burned over 24 hours by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.

4. Coconut Oil Can Kill Harmful Microorganisms

Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon Lauric Acid.

When lauric acid is digested, it forms a substance called monolaurin.

Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.

For example, these substances have been shown to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus (a very dangerous pathogen) and the yeast Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections in humans.

Bottom Line: The fatty acids and breakdown products in coconut oil can kill harmful pathogens, potentially helping to prevent infections.

5. Coconut Oil Can Reduce Your Hunger, Helping You Eat Less

One interesting feature of coconut oil is that it can reduce your hunger.

This may be related to the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized, because ketones can have an appetite reducing effect.

In one study, varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides were fed to 6 healthy men.

The men eating the most MCTs ate 256 fewer calories per day, on average.

Another study in 14 healthy men discovered that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate fewer calories at lunch.

These studies were small and only done for a short period of time. If this effect were to persist over the long term, it could have a dramatic influence on body weight over a period of several years.

Bottom Line: The fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite, which may positively affect body weight over the long term.

6. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Are Turned into Ketones, Which Can Reduce Seizures

A so-called ketogenic (very low carb, very high fat) diet is currently being studied to treat various disorders.

The best known therapeutic application of this diet is treating drug-resistant epilepsy in children.

This diet involves eating very little carbohydrates and large amounts of fat, leading to greatly increased concentrations of ketones in the blood.

For some reason, this diet can dramatically reduce the rate of seizures in epileptic children, even those who haven't had success with multiple different types of drugs.

Because the MCTs in coconut oil get shipped to the liver and turned into ketones, they are often used in epileptic patients to induce ketosis while allowing for a bit more carbs in the diet.

Bottom Line:The MCTs in coconut oil can increase blood concentration of ketone bodies, which can help reduce seizures in epileptic children.

7. Coconut Oil Can Improve Blood Cholesterol Levels

Coconut oil contains healthy saturated fats.

The saturated fats in coconut oil may increase "good" HDL cholesterol in your body, but also help convert the "bad" LDL cholesterol into a less harmful form.

Coconut oil may also improve other risk factors and therefore protect against heart disease.

In one study in 40 women, coconut oil reduced Total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL compared to soybean oil.

There are also rat studies showing that coconut oil reduces triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol, increases HDL and improves blood coagulation factors and antioxidant status.

Bottom Line: Studies in both humans and rats show that coconut oil improves important risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease.

8. Coconut Oil Can Protect Hair Against Damage, Moisturize Skin and Function as Sunscreen

Coconut oil can serve various purposes that have nothing to do with eating it.

Many people are using it for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair.

Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve the moisture and fat content of the skin.

Coconut oil can also be very protective against hair damage and one study shows effectiveness as sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun's ultraviolet rays (21, 22)

Another application is using it like mouthwash in a process called oil pulling, which can kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health and reduce bad breath.

Bottom Line: Coconut oil can be applied topically as well, studies showing it to be effective as a skin moisturizer and protecting against hair damage. It can also be used as a mild form of sunscreen and as mouthwash.

9. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Can Boost Brain Function in Alzheimer's Patients

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia worldwide and occurs primarily in elderly individuals.

In Alzheimer's patients, there appears to be a reduced ability to use carbs for energy in certain parts of the brain.

Researchers have speculated that ketones can provide an alternative energy source for these malfunctioning brain cells and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer's.

In one 2006 study, consumption of medium chain triglycerides led to immediate improvement in brain function in patients with milder forms of Alzheimer's.

Other studies support these findings and medium chain triglycerides are being intensively studied as potential therapeutic agents in Alzheimer's disease.

Bottom Line: Studies show that the fatty acids in coconut oil can increase blood levels of ketones, supplying energy for the brain cells of Alzheimer's patients and relieving symptoms.

10. Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Fat, Especially The Harmful Abdominal Fat

Given that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it makes sense that it can also help you lose weight.

Coconut oil appears to be especially effective at reducing belly fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs.

This is the most dangerous fat of all and is highly associated with many chronic diseases.

Waist circumference is easily measured and is a great marker for the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.

In a study in 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 30 mL (2 tablespoons) of coconut oil per day led to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in a period of 12 weeks.

Another study in 20 obese males noted a reduction in waist circumference of 2.86 cm (1.1 inches) after 4 weeks of 30 mL (2 tablespoons) of coconut oil per day.

This number may not seem too impressive on the surface, but be aware that these people aren't adding exercise or restricting calories. They're losing significant amounts of belly fat simply by adding coconut oil to their diet.

Not All Coconut Oil Is the Same

In order to enjoy the health benefits outlined in the article, then you must get organic, virgin coconut oil, not the refined stuff.

I personally cook almost everything I eat in coconut oil and my health has never been better.


The health benefits of coconut

(Best Health)

Whether in the form of a hydrating beverage, a healthy oil or flavourful flakes, coconut is more popular than ever. Here's how it boosts your health

Everything old is definitely new again. Coconut is exploding as a food trend for 2014, yet it has a long history. Its scientific name is cocos nucifera; according to the U.S.- based Coconut Research Center, early Spanish explorers to tropical countries called it ‘coco,’ which means ‘monkey face’ (because of its colour and fibrous outer shell, which resembles hair). Nucifera means ‘nut bearing.’ Nearly one third of the world’s population depends on the coconut to some degree for their food and economy; indeed, in some cultures the coconut palm is so highly valued that it’s called ‘The Tree of Life.’ Is it truly healthy?

Not surprisingly, coconuts are on the ‘do eat’ list of foods for anyone on the Paleo Diet’after all,that diet is based in large part on the foods of our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors. But besides its history, what else does a coconut have going for it? For one thing, the meat is rich in vitamin C. And it contains a decent amount of potassium: One cup of shredded coco- nut has 285 milligrams. But what about the fat content? That same cup of coconut has 283 calories and 27 grams of fat’24 of which are saturated. That’s a bad thing, right? This saturated fat is good

According to 21-Day Tummy, a new book published by Reader’s Digest that features a diet to beat belly fat and aid digestion, coconuts contain two nutrients of particular interest: medium-chain triglycerides and lauric acid. Most fats are long-chain fats, which take longer for your body to break down and digest. But most of the fats in coconuts are medium-chain triglycerides, which are more easily digested and so less likely to get stored as fat. As for lauric acid, it has antibacterial effects. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid; try cooking with it occasionally. What about coconut milk?

Say the authors of 21-Day Tummy, if you need a lactose-free substitute for milk, coconut milk is a great one. It provides an excellent mix of fat, vitamin E and other nutrients. It can help stabilize blood sugar and combat inflammation. At the grocery store, look for low-fat or light versions with no added sugar.

Curious about how coconut milk is made? It’s a mixture of coconut juice (the watery liquid found in young coconuts) pressed with coconut meat.


Coconut Oil Studies

(San Francisco Gate)

Among Asian and Pacific populations, coconut oil has been considered a dietary staple and an important natural medicine for centuries. In the Western world, some health experts have shunned this tropical oil due to its high saturated fat content. However, research shows that the fat in coconut oil behaves differently than other saturated fats. In addition, studies have found several significant health benefits associated with coconut oil.

Cardiovascular Health

In a 2011 study published in the "Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition", researchers found that consumption of coconut oil was associated with increased HDL, a type of cholesterol that has cardioprotective properties, in pre-menopausal women in the Philippines. Coconut oil did not cause an increase in levels of LDL cholesterol or triglycerides, which are cardiovascular risk factors. However, other studies have reported an increase in both HDL and LDL cholesterol. More research is necessary to understand the relationship between coconut oil and cardiovascular health.

Antimicrobial Effects

Most of the saturated fatty acids found in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), primarily lauric acid. Studies have shown that medium-chain triglycerides have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. In a 2009 study published in the "Polish Journal of Microbiology", researchers found that monolaurin, a monoglyceride formed from lauric acid, inhibited growth of several bacteria including staphylococcus, corynebacterium, bacillus, listeria and streptococcus.

Weight Management

Some scientists claim that coconut oil is beneficial for weight loss due to its ability to boost metabolism and increase satiety, which leads to a decrease in caloric intake. One study published in "Lipids" in 2009 reported a reduction in waist circumference and an increase in HDL cholesterol in obese women consuming coconut oil compared to women consuming soybean oil. Medium-chain triglycerides are more easily digested than other types of fat and can be used by your body as fuel.

Diabetes

In a 2007 study published in "Metabolism," researchers randomly assigned Chinese subjects to consume either corn oil, a long-chain triglyceride, or coconut oil daily. They reported an improvement in insulin resistance and decreased waist circumference in the coconut oil group that was not present in the corn oil group. Research is inconclusive on the benefits of coconut oil for diabetes, but there appears to be an association between the oil and improved blood glucose utilization.


Benefits of shaving with Coconut Oil

(aliyukwaifa)

Over the years, coconut oil has gained an unprecedented popularity in the natural health and beauty world. Along with its sudden rise in popularity have come a lot of claims about what coconut oil can do, but the truth is that coconut oil does have some pretty magical properties.

Here are a few benefits of shaving with coconut oil.

Along with having antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, coconut oil is an excellent hydrating agent because of its particular blend of fatty acids. Coconut oil has an amazing ability to hydrate the skin and increase lipid levels on the skin’s surface.

Beyond moisturization, coconut oil can actually repair and protect your skin from the effects of age. Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants which inhibit oxidization and prevent cell damage.

