10 Amazing Health Benefits of the Coconut
The Coconut is one of the many iconic symbols of The Maldives, carrying a huge importance in Maldivian culture, food, history and traditions.
The Coconut is the fruit of the Coconut Palm (Cocos Nucifera), also known as the ‘Tree of Life’ in many countries. Every part of the coconut as well as the tree itself, can be used in a beneficial way. For example, the Coconut can be used for its water, milk, oil, meat, shell and husk - it is not only incredible in the culinary world, but also has immense health and beauty benefits that we will dive into in this blog post.
Coconuts have been a core ingredient and core remedy in tropical regions for over 4,500 years - they are highly nutritious, rich in fibre and filled with vitamins and minerals. Coconuts are a superfood with immense health benefits, medicinal uses and nutritional value.
Let’s explore the amazing and numerous health benefits of the coconut:
1. Coconuts are high in fibre & control diabetes
Coconuts are high in dietary fibre, which slows down the release of glucose. The fibre assists in relieving stress on the pancreas and enzyme systems which reduces the risk of developing diabetes. It controls diabetes by positively affecting the hormones for blood sugar control. This slows down the rise in blood sugar level and helps to reduce glycemic cravings.
2. Coconuts give you healthy bones and teeth
Eating coconut regularly supports the development of healthy bones and teeth. It improves the body’s ability to absorb calcium which aids bone development. It also prevents osteoporosis, a condition which makes the bones thin and fragile and loses its density.
3. Coconuts provide immense beauty benefits
By adding coconut oil in your beauty regimen, you will see a number of benefits. It is a natural skin softener and moisturiser, it reduces fine lines, puffiness, wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes and improves skin tone and skin elasticity. Coconut oil prevents skin infections and soothes sunburn - perfect for The Maldives!
Coconut oil is excellent for keeping the skin young and beautiful - its antioxidant property slows down the ageing process so, massage a few drops of coconut oil daily onto your skin before showering, this will open the pores and allow the oil to absorb through the skin more efficiently - keeping it healthy and smooth.
4. Coconuts beautify your hair
Coconut oil also conditions the hair, prevents split-ends and treats dandruff. Using coconut oil will lead to shiny and silky hair due to the Vitamin K and iron content in coconuts.
5. Coconuts help with digestion
Coconut benefits digestion and other symptoms associated with digestive and bowel disorders. It supports absorption of nutrients and minerals while providing dietary fibre. Drinking coconut water helps restore any electrolyte imbalances caused by diarrhea or vomiting and have antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
6. Coconuts provide an energy boost
Coconut water is a source of sugar, fibre, antioxidants, proteins, vitamins and minerals which altogether makes it a popular drink providing energy, hydration and endurance. The triglycerides found in coconut oil increase 24 hours of energy expenditure by 5% leading to weight loss in the long run.
7. Coconuts reduce your bursts of hunger
Coconuts are known to reduce random hunger outbursts. People who consistently use coconut products have a stronger ability to go without eating for several hours with no effects of hypoglycaemia. It also promotes healthy thyroid function and helps to relieve the symptom of chronic fatigue.
8. Coconuts boost your immunity
Coconut nutrition is excellent for the immunity system as it is antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic. The regular intake of coconut oil can help the body to mount resistance to both viruses and bacteria that cause illness. Consuming coconut in its raw form can help to treat some of the worst and most resilient illness like throat infections, bronchitis, urinary tract infection, tapeworms and other ailments caused by microbes. Coconut nutrition has also proven to have anti-cancer properties. It is especially beneficial to treat colon and breast cancer.
9. Coconuts treat abdominal fats
Coconut is also beneficial in treating fats in the abdominal cavity. Abdominal fats are the most dangerous of all the fats and are associated with various diseases. Research shows that “200 grams of coconut serving daily can lead to significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in just 12 weeks”.
10. Coconuts aid oral hygiene
Coconut water can also be used as a rinse-out mouth wash to kill mouth bacteria, reduce bad breath and improve the overall dental health.
Amazing right? Not only this, but the coconut can be used in many other ways too:
The Coconut Coir
This is the fibre on the outside of the husk which is used in ropes, doormats, potting compost, mattress stuffing, brushes, mats, rugs, joint sealer for boats and sacks. In The Maldives, the coir is essential to daily life and is used for building houses and household items.
The Coconut Husk & Shell
This is the outer part of the coconut, and is used in The Maldives as charcoal, handicrafts, buttons, sponges, musical instruments, or when burnt to ward off mosquitoes. When the husk is ground down, it is also used in cosmetics as a skin exfoliant.
An extremely popular drink for the humidity of the tropics, coconut water is refreshing and healthy. All coconuts contain water, however, the younger the fruit, the more water it has.
Coconut Oil is extracted from the dried coconut meat and it is magical, and with medicinal and nutritional benefits, you should definitely have coconut oil at home!
The milk of the coconut is extracted from the flesh or meat of the fruit has high saturated fat content. Coconut milk is used as the base of all Maldivian curries.
The flesh of the coconut is eaten either fresh or dried (the dried form is called copra) - it is super rich in vitamins.
All hail the magical coconut!
- Maldives Secrets