In Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, the coconut palm tree is known as kalpa vriksha, translated as “the tree that supplies all that is needed to live.” That says a lot!
There has been enormous amounts of research done on the benefits of the coconut and the many forms it takes once cracked open. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can benefit from each.
Having been called the “cleanest water on Earth”, coconut water contains a chemistry very close that of our blood and feeds the cells with exactly what they need the most. It is filled with electrolytes and minerals which help replenish hydration levels in the body. Coconut water contains a significant amount of electrolyte potassium, which brings the cells back to balance. For these reasons, coconut water is an incredible thirst quencher and the best natural sports or energy drink for athletes available.
After a day of surfing in Mexico, I was handed a fresh coconut with a straw coming out the top. The plentiful water tasted absolutely amazing and quenched my thirst immediately. A very memorable experience!
Coconut meat is a source of wonderfully healthy fats. It is composed primarily of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), which are digested and used by the body differently than longer chain fats. Rather than circulating in the bloodstream, MCFAs are quickly converted by the liver to energy and not stored as fat in the body when eaten in moderation. These fats help control blood sugar, raise good cholesterol, build up metabolism and keep you satiated and therefore are a very helpful tool for weight loss.
Enjoying ripe coconut meat right out of the nut itself is a real treat. Add fresh lime juice, cayenne and a pinch of sea salt for a delectable snack. The meat will be soft and juicy. Add fresh lime juice, cayenne and a pinch of sea salt for a delectable healthy snack. Shredded coconut is a great addition to granolas, hot cereals and desserts. One way Executive Chef Kristen of Kombu Kitchen gets creative with coconut meat is by pairing with sweet potatoes…delicious!
Like the meat, the oil of a Coconut contains Lauric Acid, a particular type of MCFA which is unique only to coconut and breast milk. It has strong anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties that are highly effective in fighting germs, bacteria and viruses. The many great ways to use coconut oil include cooking at higher heats. Some oils become carcinogenic at high temperatures, while coconut oil is a safer alternative and can add a hint of subtle sweetness to sauteed vegetables.
Bring your coconut oil into the bathroom to act as a body moisturizer, a hair conditioner and an incredible addition to your dental hygiene routine through Oil Pulling.
Other ways to consume coconut are by eating coconut butter, milk or flour…all derived from the meat of the nut. Chef Kristen has been known to use all forms of coconut in her culinary creations, such as adding coconut milk to soups, curries, and in her famous dairy free “no-gurts”, which I personally can’t get enough of!
So, I don't actually recommend you live soley on coconut...I mean there are so many more delicious foods in the world to enjoy...but what new way will you bring the benefits of coconut into your life? Please share!
©2015 Christy LeMire. All rights reserved.