Coconut is a truly amazing food. I remember when I was studying nutrition in my undergrad, coconut had a horrible reputation for being a bad fat. My professors swore it off and highly suggested to stay away from it because it was a saturated fat that could clog your arteries. Looking back now I laugh at how far away from the truth that was.
From the meat, juice, milk and oil of a coconut, this super food has nourished populations and different cultures around the world for generations. It has been used as a medicinal food for centuries, helping with a variety of health issues, from malabsorption to infections.
These are my favorite reasons I use coconut in my diet:
1. Helps Assist with Weight Loss/ Maintenance
A large part of what makes coconut oil so special is that it’s a medium chain fat (or triglyceride). You may have heard of MCT oil, coconut is a great source of this. These fats are absorbed very differently in the body than other type of fats. They bypass the digestion process and go straight to the bloodstream. MCT oil provides quick energy for the body while still controlling blood sugar and is less likely to get stored in fat cells! It can actually help keep your body fat levels down while keeping energy levels up.
2. Easily Digested and Absorbed
Rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, coconut provides many health benefits beyond nutrition. MCT oil is easily absorbed by the body and is therefore ideal for individuals with digestive problems. Unlike other fats, it does not go through the lymphatic system. Instead, it is transported directly to the liver where it is metabolized and released as energy. It also improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients.
3. Lowers Inflammation Throughout the Body
Inflammation is at the root of all disease and health conditions, be it acute or chronic, and it is on the rise like never before in history. Because of this we are also seeing many people turn to dangerous anti-inflammatory drugs, when coconut oil has been proven to do just this! It is wonderful for pain relief and tissue repair. It has been shown to be effective against Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids and stomach ulcers. It functions as a antioxidant, so it protects against free radicals that promotes premature aging and degenerative disease.
4. Improves Immunity
If you want a strong immune system, you have to get coconut oil in your diet! The MCT oil found in coconut promotes intestinal health by killing pathogenic microorganisms that may promote inflammation,viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities. It’s highly effective at destroying fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
5. It’s Delicious!
Don’t need a whole lot of explanation here. If you’ve ever had a freshly opened coconut, you know what I am talking about. Even the by products of coconuts are delicious. From its oil to cook with, its milk for coffee (yumm!), the flour for baking, and its water as a natural electrolyte replacement, I cant get enough!
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