September 2 is celebrated as World Coconut Day and no doubt that versatile fruit has been a vital aspect in many cultures across the world. While in India, other than consuming this tropical fruit, people consider it extremely auspicious, in Singapore, Laksa (a spicy coconut noodle soup) is the ultimate comfort food. However, the importance of coconuts does not end here. They have numerable health benefits and regular incorporation of coconut in your diet will give a happy tummy and a glowing skin.
Check out some of these health benefits here:
Coconut fights cholesterol
Coconut oil is your weapon to fight cholesterol. It is burnt almost immediately because of its medium chain fatty acid composition and produces energy. It is not converted into body fat or cholesterol to the degree other fats are, which makes it an excellent cooking oil, protecting our cells from damage. Coconut oil is naturally saturated, thus considerably reducing the chances of high blood cholesterol. Instead, it helps retain high-density lipoproteins (HDL) - the good cholesterol.
Coconut water instantly gives tropical holiday mood but it's not only just a fun cool drink. It is also a natural refreshment that has everything your average sports drink has and more. "It has five times more potassium than commercialized sports drinks. A healthy drink that replenishes the nutrients that your body has lost during a moderate workout.", says the American Chemical Society research.Coconut water saves the day
Coconut water saves the day again if you have worms in your stomach. "Its water is sterile and can be used to eliminate parasites and worms in the intestines", says Bruce Fife in "Coconut Water for Health and Healing." Mixing a glass of coconut water with a teaspoonful of olive oil for three days will help kill parasites and expel them from the system.
The magic of coconut water does not end here. It is also an excellent remedy for Urinary Tract Infection. Coconut water, due to its high quantities of potassium, helps alkalize urine and dissolve certain types of kidney stones.
Dr. Theodore Baroody, in his book "Alkalize or Die", discusses how food high in potassium are excellent sources of nutrients that help create an alkaline-forming environment in the blood and urine, altering the body's pH and dissolving various calculi.
Tired of looking red and sunburnt? Coconut water is soothing and can help relieve the burning sensation. Apply on your body to get instant relief from prickly heat and summer boils. It also helps removes rashes caused by small pox, chicken pox, and measles, reducing the chances of permanent scars.
As good as mother's milk
The goodness of mother's milk can never be replaced, but finding something with almost same nutritional benefits is just as great, isn't it?
Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) is extracted from fresh coconut milk obtained from a mature kernel. VCO consists mainly of medium chain fatty acids, the most important of which is lauric acid. It constitutes 48% of VCO.
Dr. Jon J Kabara, Ph.D from Michigan State University and consultant in the US, has pioneered studies on the antimicrobial properties of fatty acids. One of his most important conclusions is that lauric acid is the most active antimicrobial fatty acid. According to him, medium chain fats in coconut oil are similar to fats in mother's milk and have similar nutritional benefits. VCO has considerable potential for therapeutic uses such as anti-microbial drugs, anti-HIV/AIDS drugs, anti-cancer therapy, and the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
Virgin Coconut Oil can reduce wrinkle
Rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin E, Virgin Coconut Oil slows down the aging process and replenishes the best of nutrition and beauty to your skin. It prevents the chain reaction of free radicals and mars sagging and unsightly wrinkles. The high quality of this oil makes it an ideal massage oil for babies and also for skin and hair applications.
Prevents heart diseases
Coconut kernel is nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Studies have demonstrated that this is a dietary fibre which protects against heart attacks and strokes. It also restores thyroid functions and increases the metabolic rate.
Healthy coconut sugar
Trying to balance your health and a sweet tooth is hard, but there's a solution to that. Coconut sugar, also called coconut sap sugar, is derived from the sap of coconut tree flowers. It is suitable for diabetic patients as it has a low Glycemic Index score of 35. Other sugar substitutes like maple syrup and honey have a high GI score of 69 or more, while refined sugar itself can often reach the 90s.
Popping pills is not something everyone is a fan of. Have a coconut instead. Coconut sap is rich in 12 of the essential B vitamins, and coconut sugar includes this benefit. Of all the B vitamins, coconut sugar is highest in inositol (vitamin B8), which is needed for the formation of healthy cells. It has also been used to treat anxiety and sadness. It even contains trace amounts of vitamin B12, which is seldom found in plants. All of these B vitamins aid cellular metabolism and provide us with energy.