Coconut’s traditional name reflects its numerous health benefits: kalpavriksha — Sanskrit for “the tree that supplies all that is needed to live.” Healers in ancient India recognized the coconut palm as a superior immunity booster, antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial therapy.
The coconut has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity. The natural health community and established Western medicine are beginning to fully appreciate its copious health benefits. While it is not fully understood how the coconut works its wonders, its capabilities are unquestioned. Coconut is able to stabilize blood sugar, lower cholesterol, hydrate and heal.
Coconut can also save lives. During World War II, medics reportedly extracted unadulterated coconut water from newly ripened coconuts and used it to supply electrolytes, necessary for cellular metabolism, intravenously.
Imbued with strong antioxidant properties, coconut’s health benefits include:
• Lowering cholesterol
• Improving digestion
• Preventing wrinkles
• Stabilizing glucose levels
• Defending against viruses
• Regenerating cells
• Balancing hormones
• Increasing thyroid production
• Reducing weight
• Increasing metabolism
• Fighting infections
• Staving off memory loss
• Killing bacteria
The benefits of this revered food can be enjoyed in all of coconut’s many forms — as coconut flesh, coconut water, coconut oil and coconut cream.
Consider coconut oil, which beats even extra virgin olive oil when it comes to delivering essential nutrients to the body. Unlike other fats and oils traditionally used for cooking, coconut oil does not manifest as polymerized oils or dangerous trans fatty acids in our bodies. Other oils can increase cholesterol levels, clog arteries and even make skin lose elasticity and firmness. Coconut oil delivers a healthy dose of antioxidants, which rejuvenate cells and enhance overall health.
Coconut Promotes Health Benefits In Many Different Forms
Whether you are looking to ward off disease or capture a more youthful look, coconut comes to the rescue.
Here are a few suggestions about benefitting from this superfood:
- Coconut Water: No need for alkaline water filters, the coconut filters its water naturally during the nine months leading up to the fruit’s maturation. Be assured that the coconut water you drink is completely pure and sterile.
Coconut water is also a wonderful substitute for sports drinks because it is high in electrolytes that are lost in sweat. In fact, coconuts contain a higher concentration of electrolytes than any other natural substance.
- Coconut Oil: Not just for baking, coconut oil can also be applied topically to draw out toxins and impurities from the skin. Coconut oil naturally softens and hydrates skin, making it look and feel more youthful.
A lesser-known benefit of coconut oil is its ability to protect your teeth against cavities and disease. For stronger, healthier teeth and gums, apply a small amount of coconut oil daily.
Coconut oil also promotes weight loss. Replacing unsaturated fats and oils with pure coconut oil may be enough to help you shed excess pounds. Oils such as canola, corn and other vegetable oils contain unsaturated fats, which pack on pounds when they curb your metabolism. Our bodies are subsequently unable to properly metabolize calories and fats, which end up stored on the body as extra weight.
Coconut oil has the opposite effect. It encourages thyroid function and increases metabolism.
- Coconut Cream: This luxury cream is superior to other skin creams because it restores elasticity and radiance to the skin in a healthier fashion. Conventional skin creams actually deplete the skin by hydrating with fats and oils. Those other fats and oils break down the skin’s elasticity over time.
Whenever shopping for coconut, choose coconut that delivers maximum benefits to your immune system, metabolism, skin and overall health and well-being. Opt for wild coconuts and always choose young coconuts which are made of the purest unsaturated fat. Look for coconuts that are tinted green and irregularly shaped. More mature and hairy varieties are less potent coconuts.
If you are traveling to a tropical paradise, be sure to take advantage of the many benefits of coconuts. Local health food stores or Asian grocers carry exported coconuts from all over the world, allowing you to enjoy the many health benefits of the coconut regardless of your location.