Coconut oil is also a great source of vitamins A, C, and E. So shaving with coconut oil will leave your face, legs, armpits and anywhere else you prefer to go hair-free feeling so soft and smooth you won’t believe the method was this simple all along! But here’s a secret.Yes, there’s an amazing recipe, but there’s also a simple way, a really simple way.

Just rub a little coconut oil on the area you wish to shave and… shave it! You’ll get a close shave and be left with super smooth skin and best of all, it takes no extra effort! However, if you’ve got a little extra time on your hands, you can turn a chore into an experience that makes you feel like you’re at the spa!

Recipe for Coconut Oil Shaving Cream
INGREDIENTS

• ⅓ cup coconut oil

• ⅓ cup cocoa butter

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 2 tbsp liquid castile soap

• 2 vitamin E capsules

• 10-30 drops vanilla absolute for a sweet smell but its optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Melt the solid oils. Place the coconut oil and cocoa butter in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. When the oils are melted, carefully remove the bowl.

2. Add the olive oil, castile soap, vitamin E, and essential oil. Stir to combine. Then place the bowl in the fridge until the contents harden.

3. Remove the bowl from the fridge and let it sit until the contents soften. Then, using an electric blender, whip the mixture until it looks like frosting,

4. Store in an air and water tight container and enjoy!

Coconut oil can also have a clogging effect on your razor, so be sure to rinse thoroughly and often to keep things running smoothly. This method also has a tendency to, unsurprisingly, coat the shower floor in oil. Be extra careful when using coconut oil as a shaving lotion. You can counteract this effect by cleaning the tub or shower carefully, but it can’t hurt to invest in a non-slip surface for your bathroom areas – better safe than sorry.


Is Coconut Oil Healthy?

By Matthew Lee

Coconut oil has a longer shelf life than any other vegetable oil. Available in solid and liquid forms, this versatile oil has numerous applications in the food and cosmetics industries. In addition, its high lauric acid content lends coconut oil some cardiovascular benefits. However, as it breaks down at high temperatures and contains large amounts of potentially dangerous saturated fatty acids, coconut oil is not necessarily healthful.

Fat Content

Oil accounts for approximately 34 percent of the total weight of fresh coconut. Pure coconut oil is obtained by pressing dried coconut flesh or placing it in solvents, then removing the solid mash. This process results in an oil that is 91.8 percent saturated fats, 6.4 percent monounsaturated fats, 1.6 percent polyunsaturated fats and 0.2 percent other fats. The majority of the saturated fats come from lauric, myristic and palmitic acids, respectively accounting for 47.8, 18.1 and 8.9 percent of coconut oil's total fat.

Storage and Smoke Point

The high saturated fat content in coconut oil provides it with the longest shelf life of any vegetable oil. In liquid form, coconut oil can last for up to 3 years, while solid coconut oil stored below 76 degrees Fahrenheit can last for more than 3 years. Despite its stability for storage, coconut oil breaks down, changes in flavor and odor and produces smoke and cancer-promoting free radicals if heated beyond 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This somewhat low smoke point makes coconut oil unsuitable for high-temperature cooking, baking and deep-frying.

Health Benefits

Like all saturated fatty acids, lauric acid can increase your blood-cholesterol levels. However, the majority of this increase arises from a boost in levels of HDL, or "good," cholesterol. In addition, the monounsaturated fats in coconut oil help to decrease levels of LDL, or "bad," cholesterol in your bloodstream. As such, eating coconut oil can increase the ratio of HDL to total cholesterol in your blood in two ways. This increased ratio helps to lower your risk of cardiovascular health problems, such as heart attack, hardened arteries and stroke.

Risks

Despite the benefits of lauric acid, this fatty acid accounts for only 52 percent of the saturated fats in coconut oil. The remaining saturated fats account for 44 percent of the total fats in coconut oil and do not share the potential health benefits of lauric acid. According to Drs. Sareen Gropper and Jack Smith, myristic and palmitic acids both raise LDL cholesterol levels. In fact, they state that myristic acid is the most potent fatty acid at increasing LDL cholesterol levels. To reap the benefits of coconut oil without consuming too much of these compounds, ensure that no more than 10 percent of your calories -- or approximately 22 grams on a 2,000 calorie per day diet -- come from saturated fats.


What Are the Benefits of Eating Shredded Coconut?

(San Francisco Gate)

Coconut adds flavor to a variety of foods such as pies, cookies, soups and shrimp dishes, and it supplies key vitamins and minerals. Shredded coconut also contains 33 grams of fat and 40 grams of sugar per 1-cup serving, which significantly decreases the nutritional value of the food. While you'll reap some nutritional benefits when you eat shredded coconut, it shouldn't be part of your regular diet.

Protein and Fiber

A 1-cup serving of shredded coconut contains 2.68 grams of protein toward the daily goal of 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men. Protein rebuilds cells and helps you maintain healthy tissues and muscles. The same serving of shredded coconut provides 4.2 grams of dietary fiber. The American Heart Association recommends that you consume at least 25 grams of fiber each day. Fiber reduces your risk of constipation and hemorrhoids by encouraging proper digestion and regular bowel movements. The nutrient might lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer as well.

Iron

Coconut is a good source of iron, and a 1-cup serving supplies 1.79 milligrams of the 8 milligrams men need each day and the 18 milligrams women require. Iron is crucial for the formation of hemoglobin, which is the protein in red blood cells that is responsible for getting oxygen to each part of your body. Without enough iron, your cells don't get sufficient oxygen, which can lead to weakness and fatigue. You also need adequate amounts of iron to support your immune system.

Zinc

One cup of shredded coconut provides 1.69 milligrams of zinc toward the daily goal of 8 milligrams for women and 11 milligrams for men. Zinc is a mineral crucial to the strength and health of your immune system, and it also plays a critical role in wound healing. The mineral supports normal cell division and enables you to taste, see and smell properly as well.

Considerations and Tips

Because 29.2 grams of the total fat in a serving of shredded coconut are saturated, the food should be viewed as an occasional treat. Regularly consuming too much saturated fat can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. Limit yourself to a small sprinkle of shredded coconut to enhance the flavor of foods such as low-fat plain yogurt or a bowl of oatmeal. Cut the amount of shredded coconut in your favorite recipes by half. You'll still get the flavor of the coconut, but you'll reduce the overall fat, calorie and sugar content of the food.



How to Add 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil to the Daily Diet

By Lindsay Allen

Formerly deemed unhealthy, coconut oil is now becoming widely embraced as a heart-healthy food with countless benefits. Coconut oil gives the good cholesterol in your body a boost, raises your metabolism and is a superb energy source. Its lauric acid content supports your immune system and helps your body fight off disease. You can find many ways to incorporate this slightly sweet oil into your daily diet, from dissolving it into beverages to stir-frying meat with it.

Beverages

Take advantage of coconut oil's flavor and start your day off with a metabolic boost by adding a tablespoon or two to your morning beverage, whether it's coffee, tea or hot chocolate. You can also add it to cold beverages, such as smoothies or iced coffee. Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, so melt it first to ensure that it mixes in nicely and you're not left with solid chunks.

Baked Goods and Oatmeal

Baked goods and oatmeal are common breakfast foods and both also happen to be perfect vehicles for coconut oil. In any baked good recipe, you can replace the oil called for in the recipe with coconut oil at a 1-to-1 ratio. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, that's 16 tablespoons of coconut oil in the resulting product. If that produces eight muffins, then each contains the daily goal of 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Bake over the weekend or when you have more time so that you can prepare for the week ahead. Or, drop a tablespoon or two of coconut oil into a bowl of warm oatmeal to boost the flavor.

Tips

When you prepare a meal, look at the recipe to see where you can substitute coconut oil. Common uses include stir-frying chicken or other meats, sauteing vegetables, deep-frying or spreading coconut oil on fish before baking. If you're preparing a curry, coconut oil melds perfectly with the curry flavors.

Straight Up

Many people don't have time in their daily lives for meal preparation or prefer to eat out, but don't let that discourage you. You can consume coconut oil without adding it to another food. Dig in with a spoon as you would with a jar of peanut butter and enjoy. Lack of time is no excuse for missing out on this food's antioxidant, disease-fighting and metabolic-enhancing benefits.


Health Benefits of Dehydrated, Shredded Coconut

By Sylvie Tremblay

Native to the tropics, coconut is used to make several nutritious foods and beverages, from electrolyte-rich coconut water to zinc-rich coconut meat. At 187 calories per ounce, dehydrated, shredded coconut -- also called dessicated coconut -- provides you with energy to get you through the day. Dehydrated, shredded coconut makes for a healthful addition to your diet, because it helps maintain healthy tissue and fights disease.

Dietary Fiber

Use dehydrated, shredded coconut to add fiber to your meals. Dietary fiber bulks up your food, helping to stave off hunger between meals. It also helps prevent digestive disorders, including constipation and hemorrhoids. Americans consume an average of just 14 grams of fiber daily -- far less than the 38 grams recommended daily for men and the 25 grams recommended for women, according to Colorado State University. An ounce of dehydrated, shredded coconut adds 4.6 grams of fiber to your daily intake.

Iron

Dehydrated, shredded coconut also contains iron, a mineral important for healthy circulation and tissue maintenance. Iron helps drive new cell growth, and also helps new cells develop into functional tissue. It also plays a role in the transportation of oxygen in your blood, and helps your muscle tissue store oxygen for future use. An ounce of dehydrated coconut boosts your iron intake by 0.94 milligrams, providing 12 percent of the recommended daily iron intake for men and 5 percent for women, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements.

