COCONUT IS A NUTRITIOUS SUPERFOOD
If we are told to limit our intake of saturated fat, but increase our intake of coconut (which contains saturated fat), how does this make any sense? Is coconut good for us or not?
Coconut is in fact a nutritious superfood that is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. It's incredibly healthy, nourishing and versatile. Coconut is rich in antioxidants, which help to slow down the aging process and protect the body from free-radical damage. They help to nourish the skin and prevent/treat skin conditions, as well as help to boost metabolism.
According to Udo Erasmus, author of Fats that Heal Fats that Kill, coconut actually breaks down in our bodies much differently than typical saturated fat from animal meat or dairy. What makes the saturated fat in coconut different is the length of the fatty acid chain it contains.
- Long-chain fatty acids are the bad types of saturated fat. When we consume long-chain fatty acids, our bodies store this as fat -- contributing to weight gain, heart disease and high cholesterol.
- Coconuts do not contain this type of fat, but rather contain medium-chain fatty acids. According to Udo, our bodies do not store medium-chain fatty acid as fat, but rather use it for energy. Instead of promoting weight gain, it actually promotes weight loss and helps to lower cholesterol levels.
Coconut provides the body with energy and helps to relieve symptoms of chronic fatigue. It is antibacterial and antifungal, and helps to promote a healthy immune system, says Erasmus.
The water from inside the coconut is incredibly nourishing. Coconut water is rich in electrolytes and potassium, and is a much healthier alternative to sports drinks, as it contains no artificial sugars or colours. It is incredibly hydrating and refreshing. You can drink the fresh water right from the coconut or purchase store bought coconut water. Recommended brands: Coco The Drink, Vita Coco
Coconut oil is an amazingly beneficial oil to use on a daily basis. It is incredibly heat stable, which means that it can be used in cooking at high heat without denaturing. It can be used as a substitute for butter in recipes, added to smoothies, baked into dessert recipes, used for stir-frying or cooking, and even applied to the skin as a moisturizer. Recommended brands: Choose an expeller-pressed, organic, virgin coconut oil (Nutiva or Omega Nutrition are great).