Coo-Coo for Coconuts Part I!
By Tia Taylor
Hey healthy readers...welcome to "Tidbits with Tia" where you will find information that will hopefully help guide you in becoming a healthier you!
This edition's tidbit comes by way of the almighty coconut! Why coconuts you say? Well overall, coconuts have an abundance of nutritional and health related benefits which I will share with you because as we all know..SHARING IS CARING!
First…. Lets start with identifying our guest of honor, the coconut! One of the most common questions asked by patients with tree nut allergies and people in general is whether a coconut is a fruit, seed or a nut. Well, the answer is a little complicated. Botanically, the coconut is classified as a fruit- more specifically, a DRUPE. Drupes are more commonly called stone fruits or fruits with a hard stony covering enclosing the see. Stone fruits include peaches, nectarines, olives and cherries. Coconuts can be classified as a fruit, a nut, AND a seed...BUUUT it isn't technically either one!
Interesting! Have you ever seen a green coconut? If you have, you have probably seen a coconut in its most "natural" state. I say that because most coconuts we buy at our local supermarket or fruit stand do not resemble the coconuts you would find growing on a coconut palm. A coconut fresh off a coconut palm has three layers. The outermost layer is smooth with a greenish color; it’s called the exocarp. The next layer is the fibrous husk that surrounds the hard woody layer called the endocarp and the endocarp surrounds the seed (Aaah THIS is what makes it a DRUPE. remember?). So, generally speaking, when you buy a coconut at the supermarket the exocarp and the mesocarp are removed and what you see is the endocarp. Follow me so far? Every bit of a coconut can be used to produce drinks, fiber, food, fuel, utensils, musical instruments, and much more! As a result, coconuts are called the “Tree of Life". Did you know that coconut water is so similar to human plasma that it is not uncommon for coconut water to be used in third world countries to save human lives? Yes, coconut water can actually be used in extreme emergencies to quickly rehydrate the human body if administered intravenously! How awesome is that?
Lets get to some other health and nutritional benefits of the almighty COCONUT and its properties!
1. Coconut water is known as a natural energy sports drink due to its abundance of electrolytes
2.Coconut water is high in potassium and mineral content and also contains Vitamin C and B vitamins including B1, B6 and B9. (By the way, Vitamin B1 helps to break down sugars in the body...diabetics listen up!)
3. Coconut oil can kill microorganisms inside of our bodies
4. Coconut water is a natural diuretic (So mover over Ex-Lax!)
5. Coconut water is fat and cholesterol free! AND also a low caloric food! (I like the sound of that!)
6. Coconut oil is high in healthy saturated fats that may aid in fat burning and providing your body and brain with quick energy
7. Coconut water can boost metabolism and aid in weight loss
8. Coconut water may also support heart health, reduce blood pressure and aid in the prevention of diabetes!
9. Coconut meat is high in fiber AND high in manganese (which helps metabolize fat and protein AND helps aid against weak bones and painful joints)
10. Coconut meat provides a significant amount of potassium and copper and….it taste pretty darn good !
Those are just SOME of the benefits! So, tell me…do you plan on incorporating coconuts into your diet??
Until next time...stay informed, stay aware and stay healthy!
Remember to talk to your healthcare team before making changes to your diet.
Next "Tidbit with Tia" coming soon…
Coo-Coo for Coconuts Part II - Recipes
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