Coconut is used in many food preparations due to its delicious taste and long list of health benefits. It is one of the best ingredients to give a dish sweet, rich and milky flavour, a pleasant aroma and a good taste. Although coconut is the favourite ingredient in southern and western parts of India due to its easy and fresh availability there, however other regions of the country also include this fruit in many of their sweet and savoury recipes.
Coconut can be bought in many forms – fresh, desiccated or creamed, oil or milk form or coconut water. This fruit provides an edible kernel or seed, water, milk and oil. All its forms serve as rich source of nutrients. Undoubtedly, this tasty superfood deserves to be included in your daily diet to enjoy overall health benefits.
Read on to know how consuming coconut in its various forms can make you healthier:
Boosts energy levels: Eating coconut burns body fat and thus it energises you.
Hydrates the body in the best way: Drinking coconut water hydrates your body and also provides it with electrolytes. This water is full of nutrients and very tasty to drink.
Prevents and cures cancer: Coconut contains cancer-fighting properties. It can combat certain cancers, such as colon and breast cancer.
Helps form red blood cells: Coconut is a rich source of iron which helps in formation of red blood cells.
Lowers blood sugar levels: Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids which can fight insulin resistance and thus prevent type-2 diabetes. Coconut water is also a good source of magnesium which may increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels. Eating raw coconut can also control blood sugar being high in amino acids, healthy fats and fibre.
Improves immune function: Coconut oil is rich in naturally occurring medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) fatty acids that are easily absorbed into the bloodstream. The fruit also contains a lipid called as lauric acid. Lauric acid has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can support the immune system. Also, along with its lauric acid content, MCTs fight parasites, yeast, bacteria and common viruses. Eating raw coconut treats throat infections, bronchitis, urinary tract infection, tapeworms and other ailments caused by microbes.
Reduces risk of heart disease: Coconut oil decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving HDL levels. Thus it improves the cholesterol ratio and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Protects liver: MCTs in coconut help the liver detoxify. This fruit is safe for liver cleansing because MCTs are not stored as fat and they are used for immediate energy.
Aids weight-loss: Coconut oil is a weight-loss-friendly fat. It contains a unique combination of fatty acids with powerful effects on metabolism. Adding coconut oil to your diet can help you lose fat especially the belly fat. It may help burn more calories in a day which may aid weight-loss.
Prevents and cures acidity: Coconut water prevents and cures acidity. Coconut water can help alleviate acidity and heartburn problems.
Good for bones and teeth: Eating coconut regularly improves the body’s ability to absorb calcium and manganese which aid bone development and prevent osteoporosis. Coconut water improves overall dental health. It kills bacteria in the mouth and reduces bad breath.
Improves hair health: Eating or applying coconut oil in your hair stimulates hair growth, prevents hair breakage and split ends. It also promotes scalp health by fighting against insect bite, lice and dandruff. It provides the hair with natural shine and softness. It restores lost moisture to the scalp and hair.
Good for skin: Coconut oil improves the health of skin. It is used in many cosmetic products. Coconut oil acts as natural moisture for the body. It prevents dryness, repairs damaged skin cells and combats skin infection. It keeps skin young, healthy and radiant. Eating this fruit also hydrates the skin and boosts oxygen in it.
Although considered something exotic, coconut has made its way into regular diet too – from oil and dairy substitute to flavourful dishes and desserts to ever-rising coconut water trend. Rich in nutrients, minerals and antioxidants and having antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties, coconut is one of the best foods to be added in your daily diet.