Health Benefits of Coconuts

by Emily Cohen

 

Coconuts have been popping up everywhere in the food and beauty industries as of late, but why? Yes, they add a new flavor to a normally mundane meal, but the coconut also provides a huge amount of recently discovered health benefits as well. Take a peak.

 

Coconut Oil– According to nutritionist Shira Lenchewski, RD., it has been proven to be one of the healthiest oils to cook with, more so than olive oil or flax seed oil. Lenchewski explains, “Unlike animal fats, which are made up of long chain triglycerides (LCT), coconut oil is made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCT). MCTs are metabolized more rapidly in the body than LCTs, so there’s increased fat burning potential.” As an added bonus, coconut oil can be used as a healthy alternative to butter when cooking or even in everyday life.


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Look for coconut oil the next time you hit a health foods store. This one can be found at Sprouts.

 

Coconut Milk– Not to be confused with coconut water, coconut milk is made from the flesh or meat of the coconut and contains a number of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins including C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous are jam packed into this superfood, according to BBC Good Foods. Additionally, coconut milk is naturally lactose free and soy free, making it a popular substitute for those with lactose intolerance and for those who are vegan or allergic to soy products.

 

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You can find coconuts in almost any supermarket. Here they are in the raw.

 

Coconut Water– Out of all the coconut products surfacing in every nook and cranny, coconut water was the first to come about. But why is it so good for everyone who drinks it? According to Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, coconut water has been dubbed “Mother Nature’s sports drink” due to the fact that it is more hydrating than regular water, contains electrolytes, and has more potassium than eating four bananas.