Long prized for its sweet flavor and high fiber content, coconut has been deemed by many health gurus to be a superfood – but its uses go back far longer than most of us can imagine.
From coconut oil to coconut water, this food truly has the potential to do it all. It makes a great post-exercise drink, produces the perfect healthy fat to use in food preparation, and even coconut flour is, it turns out, healthier for us than wheat bran.
But there’s even more to this food than that.
Coconut Oil And Brain Health
The fact of the matter is, our brains need fat in order to function. All fats will help improve your mood, but coconut oil in particular is associated with anti-stress and anti-depression benefits due to being a medium-chain fatty acid.
“Virgin coconut oil (VCO), which may be produced from fresh coconut meat, coconut milk or coconut milk residue, is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (TGs) and lauric acid. VCO has been widely consumed as a health food and has also been utilized for cosmeceutical purposes. Previous studies reported the benefits of VCO consumption, including antiulcerogenic, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, antihypercholerolemic, antomicrobial and hepatoprotective effects… as VCO is rich in medium-chain fatty acids and polyphenols, it may be used as an antistress and antidepressant nutritional oil,” one study claims.
Coconut oil and gastrointestinal tract
Coconut oil enhances digestive function in lab animals. It is high in fiber, which means it does miracles for the digestive tract.
Coconut oil is abundant in fiber, and it is an excellent alternative to refined white flour.
Coconut oil and cardiovascular health
It is a common belief that saturated fats harm heart health, but a thorough 2010 review showed exactly the opposite.
‘’There is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD,’’ was stated in the review.
In other words, there is nothing wrong about cooking with coconut oil.
Moreover, coconut oil regulates cholesterol levels, and has great impact on lipid parameters and in vitro LDL oxidation. This aids in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
The market is flooded with coconut products, especially since it has become quite popular in the US. Having so many options is pretty confusing right?
If you do not know which product to pick, always go for the organic produce. Coconut products are immensely popular, but most of the products are signed by unreliable companies who use production processes that destroy the nutritional value of the product. Always look for USDA certified organic seal.
Pick raw and unsweetened coconut shreds, and extra-virgin, cold-pressed and raw coconut oil. That is the only way to be sure that you are getting a product that has been slightly processed.
And yes, stay away from GMO products. These products will not kill you, but they are rather unsustainable and destroy both environment and livelihood of coconut farmers.