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Go Nuts Over the Benefits of Coconut!

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

Did you know the humble coconut is also known as "The Tree of Life"?


So how did this husky brown fruit get this regal title?


The coconut is extremely powerful. It has an unbelievably long list of health benefits and practical uses. Whether it is providing food, shelter, oil, medicine, beauty and skin care ingredients, this little round brown (or green!) ball has it.



So it really deserves its title as a Superfood. It's got so many uses, it's nutritious and it's incredibly healthy (think an explosion of vitamins, fibre and minerals). Just look around you and you'll notice that coconut is everywhere. You can drink coconut juice, you use coconut milk to give your delicious curries a bit more body, you eat the flesh of the fruit. And that's just the gastronomical part. Now go into your bathroom and you're sure to find coconut in your skin and hair care products. (Coconut is rich in antioxidants i.e. it helps slow down the ageing process and protects our bodies from free-radicals). And that's not all. You're sure to find coconut husks and leaves in household furnishings, decorations and they are part of some building materials as well.


Benefits of coconut by My Blue Tea


Origins of Coconut


Kalpa 'vriksha' - that is Sanskrit for what we know as coconut. It means 'tree which gives all that is necessary for living'. Which is a really apt description of it knowing what it can do. Perhaps after reading this you'd be inspired to start planting a couple of coconut trees in your backyard. While it may not be the first tree people would think of when starting an orchard, but after learning about its benefits, your coconut tree is going to be quite a prized possession! The ancient sages clearly knew what an amazing plant the coconut was, and have revered it ever since.

Popularity of Coconut


From ancient sages to present day food manufacturers, people across Australia are discovering the powerful benefits of coconut. When you add coconut milk and cream to food, you enhance its flavour and texture. It gives a creamy and exotic touch to both sweet and savoury dishes.


And the best thing is, it's delicious and it boosts your health! What more could anyone want in an ingredient? You could literally add coconut to a dish to jazz it up, give it a bit of kick and actually make the humble dish even more powerful so you score in both gastronomical and nutritional benefits. It makes us want to start adding a bit of coconut to everything!


Expert Tip:

Coconut milk is not coconut water. Coconut milk is the powder or liquid that is extracted when you combine water and shredded coconut flesh. Coconut milk is power-packed with nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium, folate and saturated fats from lauric acid. It also has a fair amount of vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamine, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, choline and calcium.



Benefits of Coconut


This is where the coconut can really astound. You'd be running out to get all the coconuts you can get your hands on after reading this.

1. Provides nutrients and antioxidants

It is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, as well as potent antioxidants.


  • Protein: 6 percent of the Daily Value (DV)

  • Zinc: 9 percent of the DV

  • Phosphorus: 14 percent of the DV

  • Selenium: 16 percent of the DV

  • Potassium: 6 percent of the DV

  • Iron: 11 percent of the DV

  • Copper: 41 percent of the DV

  • Vitamin B1: 5 percent of the DV

2. Improves cholesterol levels

About half of the saturated fat in coconut comes from lauric acid. It is what helps raise levels of “good” cholesterol in your body. This cholesterol helps remove other forms of cholesterol from your bloodstream that could otherwise clog your arteries and increase your risk of heart problems.


Researchers found that coconut milk increased good cholesterol and lowered “bad” cholesterol even better than soy milk.


Coconut oil is 100 percent fat, the majority of which is saturated. Saturated fat can increase bad cholesterol levels, which is why it is not recommended. Small amounts of coconut oil used in some dishes in a balanced healthy diet is not an issue. Make sure it’s not the only oil you’re using.


3. Lowers blood pressure

Coconuts contain potassium. This is an essential mineral for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. It helps widen the blood vessels for better circulation and keep the heart working evenly.


4. Reduces inflammation

Coconut has potent compounds that help reduce inflammation, such as caffeic acid, ferulic acid and p-coumaric acid. Take note however, that food processing can cause a loss of these compounds, so whenever possible, choose fresh, unprocessed raw coconut or coconut-derived ingredients.


5. Promotes blood sugar control

Coconut can also help control blood sugar. In a 2011 study, researchers fed diabetic rats coconut kernel protein and found that the rats experienced an improvement in diabetes-related pancreatic damage. This improvement is attributed to the ability of the amino acid called arginine in coconut to promote the regeneration of beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells make insulin, which is the hormone that controls blood sugar.


Having read all these benefits, are you ready to get creative with our coconut powder products? Share with us what coconut is doing for your cooking!


 

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