Healthy Fats

Dehydrated, shredded coconut also contains fat -- 18.3 grams of total fat per 1-ounce serving. An animal study, published in the "Indian Journal of Experimental Biology" in 2012, found that coconut oil helped to lower the levels of harmful blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels in rats. An additional animal study, published in "Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine" in 2012, notes that coconut oil may also help maintain healthy bone tissue and fight osteoporosis. While the effect of coconut oil in humans requires further investigation, shredded and dehydrated coconut might benefit your health due to its fat content. Consuming More Dehydrated Coconut

Use dehydrated, shredded coconut to add texture and flavor to a range of dishes. Pair coconut with fresh fruit -- such as mangos or raspberries -- to boost the nutritional value of hot or cold cereals. Blend shredded coconut into your smoothies to add tropical flavor, or lightly toast coconut for use in salads or wraps. Alternatively, add shredded coconut to nut butters -- try blending a mix of macadamia nuts, almonds and shredded coconut in a food processor until it reaches the desired consistency, then use as a decadent topping for whole-grain toast or oatmeal.



The Hidden Wonders of Coconut

By Michelle Kerns

If you're watching your fat intake, you've probably been told to avoid coconut. A 1/4-cup serving of shredded coconut meat contains 14 percent of the amount of total fat an adult should consume daily and 40 percent of the daily recommended amount of saturated fat. But focusing only on the fat grams in coconut doesn't tell the whole story. Coconut meat, milk and oil are rich in a variety of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidant compounds, and scientists believe that the fat contained in coconuts may be beneficial to your health as long as you eat them in moderation.

Definition of Coconut Husk Fiber

Coconut husk fibers are the brown, stringy fibers located on the outside of a coconut's shell. The high lignin content of these fibers makes them light and durable enough to be the only fruit-based fiber used in the textile industry. Coconut husk fibers are used to make ropes, mats, runners, brushes, brooms and furniture upholstery. These fibers aren't edible, though if you're looking for a nutritional boost, eat the meat on the other side of the coconut shell. Fiber-rich coconut meat may decrease your risk of heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and high blood cholesterol.

Does Coconut Have Gluten?

Coconuts do not contain any gluten. Coconut flour, which is made from dried, finely ground coconut meat, is a popular grain-based flour substitute for people who are intolerant to gluten or who are suffering from digestive disorders like celiac disease. To use coconut flour in place of wheat flour when baking, you'll need to use less flour and more liquid, since coconut flour is very absorbent. Nourished Kitchen recommends adding an additional cup of liquid and up to six eggs to the recipe, as well as using 1/4 to 1/3 cup of coconut flour for every cup of wheat flour listed in the recipe.

Does Coconut Have Vitamin C in It?

A cup of raw, shredded coconut meat contains 2.6 milligrams of vitamin C, or 4 percent of the RDA of vitamin C for an adult. Dried, shredded coconut has a smaller amount of vitamin C, with each cup containing 1.2 milligrams. Dried coconut contains less vitamin C than fresh because vitamin C degrades rapidly when it is exposed to heat, light or air. To help preserve the maximum amount of vitamin C in fresh coconuts, cut them open only just before you plan on cooking or eating the meat.

Does Coconut Have Caffeine?

Coconut meat and coconut milk do not contain any caffeine, though a number of beverage retailers have begun combining coconut water with coffee in commercially available drinks that they say fuse the nutrition and tropical taste of coconut with a boost of caffeine. Coconut water is the clear juice that's contained within a young coconut. Some coffee-and-coconut water drinks have as much as 85 milligrams of caffeine, which is more caffeine than a 1-ounce restaurant-style espresso contains.

Does Coconut Flour Have Carbohydrates?

A 2-tablespoon serving of coconut flour contains 10 grams of carbohydrates. Adult men and women require between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates daily, and 2 tablespoons of coconut flour supplies approximately 3 percent of that requirement. Coconut flour also contains 6 grams of dietary fiber, which is equivalent to 24 percent of the recommended daily allowance of fiber. This is more fiber than in stone-ground whole-wheat flour, which contains 4 grams of dietary fiber per serving.

How Much Sodium Is in a Coconut?

One whole, medium-sized, 397-gram coconut contains 79 milligrams of sodium, or 5.2 percent of an adult's daily requirement of the mineral. A cup of shredded, raw coconut has only 16 milligrams of sodium. While your body needs sodium to help regulate blood pressure and to maintain the electrochemical balance that allows for neurons to transmit electrical impulses, most Americans consume too much of it. Limiting your intake of high-sodium, processed foods and eating more fresh, low-sodium produce like coconut can help keep your sodium at a healthy level.

Does Coconut Oil Have Sodium?

Coconut oil does not contain any sodium. It has trace amounts of iron, vitamin E and vitamin K but does not contain any other vitamin or mineral. Although its lack of sodium makes it a good choice for people watching their sodium intake, coconut oil is high in fat, with 1 tablespoon providing 11.7 grams of saturated fat. Coconut oil also contains 0.78 gram of monounsaturated fat and 0.245 gram of polyunsaturated fat.

Does Desiccated Coconut Contain Gluten?

Desiccated, or dried, coconut does not contain any gluten, though dried coconut is often used in commercially produced candies, cookies and baked goods that do contain gluten. The American Diabetes Association advises that the best way to avoid products containing gluten is to check all food labels, even for foods you routinely buy, since their ingredients may change. If you can't find the information on the label, call the manufacturer directly.

Does Light Coconut Milk Have Zinc?

A cup of regular or light coconut milk contains 1.27 milligrams of zinc, or about 16 percent of the RDA of zinc for an adult woman and 11.5 percent of the RDA of zinc for a man. Zinc supports the immune, endocrine and reproductive systems and may help prevent age-related macular degeneration and neurological problems like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Your body will absorb more of the zinc from coconut milk if you eat the milk with a source of protein. Try preparing chicken or beef curry or stirring some coconut milk into a stew of curried lentils.

How Much Carbonic Acid is in Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil does not contain carbonic acid. Instead, the natural sugars in coconut oil are fermented and used to produce sodium PCA, the sodium salt of the compound pyrolidone carbonic acid. Sodium PCA is a humectant, meaning that it attracts and holds on to moisture. It is a common ingredient in conditioners and lotions, since it can keep hair and skin hydrated. Sodium PCA can also reduce static electricity in hair.

Granola Mix with Oatmeal, Flax Seed, Sunflower, Wheat Germ & Coconut

To make a granola mix that incorporates a boost of nutrition from coconut, cookbook author and "New York Times" food writer Mark Bittman recommends combining 1 cup of dried, shredded, unsweetened coconut with 6 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats. Add up to 2 cups of any mixture of nuts, seeds and grains like wheat germ, including sunflower seeds and flaxseeds. Toast the granola mix over medium-low heat, stir in 1 cup of honey and bake the mix at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

Does Coconut Oil Stimulate Acid in the Stomach?

No studies exist proving that coconut oil can stimulate acid in the stomach or that it is directly beneficial for any part of your digestive system. Nutrition specialist Dr. Melina Jampolis says that coconut oil may help prevent inflammation, since it is low in the omega-6 fatty acids that can cause a buildup of the inflammatory compound arachidonic acid, but more research is needed before scientists can determine if this helps prevent stomach problems.

Does Coconut Contain Good Fat?

Coconut oil contains 11.7 grams of saturated fat in every tablespoon. That's almost as much saturated fat as an adult should consume in a day. Unlike other types of oils, the saturated fat in coconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs. These triglycerides are easy for the body to digest and absorb, and a high intake of them does not lead to high blood cholesterol like other forms of saturated fat. More research is needed before scientists can determine if coconut oil's MCTs can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Can Coconut Help You Lose Weight?

A 2009 study published in the medical journal "Lipids" examined the effect of coconut oil on the amount of abdominal fat in women. The researchers reported that the women consuming coconut oil lost abdominal fat, though they were also exercising and following a low-calorie diet as part of the study. Dietitian Evelyn Tribole cautions that until more research is done, there isn't any reason to believe that eating coconuts or coconut oil can help you lose weight.

What Are Unique Nutrients in Coconut?

Coconuts and coconut oil are high in polyphenolic compounds. Polyphenols are plant-based chemicals with strong antioxidant properties that allow them to inhibit the ability of free radicals to damage DNA and cellular tissue. A diet high in polyphenol-rich foods like coconut may significantly lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease and dementia.


What Are the Benefits of Eating Shredded Coconut?

(San Francisco Gate)

Coconut adds flavor to a variety of foods such as pies, cookies, soups and shrimp dishes, and it supplies key vitamins and minerals. Shredded coconut also contains 33 grams of fat and 40 grams of sugar per 1-cup serving, which significantly decreases the nutritional value of the food. While you'll reap some nutritional benefits when you eat shredded coconut, it shouldn't be part of your regular diet.

Protein and Fiber

A 1-cup serving of shredded coconut contains 2.68 grams of protein toward the daily goal of 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men. Protein rebuilds cells and helps you maintain healthy tissues and muscles. The same serving of shredded coconut provides 4.2 grams of dietary fiber. The American Heart Association recommends that you consume at least 25 grams of fiber each day. Fiber reduces your risk of constipation and hemorrhoids by encouraging proper digestion and regular bowel movements. The nutrient might lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer as well.

Iron

Coconut is a good source of iron, and a 1-cup serving supplies 1.79 milligrams of the 8 milligrams men need each day and the 18 milligrams women require. Iron is crucial for the formation of hemoglobin, which is the protein in red blood cells that is responsible for getting oxygen to each part of your body. Without enough iron, your cells don't get sufficient oxygen, which can lead to weakness and fatigue. You also need adequate amounts of iron to support your immune system.

