The Pacific Islanders call the coconut palm “The Tree of Life,” believing that its fruit cures all illnesses. It provides nutmeat, milk, and oil that can be used for a variety of purposes, but are most especially excellent for the body when ingested.
There was a time when the medical community discouraged the consumption of coconut since it is high in saturated fat. However, research has shown that the saturated fat in coconut is different from what you might find in cheese or red meat. Instead of the long-chain fatty acids that make up most saturated fats, coconut is made up of medium-chain fatty acids called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). When eaten in the right amounts, these fatty acids go straight to the liver where they are processed right away rather than being stored.
The benefits of coconut and its amazing attributes have made it one of the most sought-after superfoods in the world. Whether you eat the meat, drink the milk, or cook with the oil, it can:
- Help with weight loss—Most medical professionals agree that it is not only how many calories you consume that affect weight, but also the sources of those calories. Coconut is not a low calorie food, but the MCTs provide an immediate source of energy and speed up the metabolism, potentially resulting in a significant weight loss over time. Also, coconut stabilizes your glucose levels, making you feel full for longer without a dip in blood sugar. You will consume less calories over the course of the day, making it easier to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
- Improve your heart’s health—The MCTs in coconut oil raise HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, as well as improve blood flow and coagulation. All of these factors will keep your circulatory system functioning properly and lower your risk of heart disease.
- Strengthen your immune system—Nearly 50% of the fatty acids in coconut are lauric acid. These fats boost the immune system by killing harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The only other source with such a high concentration of lauric acid is human breast milk.
- Stimulate your memory—When the MCTs are sent to the liver after digestion, they are turned into ketone bodies, which are water-soluble molecules that the body uses for energy when glucose is not available. In patients with Alzheimer’s, there seems to be a reduced ability to use glucose for energy. When there is a high number of ketone bodies available, it provides an alternative source of energy for these malfunctioning cells and immediately reduces the symptoms of the disease. Even people who do not suffer from Alzheimer’s find a significant improvement in their memory and brain function when they have extra ketone bodies in their system.
- Give you a beautiful complexion—Not only is coconut fantastic for the inner workings of your body, but it also does amazing things for your skin. The antioxidants it provides help prevent wrinkles, and the fats hydrate your skin, lessen breakouts, and even its tone. If you want to go the extra mile, apply a little bit of coconut oil directly to your face and body as a moisturizer.
The recommended daily amount of coconut is 1-3 tablespoons. CocoBacon’s serving size of 2 tablespoons is the perfect amount for you to eat every day. Put it on soup, salads, pizza, desserts, or just eat it by itself. Once you begin to include coconut regularly in your diet, you will be amazed at the positive changes you experience in your health!