Did you know that coconuts are technically not a nut?! They are actually the fruit of the coconut palm and they have been being used in tropical regions for over 4,000 years but have recently gained popularity due to the fact that they are packed full of health benefits!
Coconut can be processed and used in so many different ways, from drying the coconut meat, to pressing it to make coconut milk and cream (like what we use in our freezies), to extracting coconut oil from it - the uses are endless.
Nutrients In Coconut
Coconut is high in fat and protein, contains small amounts of B vitamins, as well as good amounts of many important minerals like manganese which is essential for bone health and the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and cholesterol. Coconut is also rich in copper and iron, which help form red blood cells, as well as selenium, an important antioxidant that protects the cells.
A large amount of the fat found in coconut is Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCTs) the body metabolizes MCTs differently than other types of fats, and absorbs them directly from your small intestine and can quickly use them for energy.
Consuming virgin coconut oil has been shown to have a positive effect on lowering cholesterol levels, and helps to reduce bellyful, both of which are risk factors in heart disease.
Coconut is low in carbs and high in amino acids, fibre and fat, which all help to stabilize blood sugar. The high fibre content of coconut meat can also help slow digestion and improve insulin resistance which can help regulate blood sugar levels as well!
The meat of the coconut contains phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants that may help protect cells from oxidative damage and the polyphenols found in it can prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, making it less likely to form plaques in arteries of the heart therefore lowering the chance of heart disease.
How to Add More Coconut to Your Diet
- Coconut oil - has one of the higher smoke points out of most cooking oils so this is a great choice to use when cooking!
- Shredded or flaked coconut - great to add to baking, on top of salads, oatmeal, etc.
- Coconut flour - a great gluten, wheat and nut free flour substitute.
- Coconut sugar - a lower glycemic sugar option.
- Coconut milk - great in curries, soups, smoothies, etc.
- Tubify Freezies - we use organic coconut cream in our coconut koala café latté freezie and our mango tiger freezie!
Enjoy - @tubify