Zinc

One cup of shredded coconut provides 1.69 milligrams of zinc toward the daily goal of 8 milligrams for women and 11 milligrams for men. Zinc is a mineral crucial to the strength and health of your immune system, and it also plays a critical role in wound healing. The mineral supports normal cell division and enables you to taste, see and smell properly as well.

Considerations and Tips

Because 29.2 grams of the total fat in a serving of shredded coconut are saturated, the food should be viewed as an occasional treat. Regularly consuming too much saturated fat can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. Limit yourself to a small sprinkle of shredded coconut to enhance the flavor of foods such as low-fat plain yogurt or a bowl of oatmeal. Cut the amount of shredded coconut in your favorite recipes by half. You'll still get the flavor of the coconut, but you'll reduce the overall fat, calorie and sugar content of the food.




The Numerous Health Benefits of Coconuts

By: Aimee Dansereau

One of my all-time favorite fruits is the coconut. The Pacific Islanders believe that it is the cure for all illness, which is why the palm tree (from which coconuts are grown) is known as “The Tree of Life.” Coconut oil is thought to possess healing properties above and beyond that of any other dietary oils.

Eating coconuts are excellent for one’s immunity. They are antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic, meaning they kill harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Because of that, if you consume coconut in any of its various forms (whether it be raw coconut, coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut butter, etc.), it can help treat some of mankind’s worst and most resilient of illnesses such as influenza, giardia, lice, throat infections, urinary tract infections, tapeworms, herpes, gonorrhea, bronchitis, and numerous other ailments caused by microbials.

Whether you’re eating the meat, drinking the juice, or consuming it as oil, coconuts are a delicious and nutritious source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It has tons of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as plenty of electrolytes. In fact, coconut water is known to have the same electrolyte levels as human plasma, and has even been used for plasma transfusions!

The oil is excellent for keeping one young and beautiful. Its antioxidant properties slow down the aging process by protecting the body from harmful free radicals. I like to put a little bit of coconut oil on my skin every day to keep it nice and smooth, as well as free from dryness. I apply it onto my skin before showering. The hot water opens my pores, allowing the oil to absorb through my skin more efficiently. Just make sure to wipe the bottom of the tub when you’re done, since the coconut oil can be slippery. Coconut oil is also known to treat skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.

It also helps hair to become more healthy and lustrous. My hair has always been a bit on the dry, thin side, so I like to put coconut oil in it. On occasion, I’ll leave the oil in my hair overnight (covering my pillow with a towel so as to not get it oily) and wash it out in the morning. I’m always satisfied to find my hair is moist, radiant, and shiny. It’s a great alternative if you don’t want to use a leave-in conditioner.

Eating coconuts also supports the development of strong, healthy bones and teeth. It does this by improving the body’s ability to absorb calcium and magnesium. It also prevents osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become thin and fragile and lose their density. This makes coconuts a good, healthy alternative for those who are lactose intolerant, but still want to have strong bones and teeth. Those who prefer a vegan diet can benefit from it as a good source of protein and fatty acids.

When coconut oil was first brought to the U.S., there was a lot of negative hype about it because it contains high levels of saturated fat. People were concerned that it increased cholesterol and contributed to heart disease—but this is a myth. It actually lowers cholesterol and reduces the chances of heart disease. This is because its fat content is simply changed into energy, lessening the likelihood of fat buildup in the arteries and heart.


The Hidden Wonders of Coconut

(San Francisco Gate)
Overview

If you're watching your fat intake, you've probably been told to avoid coconut. A 1/4-cup serving of shredded coconut meat contains 14 percent of the amount of total fat an adult should consume daily and 40 percent of the daily recommended amount of saturated fat. But focusing only on the fat grams in coconut doesn't tell the whole story. Coconut meat, milk and oil are rich in a variety of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidant compounds, and scientists believe that the fat contained in coconuts may be beneficial to your health as long as you eat them in moderation.

Definition of Coconut Husk Fiber

Coconut husk fibers are the brown, stringy fibers located on the outside of a coconut's shell. The high lignin content of these fibers makes them light and durable enough to be the only fruit-based fiber used in the textile industry. Coconut husk fibers are used to make ropes, mats, runners, brushes, brooms and furniture upholstery. These fibers aren't edible, though if you're looking for a nutritional boost, eat the meat on the other side of the coconut shell. Fiber-rich coconut meat may decrease your risk of heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and high blood cholesterol.

Does Coconut Have Gluten?

Coconuts do not contain any gluten. Coconut flour, which is made from dried, finely ground coconut meat, is a popular grain-based flour substitute for people who are intolerant to gluten or who are suffering from digestive disorders like celiac disease. To use coconut flour in place of wheat flour when baking, you'll need to use less flour and more liquid, since coconut flour is very absorbent. Nourished Kitchen recommends adding an additional cup of liquid and up to six eggs to the recipe, as well as using 1/4 to 1/3 cup of coconut flour for every cup of wheat flour listed in the recipe. Does Coconut Have Vitamin C in It?

A cup of raw, shredded coconut meat contains 2.6 milligrams of vitamin C, or 4 percent of the RDA of vitamin C for an adult. Dried, shredded coconut has a smaller amount of vitamin C, with each cup containing 1.2 milligrams. Dried coconut contains less vitamin C than fresh because vitamin C degrades rapidly when it is exposed to heat, light or air. To help preserve the maximum amount of vitamin C in fresh coconuts, cut them open only just before you plan on cooking or eating the meat.



What Are the Benefits of Eating Shredded Coconut?

By Sara Ipatenco

Coconut adds flavor to a variety of foods such as pies, cookies, soups and shrimp dishes, and it supplies key vitamins and minerals. Shredded coconut also contains 33 grams of fat and 40 grams of sugar per 1-cup serving, which significantly decreases the nutritional value of the food. While you'll reap some nutritional benefits when you eat shredded coconut, it shouldn't be part of your regular diet.

Protein and Fiber

A 1-cup serving of shredded coconut contains 2.68 grams of protein toward the daily goal of 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men. Protein rebuilds cells and helps you maintain healthy tissues and muscles. The same serving of shredded coconut provides 4.2 grams of dietary fiber. The American Heart Association recommends that you consume at least 25 grams of fiber each day. Fiber reduces your risk of constipation and hemorrhoids by encouraging proper digestion and regular bowel movements. The nutrient might lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer as well.

Iron

Coconut is a good source of iron, and a 1-cup serving supplies 1.79 milligrams of the 8 milligrams men need each day and the 18 milligrams women require. Iron is crucial for the formation of hemoglobin, which is the protein in red blood cells that is responsible for getting oxygen to each part of your body. Without enough iron, your cells don't get sufficient oxygen, which can lead to weakness and fatigue. You also need adequate amounts of iron to support your immune system.

Zinc

One cup of shredded coconut provides 1.69 milligrams of zinc toward the daily goal of 8 milligrams for women and 11 milligrams for men. Zinc is a mineral crucial to the strength and health of your immune system, and it also plays a critical role in wound healing. The mineral supports normal cell division and enables you to taste, see and smell properly as well.

Considerations and Tips

Because 29.2 grams of the total fat in a serving of shredded coconut are saturated, the food should be viewed as an occasional treat. Regularly consuming too much saturated fat can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. Limit yourself to a small sprinkle of shredded coconut to enhance the flavor of foods such as low-fat plain yogurt or a bowl of oatmeal. Cut the amount of shredded coconut in your favorite recipes by half. You'll still get the flavor of the coconut, but you'll reduce the overall fat, calorie and sugar content of the food.


Did you know these amazing health benefits of coconut water?

By Dr Anitha Anchan

Coconut water has gained its popularity as a niche health food. It is 100% sterile, contains 94% water, is low in calories, and has zero cholesterol all of which make it a healthful beverage. Additionally, it is packed with B vitamins, amino acids, cytokinins and minerals like potassium, magnesium and manganese and potassium. Here are more reasons why you should add coconut water to your daily diet.

1. Drink it for your heart’s sake

Coconut water could be a remedy for more than just your thirst. According to a study, drinking coconut water may lower the rate of heart attacks. High amount of potassium in coconut water has been found to significantly reduce hypertension by increasing water excretion from the body, claims another study.

2. Reduce risk of kidney stones

Reduce the risk of kidney stones by regular consumption of coconut water. It contains potassium and magnesium and is an effective diuretic. And if you already have stones in your kidney, it can help eliminate them by expediting the flow of urine.

3. Remedy for diarrhoea

Had a bout of diarrhoea? Just replenish your body with coconut water to replace not only the fluid that you’ve lost but also the electrolytes and minerals. It will help flush out the toxins faster too. Coconut water is naturally isotonic. It has electrolyte levels similar to those found in our body. Since the water in an undamaged coconut is naturally sterile, it has also been used as a short-term alternative to an intravenous drip!

4. Hydrate on a hot day!

The scorching sun during summer dehydrates the body easily due to excess sweat and perspiration. Want a soothing food to comfort you in the heat? Nothing better than coconut water – one of the most refreshing drinks because it contains less carbohydrate and sugar content and abundant electrolytes. Either have it as it is or mix it with lime juice for a healthy and refreshing drink.

5. Refuel during and after exercise

Staying hydrated is very important during exercise and workouts. Coconut water can be a natural sports drink – with no preservatives or artificial sweeteners! It helps refuel and rehydrate post-exercise dehydration. It’s low in calories, high in potassium and can help replace lost fluids.

