Coconut is considered one of the wonders in the plant world, And the strange thing about coconut, that the benefit is not from the fruit alone, but from the whole tree, And its oil and water.
Thescientific name of the coconut is Cocos nucifera and it belongs to the family Arecaceae or palm.
The fruit or kernel is scientifically known as drupe.
The origin of coconut
Coconuts are believed to be native to the Indian Malay regions.
At the beginning of the fifteenth century, “Coconut” entered Africa and slowly spread to Europe.
Palms generally grow in tropical climates next to the Indo-Pacific Oceans.
The fruit is cultivated from the Hawaiian Islands, West Indies, Jamaica, Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
There is evidence that this fruit was used in India more than 3,000 years ago. It is considered one of the most sacred fruits in the country and is presented to the gods as symbols of gratitude.
One of the names for “coconut” in Sanskrit is Kalpa-Vriksha which means “tree that fulfills desires.”
The fruit is about 20 to 30 cm long, it is covered with layers of fibers, and the skin itself is very hard, waterproof.
Nutritional value of coconut
Here are the nutrition facts about one fruit weighing (100 grams) of coconut:
- Natural Coconut
- A coconut fruit weighing about 100 g contains 47 g of water
Health Benefits of Coconut
- Highly nutritious: unlike many other fruits that are high in carbohydrates, Coconut mostly provides nutritious fats.
They also contain protein, many important minerals, and small amounts of B vitamins, which help form red blood cells, protect against oxidative stress and promote bone health.
- Promotes heart health: Studies have found that people who eat coconut often have lower rates of heart disease.
- Promote blood sugar control: Coconut is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber and fat. This helps stabilize blood sugar.
Some tests and studies were also conducted on mice and it was discovered that there are anti-diabetic effects due to the arginine found in coconut.
It is an amino acid of high importance in the operation of pancreatic cells, Which secretes insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.
- Contains powerful antioxidants: It contains phenolic compounds, which help protect cells from oxidation.
Some animal studies have shown that the antioxidants found in coconut may help protect cells from damage.
Coconut water can also be obtained from the raw fruit itself, They contain many nutritional values and offer a lot of health benefits.
Nutritional value of coconut water
Water “Coconut” contains energy, protein, fat, carbohydrates, sugar and dietary fiber.
The mineral content of coconut water includes calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.
The vitamins contained in the water “coconut” include vitamin B6, vitamin C and vitamin E, As well as vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and folate.
Health Benefits of Coconut Water
- Moisturizing the body as the minerals in coconut water work, Like potassium and sodium, on the balance of water levels in the body.
- Drinking one or two cups of coconut water after a long day in the sun can restore lost minerals, vitamins, and energy.
- Improve digestion: Coconut water is an effective remedy for gastroenteritis, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, and flatulence.
Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.”
This oil includes a unique fatty acid formula that can have positive effects on your health.
Among those health benefits, fat loss, Improved brain function and many other health benefits.
Coconut oil has grown in popularity in recent years due to its well-known health benefits.
But in general, Research does not support increased consumption of saturated fats, Including coconut oil.
This is not to say that coconut oil should be avoided altogether, But if you use it, Look for virgin coconut oil and use it in moderation.
Properties of coconut oil
coconut oil consists mostly of saturated fatty acids (about 94%), With a good (above 62%) of medium-chain fatty acids among them.
colorless coconut oil, But it is white when it is in its solid form.
The typical smell of coconut oil is the smell of coconut.
Coconut oil dissolves at a temperature of 25 °C.
Coconut oil forms a white homogeneous mixture when thoroughly whipped with a little water.
It helps to soften hair and skin.
Coconut oil shows oxidation and interaction with other acids.
The ratio of different fatty acids, vitamins, moisture and other nutrients may vary depending on the quality.
You may be interested in reading what is fat and is fat harmful or beneficial?
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
- Coconut oil contains fatty acids with effective medicinal properties, Among them is a high content of healthy saturated fats.
These fats have different effects than most other fats in your diet. By providing the body and brain with fast energy.
It also raises the level of good cholesterol in the blood, Which is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
When you eat these types of fat, They go directly to the liver, They are used as a quick source of energy or converted into ketones.
These ketones have powerful benefits for the brain. They are used as a treatment for epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
- It can kill harmful microorganisms: Coconut oil contains lauric acid that can kill harmful pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
These substances have been shown to help kill Staphylococcus aureus bacteria .
- Coconut oil reduces hunger, It helps you eat less, This is related to the way fat is metabolized, Because ketones can have an appetite-reducing effect.
- Coconut oil can protect skin, hair and dental health, Studies in individuals with dry skin suggest that it can improve the moisture content of the skin.
It can also reduce eczema symptoms, In addition to its ability to counteract hair damage, One study showed its effectiveness as a sunscreen.
- Enhance brain function in Alzheimer’s patients, which is the most common cause of dementia worldwide.
In one study conducted in 2006, The consumption of triglycerides found in coconut oil led to an improvement in brain function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Coconut oil acts as an excellent massage oil and moisturizing skin, It also treats skin problems, In addition to being used as a lip gel, And heal the signs of aging.
It can also be used as a skin cleanser , treating cracked legs, dark circles, US studies also claim that coconut oil is beneficial for diseases such as acne, psoriasis and eczema.
Does coconut oil fatten
Coconut oil ensures the stability of blood sugar so that any ups and downs are avoided, Which is why it is effective in weight loss.
Some research suggests that it supports thyroid function to achieve a healthy weight.
Coconut oil is also an antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral.
Research has shown that thin people tend to have a more diverse and beneficial gut microbiome than overweight and obese individuals.
Thus, Using coconut oil can help change this microbial balance for the better in the long run.
This is evident in countries that consume coconut in their diets such as the Philippines, India and the Pacific Islands. It has fewer cases of obesity.
How to use coconut oil to lose weight?
Twenty minutes before a meal is the best time to take coconut oil because it will significantly reduce your appetite and help you feel full more quickly.
It is preferable to liquefy coconut oil by adding hot water, Or broths or herbal teas.
Instead, You can simply take coconut oil and let it dissolve in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing.
Types of coconut oil
- Unrefined coconut oil which is the pure oil, which is extracted in a quick manner, Through quick drying and then mechanically grind the fruit.
- Refined coconut oil consists of dried coconut meat, Meat is bleached and processed to reduce potential bacteria.
The coconut oil is then processed through a high temperature to extract the flavor and aroma of coconut from the oil.
Tips when buying coconut oil
When buying coconut oil products, avoid any packaged or processed foods that contain partially hydrogenated coconut oil.
Store coconut oil should be in a cool and dark place, Like other saturated fats, It is solid at room temperature and liquefied when heated.
in bread, Gives coconut oil a mild and attractive flavor, It can be replaced with butter, And it works well as a vegetarian alternative to vegan recipes.
Industrial Uses of Coconut
Coconut palm is cultivated in more than 80 countries around the world, especially the tropics, particularly the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Brazil.
Coconut is of great economic importance to large producers, Where the roots are used to make dyes, It is used as a toothbrush, And mouthwash.
As for the coconut leaves, It was used in the Maldives as a roofing material for houses, are used for cooking, and storage in the Philippines.
As for the outer fibers of the coconut, They are used in the manufacture of ropes, fertilizer, and filling mattresses, mats, mats, and carpets.
In Brazil, The tea is made from coconut shell fiber, It can also be used as a feeder for birds, And a haven for small birds and rodents.
Learn about the calories of coconut powder