The coconut palm (also, cocoanut), Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family). Early Spanish explorers called it coco, which means “monkey face” because the three indentations (eyes) on the hairy nut resembles the head and face of a monkey. Nucifera means “nut-bearing.”
The coconut provides a nutritious source of meat,
juice, milk and oil. Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Coconuts are different from any other fruits because they contain a large quantity of “water” and when immature they are known as tender-nuts or jelly-nuts and may be harvested for drinking. When
mature, they still contain some water and can be used as seednuts or processed to give oil from the kernel, charcoal from the hard shell and coir from the fibrous husk.
It is classified as a “functional food” because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Coconut oil is of special interest because it possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil and is extensively used in traditional medicine.
-In traditional medicine around the world coconut is used to treat a wide variety of health problems including the following:
abscesses, asthma, baldness, bronchitis, bruises, burns, colds, constipation, cough, dropsy, dysentery, earache, fever, flu, gingivitis, gonorrhea, irregular or painful menstruation, jaundice, kidney stones, lice, malnutrition, nausea, rash, scabies, scurvy, skin infections, sore throat, swelling, syphilis, toothache, tuberculosis, tumors, typhoid, ulcers, stomach upset, weakness and wounds.
-When dried, the coconut flesh is called copra. The oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking and frying; coconut oil is also widely used in soaps and cosmetics. The clear liquid coconut water within is a refreshing drink. The husks
and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating. It also has cultural and religious significance in many societies that use it.
-Published studies in medical journals show that coconut, in one form or another, may provide a wide range of health benefits.
Some of these are summarized below:
Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
Nutritional value per 100 g
-Energy 354 kcal (1,480 kJ)
– Sugars 6.23
– Dietary fiber 9
-Protein 3.33 g
-Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.066 mg (6%)
-Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.02 mg (2%)
-Niacin (vit. B3) 0.54 mg (4%)
-Pantothenic acid (B5) 1.014 mg (20%)
-Vitamin B6 0.05 mg (4%)
-Vitamin C 3.3 mg (4%)
-Calcium 14 mg (1%)
-Iron 2.43 mg (19%)
-Magnesium 32 mg (9%)
-Phosphorus 113 mg (16%)
-Potassium 356 mg (8%)
-Zinc 1.1 mg (12%)
While coconut possesses many health benefits due to its fiber and nutritional content, it’s the oil that makes it a truly remarkable food and medicine. Once mistakenly believed to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content, it is now known that the fat in
coconut oil is a unique and different from most all other fats and possesses many health giving properties.
All fats and oils are composed of molecules called fatty acids. There are two methods of classifying fatty acids. The first is based on saturation. We have saturated fats (SFA), mono-unsaturated fats (MUFA), and poly-unsaturated fats (PUFA). Another system of classification is based on molecular
size or length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. Fatty acids consist of long chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. In this system you have short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA),
and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).
The vast majority of fats and oils in our diets, whether they are saturated or unsaturated or come from animals or plants, are composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Some 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids we consume are LCFA which generally take very long time to digest and are LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) activators.
MCFA are very different from LCFA. They do not have a negative effect on cholesterol and help to protect against heart disease. MCFA help to lower the risk of both atherosclerosis and heart disease. It is primarily due to the MCFA in coconut oil that makes it so special and so beneficial.
There are only a very few good dietary sources of MCFA. By far the best sources are from coconut and palm kernel oils.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? START EATING COCONUT NOW!! STAY HEALTHY..