6. Rejuvenate your skin

Want to put back life into that dull skin? Fresh coconut water makes the skin soft and brings a glow to it. Using it twice in a day on hands and face can prove beneficial. The cytokinins present in coconut water can have anti-aging effects too.

7. Relieve usual pregnancy-related problems

Coconut water is naturally sterile. Hence, it is considered to be safe during pregnancy. It is generally recommended for pregnant women as a natural remedy to help ease constipation, acidity and heartburn.

8. Carry a knocked-out tooth

Coconut water is biologically pure and sterile. If you cannot place a knocked out tooth back into the socket or store it in the cheek, coconut water may be used as a storage solution for the tooth until you can see a dentist!


Beauty benefits of coconut

By Priyanka Ganwani

Coconut be it in the form of water, milk or oil is ideal to tackle any beauty problem. A splash of fresh coconut water can give you glowing skin instantly.

Coconut is packed with lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which make it antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and consist of exceptional soothing qualities. It is thus a natural treatment for most of the beauty, be it hair or skin problems.

We list out the beauty benefits of coconut in its various forms.

Coconut water

For hair: Washing your hair with some refreshing coconut water is not only good to help tame down dry and frizzy hair but helps increase blood circulation at the same time. As it increases blood circulation in the scalp, the hair follicles are strengthened, preventing it from breakage. It is also a relief for dandruff, itchy scalp, dryness and any infection as it is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial in nature.

How to use: Massaging your scalp with coconut water daily will help manage rough and frizzy hair better. For better hair texture, you could make a conditioner with some cocoa butter and coconut water. Once you are done shampooing your hair, apply this mixture and wash thoroughly after 30 minutes.

For skin: If you are looking for a an effective and natural face wash, coconut water is the ideal choice. It is refreshing and it’s cleansing properties work well for your daily skincare regime. It also acts as a skin moisturiser and toner. Oily skin can be managed better with coconut water, as it has a non greasy application. It helps clear out acne and blemishes and is best for skin lightening treatment. The cytokinins present in coconut water can have anti-ageing effects too.

How to use: To get rid of acne and pimples, a face mask with sandalwood powder, turmeric and coconut water would prove beneficial. Mix and apply these ingredients all over your face. Coconut water also work great as part of an anti-tan mask with fuller’s earth. It helps get rid of dark spots and tan, naturally.

Coconut oil

For hair: Coconut oil contains the essential nutrients required for healthy hair. It provides for the much needed proteins our hair feeds on. Coconut oil is an essential part of any haircare regime.

This oil provides for one of the best oils for hair, as it penetrates well within the hair shaft and prevents hair from losing it’s moisture. This protects from damage and keeps its volume intact. It strengthens the hair, reduces split ends, is great for grey hair and simply makes your hair easier to manage. It is also beneficial to thicken hair growth especially on the eyebrows. The lauric acid in coconut oil is rich has significant action against viruses, bacteria and fungi and this ensures you keep away from infections of the scalp.

How to use: For grey hair, take about six to eight teaspoons (depending on hair length) of coconut oil. Mix three teaspoons of fresh lemon juice in the oil and apply it on hair. Keep it for an hour and wash your hair with a mild shampoo.

For skincare: Coconut oil is a great source of moisture. It helps moisturising the lips when dry and keeps them well hydrated. It also provides for a smooth shaving cream as it makes the skin resistant to any burns or skin irritation, after shaving. The anit-bacterial properties present in coconut, help reduce pimples and acne instantly. Applying some coconut reduces wrinkles and dark circles. Skin elasticity and flexibility is intact due to the the copper content in coconut oil. Coconut oil is a relief for skin affected by sun exposure and sun burns. Additionally, coconut oil is a great make-up remover, especially for eye make-up and also helps soften nail cuticles.

How to use: To get rid of acne, apply some coconut oil onto the affected area and leave it for about 15 minutes. Then wash it off with warm water and let your skin air dry. Ensure, you don’t apply any other products after this.

Coconut milk

For hair: Coconut milk is protein rich and is an answer to most hair problems. Applying some coconut milk regularly is a great way to nourish the hair right from the root to the tip. It is useful to get rid of split ends, balding, and helps regain lost lustre, and strengthens weak, brittle hair. It makes the hair free of any tangles and is a great conditioner.

How to use: For better hair conditioning, you could mix some coconut oil with your preferred shampoo, during a hair wash. To use it as a leave-in conditioner, apply some coconut milk to wet hair, from the roots towards the tips. To get rid of the dreadful tangles, just apply some coconut milk and comb your hair through it.

For skin: Coconut milk is the best way to pamper dehydrated skin and soothe it with its moisturising properties. The vitamins, proteins, iron and calcium present in it, supply the required nutrients for healthy skin. It solves skin issues like sun burns, and improves skin elasticity thereby reducing wrinkles and sagging skin. It is also beneficial in soothing skin irritation often caused due to psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema. Besides, sipping on some coconut water regularly helps keep the system hydrated, along with the skin.

How to use: For healthy and glowing skin, take a cup of rose petals, half a cup of rose water and a cup of coconut milk and add to lukewarm bath water. Soaking in this bath for about 15 minutes will help your skin regain its moisture. You can also rub coconut milk on your skin and leave it for 30 minutes till it gets completely absorbed.

Coconut in any form is highly beneficial for healthy skin and hair. It is a great way to to manage beauty problems without having to run to the salon.


Coconut Oil: Doing Good, Inside & Out

By Emily Curson-Baker

I love coconut oil and I am crazy about coconuts! There, I said it! Recently, I’ve been delving a little deeper into this wondrous drupe and exploring it’s many facets, leading me nicely on to, skin nourishment and the benefits of the topical use of coconut oil.

Coconut oil can nourish us from the inside out. In cooking, coconut oil is the preferred choice over alternatives such as vegetable oil, as it is able to withstand high temperatures without the nutritional goodness of the oil or the food, being affected. But, do you know about the goodness it can provide to the outside?

Let Me Tell You More...

Coconut oil is anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and antiseptic - not many other foods can claim to carry out so many jobs, all at once!

Coconut oil is fantastic for our hair and is even used in dog grooming by adding shine to the coats of our furry friends! If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us, right?

It’s good to note here, the different types of coconut oil that you may come across. Not all coconut oils are the same and we see words like, “pure” “mature” and “refined” on the labels of coconut oil containers. As a rule, these types of coconut oils are not the preferred option. These oils come from older coconuts that contain mycotoxins (moulds!) and ‘purifying’ processes take place whereby the coconut meat is bleached and refined, thus exposing it to chemical processes, increasing chemical intake on consumption of the coconut.

Keywords to watch out for are “raw”, “virgin” and “cold-pressed” - all of which refer to young coconuts that undergo less processing and provide you with a nutritional coconut oil that is great for using with cooking as well as on the body too.

Coconut Oil For Skin Nourishment

Skin complaints like, eczema & dermatitis or dry skin benefit from applying coconut oil - apply just before bed and allow to sink in overnight.

Recently, I developed a very painful crack in the side of my mouth which was causing me great discomfort. I decided to try some coconut oil on the affected area; I applied it before bed and left it to allow it to sink in overnight. The next day, it took me a number of hours to remember the discomfort I had experienced the day before and that was because, the pain and the crack, had totally disappeared! I was godsmacked and thrilled all at once!

In the kitchen, I occasionally catch myself on the cooker and find myself with mild burns as a result. I have found that, after running the affected area under cold water (as directed by First Aid procedures), applying a good thick layer of coconut oil works very well in soothing the sore as well as aiding speedy healing. Yet another benefit of coconut oil!

For skin nourishment and the benefits of coconut oil, try to crowd out processed food with the help of fresh vegetables, fruit nuts and seeds. If you suffer with skin complaints, the following foods should be avoided as they can upset the metabolism of fatty acids, encourage inflammation and create stress responses within the body:

Processed/ Refined foods
• Enriched foods
• Wheat (all kinds: bread, pasta, cereals)
• Sugar (sucrose, honey, maltose, dextrose, corn syrup and agave)
• Dairy (all kinds: milk, yoghurt, cream, cheese and dairy containing products).
• Hydrogenated oils (such as margarine, sunflower oil and vegetable oils as these contain harmful fats that will not help and could cause harm to the build up of the essential fats)
•Stimulating drinks (containing caffeine such as black tea, coffee, coke and energy drinks).
•Soya
•Nightshade Vegetables:
•Potatoes (not including sweet potato)
•Aubergine/ Eggplant
•Peppers (red and green)
•Paprika
•Tomatoes
My homemade coconut salve

At night apply extra virgin coconut oil/ almond oil directly onto skin, allow to soak in and go to bed. Try this for a fortnight.

Coconut oil for tooth and gum health

‘Oil Pulling’ has become pretty big and you can use extra virgin coconut oil for this too. The oil pulling helps to remove toxins from the teeth and gums, with its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-septic properties it makes it very good for oral hygiene.

Keeping those toothly pegs white

Pair coconut oil with turmeric! Grab a jar and give this recipe a whirl:

- 4 tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 tsp. organic turmeric powder
- 0.5-1 tsp. peppermint oil (optional) - can use peppermint extract used in baking, just check ingredients for no sugar.

Place all the ingredients into the jar, mix well to form a paste. Use a teaspoon and try it out. If you prefer to have more peppermint oil, increase to 1 tsp.

How to use

Use a teaspoon of mouth oil everyday. Let the oil melt in your mouth, then swoosh and pull it through your teeth from 5 mins to 15 minutes a day.

