From the water to the oil to the meat, the coconut is one of the most beneficial foods you can have in your diet. Not only does it boost your immunity, but it also has antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic properties. By absorbing coconut in any one of its many delicious forms, you are helping your body to fight off potential illnesses. The plethora of nutritious fibers, minerals, and vitamins in coconuts provide us with the nutrients we need to live a healthy life.
The palm tree, from which coconuts grow, has been referred to as “The Tree of Life” by Pacific Islanders for many years. Coconuts are the reason Tom Hanks survived on that island in Cast Away, right? The coconut is the Swiss Army knife of the plant kingdom. Contrary to popular belief, coconuts are actually drupes and not nuts like the name suggests. Drupes have three layers, each layer having the ability to perform a different function. For instance, the husk of the coconut can be braided into rope or used to make brushes, the meat can be consumed or made into oil, and the shell can be an instrument (Monty Python and the Holy Grail). Most of us are probably not picking coconuts off the palm and husking them ourselves, so we probably aren’t going to be braiding husks or making them into fishnets any time soon.
Coconut meat, which packs 61% of dietary fiber, rivals most fiber sources like wheat bran, oat bran, and rice. It helps the body develop healthy bones and teeth because it aids the body’s ability to absorb calcium and magnesium. When it comes to digestion there are two types of carbohydrates, digestible and non-digestible. Digestible carbs have starch, sugar, and promote calories, while non-digestible carbs don’t contain calories. The body cannot digest the dietary fiber in coconuts, meaning that it has zero effect on blood sugar and no calories are derived from it. The fiber actually slows the release of glucose into the blood stream, which means that less insulin is required to transport glucose into cells, where it converts into energy. It improves insulin secretion and helps reduce sugar cravings. So you won’t be craving your favorite sweets if you snack on coconut.