5 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Coconut
From lowering blood sugar levels to reducing heart disease risk, coconut offers countless incredible health benefits. It is used for its raw white meat, water, oil, and milk. The unique combination of fatty acids in it can have positive effects on your physical and mental health.
Coconuts, which come from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera), have been grown in tropical regions for over 4,500 years. Despite having ‘nut’ in its name, coconut is considered a fruit. It is widely marketed as an exotic superfood due to its culinary uses and nutrition benefits. The fruit is packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
The raw white meat of the coconut is called the kernel. You can scrap it out of the cell and consume it. Also, fresh meat can be pressed to convert it into milk or cream. In the case of dried coconut, the meat can be processed to make flour.
The fruit is loaded with nutrients, including minerals that promote health. Here are some more benefits of having coconuts in your diet.
It is a Rich Source of Nutrients
Coconuts can supply essential minerals like protein, fiber, iron, carb, calcium, vitamin C, magnesium, sodium, and potassium to your body. Only 240 ml of coconut water contains just around 45 calories. Also, it has 3-gram fiber and 9-gram carb.
If you are consuming raw coconut meat, then a serving of 100 grams can add 354 calories to your diet. In the case of dried meat, the number rises to 650.
It Helps Stabilize Blood Sugar
Fiber and fat come in abundance in coconut, but carbs are available in low amounts; it makes the fruit an excellent food to control blood sugar.
A 2011 study on rats with diabetes discovered that coconut’s arginine content, which is responsible for pancreatic cell functioning, helped control blood sugar insulin levels. Rats that were given coconut meat had better levels than subjects that did not take the supplement.
It Contains Powerful Antioxidants
Coconut in all forms has powerful antioxidants that support the protection of cells against oxidative damage. The polyphenols in the fruit can be helpful in preventing the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol. A study in 2017 reported that the polyphenols of coconut oil played a vital role in preventing pro-oxidant mediated cell death.
It Helps Reduce Blood Pressure
Coconut water is an effective treatment against elevated blood pressure. Only 8 ounces of coconut water can add 600 mg of potassium to your body and lower blood pressure.
A small study, which included participants with high blood pressure, found that the liquid improved systolic blood pressure in more than one-third of the participants.
It is a Source of Hydration
Sweet and fresh, coconut water is an easily available product that comes in bottles. Also, you can get a green coconut and start drinking. You should get 100% coconut water that comes directly from the coconut to stay hydrated without consuming sugar.
The Bottom Line
Coconut is a delicious, high-fat fruit that comes with disease-fighting antioxidants and improves blood sugar levels. Whether you eat raw white meat or drink coconut water, the fruit is a healthy addition to your daily diet.
See Related Article: Health Benefits of Avocado