Spit it into a tissue- (to avoid clogged drains). Be prepared, your toothbrush may turn yellow if brushing teeth afterwards. If teeth still look yellow rinse mouth with water, run the hot tap to ensure the coconut oil stays liquid through your drains! Keep in an airtight jar in your bathroom cupboard and use daily.


What are the health benefits of coconut oil?

(Washington Post)

Although it's been more than five years since coconut oil began its meteoric rise in the U.S. marketplace, the confusion about it has not waned a bit.

"Should I switch to coconut oil?" is consistently one of the most common questions that come across my desktop - not surprising given that you could throw a dart at the Internet and hit a claim about the oil's amazing healing power.

Mostly, there has been a paucity of good science on it, but a meta-analysis (a systematic review of the existing research) published this year in Nutrition Reviews has shed some light on the topic. I spoke with the lead researcher, Laurence Eyres, chairman of the Oils & Fats Specialist Group at the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry, for further insight.

The study found that coconut oil, which is 92 percent saturated fat, raises LDL (bad) cholesterol less than butter does, but significantly more than unsaturated plant oils do.

So when it comes to heart health, Eyres puts it plainly: "It would be dangerous, and rather silly, to replace your extra-virgin olive oil with coconut oil."

There - that question is answered. But there are plenty of details and nuances where that came from, so read on.

Coconut oil has a lot going for it from a culinary perspective. It has a lovely, distinctive flavor that gives dishes a sumptuous tropical taste.

It is solid at room temperature, a quality central to many recipes. But unlike most other solid fats, it is vegan, so it appeals to the ever-growing legion of plant-based eaters.]

Also, like other saturated fats, it is very stable in heat, so it is good for stir-frying and sauteing. (Contrary to a common myth, monounsaturated fat such as olive oil is also quite stable in heat, and good-quality olive oil is excellent for high-heat sauteing. Polyunsaturated oils such as corn oil are less stable in heat, and nut oils should not be heated much at all.)

But one of the biggest things coconut oil has behind it right now, unfortunately for the consumer, is a lot of marketing hype that makes it out to be a miracle food. "There is nothing wrong with coconut oil in moderation, but it is not a cure for everything or a wonder fat," Eyres says.

Many of the purported benefits of coconut oil point to it as a source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs), a type of fat that is processed differently by the body so it is absorbed and metabolized more efficiently than other fats. But the research on MCTs cannot be extrapolated to coconut oil.

At issue is that lauric acid, a predominant fatty acid in coconut oil, is often cited as a medium-chain fatty acid, but, Eyres says, while "chemically it could be defined as either medium- or long-chain, [lauric acid] behaves like a normal long-chain fatty acid in the body."

He says that "coconut oil has less than 3 percent MCT. MCTs are as different to coconut oil as chalk is to cheese."

When it comes to coconut oil's impact on cholesterol, you often hear the argument that even though coconut oil raises LDL, it also raises HDL (good) cholesterol, resulting in a neutral - even beneficial - overall effect.

But Eyres says butter raises HDL, too, and with coconut oil, "it's particularly the rise in small LDL particles that are worrisome because they are really atherogenic," meaning they promote the formation of plaque in arteries.

Touching on a broader issue facing the nutrition community, there is considerable discussion as to whether saturated fat, even with its cholesterol-raising effect, is truly problematic and how much it actually contributes to heart disease. It's a debate you can't miss, considering all of the "butter is back" cover stories in recent years.

But when you read past the headlines, there is wide agreement that even if saturated fat turns out to be neutral when it comes to heart disease, unsaturated fats, especially antioxidant-rich oils such as olive oil, are actually protective, so there is good reason to make them your go-to fats.

Eyres adds: "The cholesterol picture is very simplistic. There are many factors to consider with regard to heart disease."

Case in point is the discussion in his study of coconut products in the traditional diets of Pacific Island populations.

The people there have historically consumed a lot of saturated fat from coconut products (although notably not as coconut oil per se, but as grated coconut flesh, coconut cream and coconut flour, all of which are rich in fiber), but they have low incidences of cardiovascular disease.

Importantly, these traditional diets have also contained plenty of fish, fruit and vegetables, and little to no refined sugar, processed foods and soft drinks.

Eyres points out in his study that in the context of this traditional eating pattern, consuming coconut products that contain fiber (not necessarily coconut oil, which has none) does not pose a risk for heart disease. But the use of coconut oil as a major player in a typical Western diet does.

So, go ahead and use some coconut oil in a vegetable saute or add shredded coconut to a smoothie - if you do that instead of grabbing takeout for dinner or snacking on chips, you'll be ahead of the game.

Just don't buy into the coconut as cure-all hype, and do stick to unsaturated oil for everyday cooking.


Health Benefits of Coconut Water: The nutritional goldmine

By Ruth Asiam

When I was pregnant, an elderly woman who lived in my neighborhood advised me to drink coconut water almost every day if only I could afford it. She said my baby was going to have lots of hair if I do so.

“If you can afford it drink coconut water every day so that your son will be fair and have lots of hair,” she said.

Though I didn't believe her mythical reasons entirely, I figured her intentions were good so I drank coconut water almost every day..

Whenever I see people drinking coconut water at the various coconut joints I wonder if they know the benefits they are getting from this drink.

Unlike any other beverage on the market, coconut water contains five essential electrolytes that are present in the human body.

These include: calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium. Coconut water has no artificial additives or sweetener, low in carbohydrates and it is fat free.

Here are some health benefits of coconut water you didn't know.

It regulates blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.

Research has proven that the presence of the vitamin C, potassium and magnesium makes it the best agent for controlling high blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Many women during pregnancy suffer from hypertension which can complicate health issues to both the mother and the unborn baby. Drinking coconut water can reduce blood pressure levels.

Coconut water can facilitate weight-loss.

It flushes out excess toxins from the body due to the high concentration of fiber and aids in the prevention of indigestion. The health benefits of coconut water helps reduce the occurrence of acid reflux and provides relief for persons who encounter difficulty during digestion. The presence of bio-active enzymes also aids digestion and boost fat metabolism. Coconut water contains no fat or cholesterol, which means that when you drink it on a regular basis you do not have the risk of putting on weight.

Coconut water is also the ultimate hangover remedy.

Too much alcohol robs the body of water which causes hangover. Drinking a glass of coconut water will boost hydration and bring back relief to the body.

To prevent dehydration you need coconut water. It can also be used to rehydrate the body in case of fluid loss due to diarrhea, vomiting or excessive sweating.

Drinking coconut water also helps relieve pregnant women of morning sickness and acidity that are common problems during pregnancy.

Coconut water has good effect on the human skin.

For a perfect skin, people with pimples/acne or other blemishes on the surface of the skin can apply coconut water on the affected area to clear them. It also moisturizes the skin.

Coconut water can help in reducing migraine attacks.

Migraine mostly occurs as a result of low levels of magnesium. People with common headaches and migraines are therefore advised to drink water from coconut because of its richness in magnesium.

It doesn’t hurt in anyway of you drink coconut water a day. It is only 2 cedis on the average but the health benefits are enormous.


Natural drink for a healthy day

By Deepa Gupta (thestatesman.com)

There is nothing better than to start your day with a slosh of a healthy drink. Not will it only pump you with energy but will also take care of your nutritional needs. One of the many advantages of the health drink is not just energising your body but to also refresh your mind so that you can handle the tasks of the day with ease.

What better way to start your day with a cool sip of coconut water! It is mild sweet and slight nutty taste makes it a one of its kind drink. Apart from the lesser amount of sugar in it, coconut drink is known to be instantly absorbed by the body. It's ability to wash out toxins from the body makes it a popular choice for those looking to cleanse out their system.

When we speak about a healthy drink, you can never replace it with sports drinks having artificial flavours and high sugar content. We don’t have to worry about any of such things when it comes to coconut water.

After a long night sleep, your body needs hydration and coconut water re-hydrates your body better than pure water! It happens because the minerals and the salt naturally available in coconut water speed up its absorption by the body. Also the fibre in coconut water helps regulate bowel movements. Bowel regularity is the foundation of physical health.

Food that we eat, contains many indigestible elements, including toxins. These toxins should be eliminated from the body at earliest to avoid several diseases.

Consumption of coconut water every morning is best to flush out these unwanted elements from the body keeping it fit and fine. Because of the fibre content, coconut water keeps you feel full for longer with liveliness. It is an exceptional health tonic containing minerals, amino-acids, cytokines, B-complex vitamins and many other beneficial phytochemicals. It keeps the body light the whole day as its high potassium content helps the kidneys to flush out excess water from the body keeping it light.

The arginine content present in coconut water relaxes the blood vessels leaving the body and mind calm and flexible. It is immensely beneficial for people suffering with hypertension, bad cholesterol, heart problems and diabetes.

This low-calorie, thirst quencher can detoxify our body and give a healthy glow to our skin. With so many benefits packed into this wondrous drink, we should include in our daily diet for our overall improved fitness.


Amazing Reasons Why It Is Good To Drink Coconut Milk

By Asha Das

Coconut milk, the delectable white liquid extracted from grated coconut meat or pulp is salubrious for all if consumed in moderate amount. From ages, the health benefits of coconut milk have been discussed and are used widely across the world. Usually, coconut water is confounded with coconut milk by many. Coconut milk is made from pressing grated coconut. The process will be easier if you add some warm water to the grated coconut before pressing.

Some women use a mixer as well to extract coconut milk. Coconut milk is loaded with vitamins, minerals and calories. And that is why, it makes it one of the reasons to drink coconut milk. According to experts, health benefits of coconut milk are enormous, but intake of too much can cause bad effects on your body. Apart from making tasty dishes by adding coconut milk, you can use this for improving your overall health. No matter whether it is for health or beauty, coconut milk can do wonders on your body. Let's discuss about the health benefits of coconut milk. Knowing this will definitely force you to make coconut milk a part of your regular diet.

Helps Manage Arthritis:

One of the important reasons to drink coconut milk by people suffering from arthritis or joint inflammation is that it contains a huge amount of selenium, which is an antioxidant. It relieves arthritis and reduces pain.

Lowers Cholesterol:

Unlike milk, coconut milk carries saturated fats that help in lowering the cholesterol level overall. In studies, it is found that the saturated fat in coconut milk is effective in increasing the good cholesterol level.

Helps Keep A Check On Weight Loss:

According to some of the studies, one of the health benefits of coconut milk is that it helps in weight loss. Virgin coconut oil, made by boiling coconut milk, is widely used in weight reduction.

Boosts Immunity:

With many nutrients like vitamin C and lauric acid, coconut milk helps the body to boost immunity. If cough or cold is a regular issue, add coconut milk to your diet. Daily intake of coconut milk, in a small amount, also helps avoid many ailments.

It Is Good To Obtain Stronger Bones:

Yes, coconut milk has both calcium and phosphorous that help you to get stronger bones. Not only that, it is said that coconut milk lowers the risk of bone fractures. So, if you want stronger bones, drink coconut milk.

Regulates Blood Sugar:

A huge amount of manganese in coconut milk helps to regulate your blood sugar. The main function of manganese is to help in metabolism. Manganese in coconut milk also prevents inflammation.

Good For A Healthy Heart:

Drinking coconut milk, or including it in your cuisine, helps to prevent heart diseases. Lauric acid that is present in coconut milk gives you a healthy heart. This acid also has certain antibacterial and antiviral properties that improve your heart.

Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease:

A recent study claims that by consuming coconut milk daily, the chance of getting Alzheimer's disease becomes very less. With regular intake of coconut milk, patients with Alzheimer's show some effective changes. Therefore, for a healthy brain, coconut milk is the best.


Miraculous beauty benefits of coconut oil

By Srishti Ghosh Shinde (TNN)

We all are aware of the health and beauty benefits of coconut oil, and that they most work to promote hair growth and stop hair fall and improve the quality of your hair. However, not many know about the other beauty benefits that this oil brings to us. Here are five of them.

For the skin

Simply mix some sugar with coconut oil and rub it on to your skin, keep it for about ten minutes to remove all the dead cells present on your skin. This will also help smoothen your skin if used regularly. While replacing sugar with salt will help your skin get rid of infections, pimples and blemishes, if used on a regular basis.

For the teeth

Other than the several brands of toothpastes available in the market that have a variety of ingredients, this is one of the safest and chemical free toothpastes you can use. Rub some coconut oil and salt on your teeth for about three to four minutes to get healthy, cavity free and sparkling teeth.

For the hair

Of course, we all know that coconut oil helps prevent hairfall and helps its growth. But did you know that mixing coconut oil with lemon juice and applying it on the hair and scalp is one of the best ways to reverse greying of hair, as well as stop grey hair from appearing.

For the foot

The healing properties of coconut oil are not unknown, however applying coconut oil on your foot every night before you sleep, and wearing socks can actually treat cracked feet and heal them within a week.

For the lips

Not many know that coconut oil has amazing moisturising properties, applying coconut oil on chapped lips and keeping it overnight can help you make your lips soft and supple. In fact, they also make your lips pink, if used on a regular basis.


Top 7 Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil

By Somya Ojha

Coconut oil has been used extensively worldwide for treating a wide array of health issues. Often classified as a superfood, coconut oil is a powerhouse of essential nutrients and minerals that can prove to be highly beneficial. There's no doubt health benefits of coconut oil are plenty, and we've listed most of them, here.

Over the last few years, several studies have been conducted to find out the health benefits of this remarkable natural ingredient. And researchers have found that coconut oil comprises of healthy saturated fats, fatty acids and several essential nutrients.

So, today at Boldsky, we've brought together a list of top 7 health benefits of coconut oil. Many of these benefits are backed by several medical researches.

Other than being considered good for the heart, it is also known to be effective in improving memory power.

The medicinal and therapeutic properties of coconut oil are well known. That is why, many people have integrated it in their diet to reap the benefits.

However, it is extremely important to consult a specialist before including coconut oil in the diet. Especially, if you're suffering from a health problem, you must check with your dietitian first.

Bearing that in mind, read on to know more about these health benefits.

1. It Can Help Lose Weight

Coconut oil is considered particularly effective in burning abdominal fat. Just a spoonful of this oil is replete with certain fatty acids that can burn belly fat. Integrate it in your diet to fasten the weight loss programme.

2. It Can Boost Immunity

Coconut oil is considered good for strengthening the immune system. Certain properties of this are capable of fighting off the infection-causing bacteria. So, include this in your diet to boost immunity and keep infections at bay.

3. It Can Lower The Risk Of Heart-related Problems

Consumption of coconut oil can effectively raise the level of good cholesterol. Especially, virgin coconut oil is known to possess certain remarkable compounds that can lower the risk of heart-related problems.

4. It Can Help Build Muscles

Several muscle-building products are known to have coconut oil as an essential component in them. A few studies have also found out that other than burning fat, this incredible natural ingredient can help fasten the muscle-building process.

5. It Can Prevent Tooth Decay

Over the last few years, the technique of oil pulling has managed to get worldwide popularity because of its effectiveness in preventing tooth decay and other oral issues. Do this on a regular basis using coconut oil for promoting oral health and keeping infections at bay.

6. It Can Improve Brain Memory & Function

Coconut oil is a powerhouse of nutrients and fatty acids that are known to improve memory and overall functionality of an individual's brain. Including this in your diet can preserve your brain's health.

7. It Can Treat Yeast Infection

The antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil can help treat yeast infection. In addition, it is a good source of protein that can fasten the healing process and prevent the infection from recurring.


15 Amazing Benefits of Coconut Water You Should Know!

By Vinay Patel

Naturally fat-free, coconut water is super hydrating and an excellent choice for the body. Benefits of coconut water extend beyond just hydrating the body.

The delicious coconut water can help battle a series of conditions like hangovers, kidney stones, fever, infection, and a lot more.

Coconut water is fast emerging as a popular health drink in America. And why not? This magical drink is a guaranteed boost to your body immunity, health and well-being.

Here is a look at the benefits of coconut water:

1. Unlike sweetened drinks, coconut water is sans the calories. It is rich in vital minerals and nutrients so it nourishes the body without adding fat.

2. Athletes are often seen endorsing the benefits of coconut water, WEB MD reports. Rich in natural nutrition, coconut water helps restore energy levels of the body.

3. One of the big benefits of coconut water is that it helps in weight loss. Yes! The water keeps the body hydrated and makes you feel full as well.

4. It cleanses the body of toxins and gives you glowing skin. Daily drinking coconut water can help you get rid of blemishes, marks and other skin troubles.

5. Coconut water is also a good hangover remedy. It replenishes the lost nutrients of the body and helps you get back to your senses.

6. This water is also high in fiber content. So, if you have daily digestion problems shift to drinking coconut water daily.

7. Coconut water is rich in potassium and therefore an excellent hydrant for the body. Use it when you are out in the sun.

8. Life Hack reports it also helps in controlling blood pressure levels as well.

9. Coconut water is a healthy drink that takes care of a major chunk of the body’s nutrition.

10. In some countries, coconut water is also used as a supplement of human plasma. The concentration of this water is very similar to the plasma in the body. When administered intravenously, it hydrates the body.

11. A key benefit of coconut water is that it is a health tonic for the heart because it works well to lower cholesterol.

12. The composition of coconut water also helps treat headaches.

13. You can also use this drink as a supplement to the regular water. Quench your thirst and boost your health as well!

14. Even if your thirst is quenched, drinking coconut water encourages you to drink more fluids which is actually healthy for your body.

15. It’s a wholesome meal because you drink the water and eat the tender part of the coconut on the inside as well.


The virgin coconut oil story

(AsiaOne)

The rich claims about the health benefits of coconut oil, in particular virgin coconut oil (VCO), are mainly centred around the fact that much of the oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).

The main MCTs in coconut oil are lauric acid, caprylic acid and decanoic acid - over 63 per cent of normal coconut oil is made up of MCTs.

These MCTs are also saturated fats - but they are processed rather differently from other saturated fats.

No MCT is known to be an essential fatty acid; they are not digested in the same way as other fats, and the body cannot store them easily as adipose (fat) tissue.

They are processed more by the liver rather than via the normal digestive system and the calories from ingested MCTs are therefore normally expended rather faster and more immediately than for the other fats churning through the digestive system.

While the fact that MCTs cannot be quickly turned into fat tissue may be a benefit, the effect of loading the liver with excessive MCTs would appear to be an increase in liver fat (resulting in a higher propensity for diabetes), according to a Swedish study.

Also, the saturated fats in coconut oil have been shown to increase the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) count (hence increasing the cholesterol circulating through the body), though not as much as butter but rather more than unsaturated plant fats.

There is a dearth of validated research to support the claims for VCO - particularly about alleged benefits such as coronary artery disease (CAD) prevention, stroke prevention, sustained weight loss, insulin regulation or a cure for Alzheimer's.

Most of what you can read are unverifiable anecdotal claims or results from small private studies with little statistical relevance.

Some side effects associated with consuming MCTs have also been reported, usually related to digestive problems and oddly, some minor cognitive issues.

The main noted benefit is that MCTs tend to have a high smoking point, making them particularly suitable for use as oils for frying - though the price of VCO would make this prohibitive.

Please note that industrial coconut oils used for commercial cooking generally tend to be partially hydrogenated (especially in tropical countries), rendering it rather detrimental for consumption - so if you must use coconut oil, then please do check on its suitability as hydrogenation turns the oil into unhealthy trans-fats.

What we can infer

In the absence of hard research about quantifiable health benefits, we can use some general demographics to infer the health properties or otherwise of coconut oil - and as one of the major health benefits claimed for coconut oil is prevention of CAD, the statistic chosen is the global death rates due to CAD published by the WHO in 2014.

In 2011, the country credited with the highest consumption of dietary coconut oil per capita in the world is Sri Lanka, followed by Fiji, Guyana and Indonesia.

In the WHO table of CAD death statistics, out of 172 countries, Sri Lanka was ranked 31st worst in the world, Fiji at 19, Guyana at 14 and Indonesia came in at 97.

The relatively random distribution in the table of these countries suggests that MCTs are probably not a root cause of cardiovascular problems, even though three of the top coconut oil consuming countries (Sri Lanka, Fiji and Guyana) are in the top 19 per cent of the number of CAD deaths.

It also suggests strongly that even if coconut oil has an effect on CAD, there are other (unknown) factors which are more compelling in determining CAD.

To put things in perspective, countries such as Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan were ranked in the top 3 for CAD-related deaths - the death toll in Turkmenistan was a staggering 212 per cent higher than Guyana for the number of deaths per 100,000 of population. These countries definitely do not include MCTs in their diets.

Curiously, the countries with the lowest CAD deaths are South Korea, France, Japan, Luxembourg and the Netherlands - and the diets in these countries are also almost exclusively devoid of coconut oil, and MCTs in general.

So, from the data, it would be inaccurate to assume any link between the low consumption of MCTs and general heart health as both the worst and best countries both consume very low levels of coconut oil MCTs.

Similarly, a high consumption of coconut oil does not demonstrate any obvious CAD benefits either.

All that can be said with any degree of certainty is that the high consumption of coconut oil does not immediately appear to have any direct statistical relevance on death rates due to heart disease - hence the staunch claims about the CAD benefits from ingesting coconut oil (and VCO) are somewhat questionable, or at least still open to detailed investigation.

The case of strokes

The same random distribution also applies if we look at the general death statistics for strokes - prevention of strokes is another alleged health benefit of consuming coconut oil.

In this statistic, Indonesia is the very worst country out of 172 countries studied, followed by Sri Lanka at 105th worst, Fiji at 96 and Guyana placed very high at 4th place.

However, as mentioned, this is a rather crude, simplistic analysis to see if there exists any immediately discernible health trends about strokes linked to the consumption of coconut oil - and it appears that there are none.

Or more accurately, if there are any coconut oil-related health benefits against strokes, then they are quite seriously outweighed by other unknown factors, especially in Indonesia and Guyana.

It should be noted that the countries with the lowest incidence of strokes are Switzerland, Canada, Israel, Qatar and France - with the notable country being France as whatever they are doing or eating, it certainly seems to maintain low death rates from CAD and strokes.

What about the Pukapukans and Tokelauans?

On the claimed promise of coconut oil promoting sustained weight loss, there are two atolls in Polynesia called Pukapuka and Tokelau - and studies on the populations on these islands have been used to disprove the suggestion that coconut oil cannot cause obesity (or that coconut oil can somehow "burn" off existing fat).

In summary, researchers determined that some 63 per cent of the Tokelauan diet came from ingesting coconut products compared to 34 per cent in the Pukapukan diet - and the simple (predictable) end result was that the Tokelauans were in general considerably heavier and fatter than the Pukapukans.

Heart disease was quite rare for both populations though - but this may be due to other factors, such as their relatively quiet lifestyles with little stress.

To be fair, both sets of islanders were consuming coconut-derived foods, and not just the oil - and the significance of this is unclear at present.

What is rather clearer is that an April 2016 review of eight trials and 13 studies involving coconut oil came up with the somewhat soggy suggestion that replacing coconut oil with normal unsaturated fats "would alter blood lipid profiles in a manner consistent with a reduction in risk factors for cardiovascular disease".

Basically, the review concluded that on balance, normal unsaturated fats are better for heart health than coconut oil.

Good news for diabetics?

One sanguine use of coconut oil was reported in spring 2015 when it was announced by a Sri Lankan university that coconut oil can drastically reduce the calories available from rice, or at least push the Glycaemic Index (GI) of rice down to safer levels.

It has already been known for some time that fried rice or rice cooked in oils have rather reduced GI ratings compared to steamed or boiled rice - and the simple act of boiling rice in water containing 3 per cent by weight of coconut oil (and then chilling it for hours) was claimed to reduce the rice calories significantly, around 10-15 per cent.

There have been no new developments on this research since last year, though I do check up on it occasionally.

Mainly I am fascinated about how coconut oil can "wedge" its way into the glucose structures of rice and rearrange them into "very tight bonds" which are more resistant to digestion, as asserted.

In chemical terms, the big deal was that they have discovered a simple method to infiltrate the starches in rice (known as amylopectin and amylose) with coconut oil and turn them into less-digestible retrograde starches.

At least that is the theory, though it is not certain if the cooking techniques of various cultures may also have an influence. For example, some cooking conventions may require the chilling or overnight storage of cooked rice.

More pertinently, I would like to know if using other oils also has the same effect or whether this is a special property of coconut oil. Regardless, the news was big enough to be presented at the American Chemical Society's national meeting in 2015.

If something sounds too good to be true

Sometime ago, at the urging of a friend, I bought an expensive jar of VCO, looked at it a few times, did some research and gave the jar away.

This is not to say that VCO or coconut oil is bad for health in any way, provided it is consumed in moderation - it is just an example of my personal reaction to extravagant claims which don't (currently) make any sense.

In summary, it is always reasonable and fair to confer the benefit of doubt when encountering something new - but in the absence of any further illuminating or supportive data, my general principle is that if something sounds too good to be true, then it is almost certainly a bad idea to believe in it.


Coconut Milk vs. Coconut Water: Which is Better for You?

By Nikelle Murphy

It used to be that the only thing coconuts were good for was as a vessel for piña coladas during island vacations. But now it seems as if the world, or at least kitchens all across the United States, have been taken over by the coconut. Coconut oil is replacing the olive and vegetable varieties, coconut cream is used in drinks and desserts, and coconut flour is even making an appearance in the baking aisle at the grocery store. But none are quite so popular as coconut water and milk. To the uninformed they might seem like very similar things, but they’re actually quite different, in terms of health benefits and how they’re used.

Starbucks made headlines in mid-July when it launched a new drink with a base made of coconut milk. It’s the first beverage served by the coffee giant that highlights the coconut byproduct, though the chain has offered coconut milk as an alternative to other types of milk for a while. The company said it was a perfect starting point for the new Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato, since it’s lighter than normal milk and can have a more refreshing flavor.

Ultimately, both have their places in a healthy diet, but in each case moderation is key. When you keep both liquids as pure as possible, without incorporating sugars and other additives, they can be very good for you. If the only thing you know about coconuts is that you’re served fruity drinks with curly straws in them, it’s time to take a closer look. Here’s everything you need to know about coconut milk and coconut water.

Coconut milk

Aside from being the hot ingredient at Starbucks, coconut milk is best known for being used in cooking, particularly in dishes from Thai or other Eastern cuisines. Coconut milk is a mixture of coconut water and coconut milk. As Epicurious explains, it can be made by simmering freshly shredded coconut meat in water to extract the flavor and juices (and later straining out the coconut pieces).

The BBC notes that coconut milk is lactose and nut ingredient free, making it a great alternative for dairy and other nut milks. It can come in cartons when it’s fresh (though it doesn’t last for very long), or more commonly is canned and sold in many grocery stores. The canned versions are less modified, Epicurious reports, and are more commonly used in baking and cooking.

Coconut milk is one of those ingredients that health experts disagree about. It’s a natural substance, but is extremely high in fat, particularly saturated fats. According to Eating Well, one cup of coconut milk typically contains about 445 calories and 48 grams of fat, 43 grams of which are saturated fats. Eating Well suggests using the “lite” versions of coconut milk, which often eliminate two-thirds of the calories and fat.

However, some health experts say that even the full-fat version can be good for you, in small and moderated servings. The saturated fat in coconut milk is something to be careful about, but it’s made up of compounds that raise your HDL (good) cholesterol — not the LDL (“bad”) cholesterol that’s raised when you eat bacon and other animal-based saturated fats. Jo Lewin, a nutritionist and contributor for the BBC, also reports that the saturated fats contain lauric acid. Lauric acid is converted in the body into an antiviral and antibacterial agent, and some experts now believe that coconut milk can help ward off infections.

If you consume limited portions of the milk just one to two times per week (some experts recommend ¼-cup servings of the full-fat versions), the product shouldn’t have any negative effects. Plus, that quarter-cup of milk contains large amounts of manganese, which assists with several vital functions in the body including metabolism, forming connective tissue, and nerve functions. It also contains copper, magnesium, iron, and potassium, among other vitamins and minerals.


Energize yourself with coconut oil

(Wheatsfield Co-op)

Coconut oil is a saturated fat composed of about 65 percent medium chain

Pictures of the Coconut Fruit and Tree