Coconut is one of the most nutritious foods that exist. In fact, the WHO recommends eating coconut occasionally for the elderly, children, youth, adults, athletes and even pregnant women.
What is the coconut?
Coconut is a fruit that grows on coconut trees. Because of this, coconut trees are the most widely cultivated type of palm on the planet. Its natural habitat is the tropical climate .
There is no single type of coconut tree, as there are hybrids, dwarfs and giants. To know if a coconut is at its optimum ripeness point, it is necessary to shake it, since it is a very hard fruit . When you hear a splash of water inside the coconut, it is an indication that the pulp is rancid. On the contrary, if nothing is heard, it means that the coconut is fresh.
The shelf life of coconut is an average of two months. After opening it, it is necessary to consume it the same day, unless it is kept in a container with water and sealed. If stored in a container, it can be kept for a maximum of five days .
Benefits of eating coconut
The reasons why it is so advisable to eat coconut in all its forms are that it has a large number of beneficial properties for the body.
It happens that it is a fruit with antiparasitic, antioxidant, bactericidal and beneficial properties for the immune system, liver and heart . Most of these properties are located in the coconut seed and can be used more when it reaches maturity. In the coconut seed it is possible to find high concentrations of trace elements, minerals and vitamins .
Among the most important benefits of eating coconut are the following:
It is ideal for weight gain diets
People with an ectomorph phenotype may have difficulty gaining weight, so they need special diets geared for this purpose. One of the most recommended foods for this kind of diet is coconut.
Improves heart health
Coconut water is able to lower blood pressure and lower triglyceride levels in people who have problems related to high cholesterol levels. In addition, its properties also contribute to the regulation of glucose levels in the blood. Therefore, coconut can help improve overall heart health.
It is a great moisturizer
Athletes can benefit from using coconut as a hydrating drink, since it is a fruit low in sugar and fat, which is effective in quenching thirst and is capable of providing enough calories to increase energy . In addition, it contains large amounts of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. In short, coconut is a natural isotonic drink.
It is remineralizing
Coconut is a powerful remineralizer, so it not only helps improve heart function, but also regulates muscle tone .
Works as an antioxidant
Coconut has high amounts of selenium and zinc, which are some of the best antioxidants out there. This is the reason why there are many cosmetic products made from coconut . Antioxidants are responsible for fighting free radicals responsible for premature aging, so eating coconut helps to have healthier skin.
Athletes can especially benefit from coconut not only because it is a great moisturizer, but also because it provides a great deal of energy. One of the best ways to take advantage of its energy benefits is through coconut shakes .
Detoxifies the body
The antioxidant properties of coconut ensure that it cleanses the kidney and contributes to the internal cleaning of the body. In addition, it contains minerals, natural sugar and vitamin C, which also helps in the elimination of urinary problems, gas and relieves vomiting.
Nutritional properties of coconut
With regard to the nutritional properties of coconut , these are the following:
- Its pulp contains large amounts of potassium and vitamin B.
- One hundred grams of coconut is equivalent to 354 kcal , which is divided into nine grams of fiber, thirty-three grams of fat, fifteen grams of carbohydrates and three grams of protein.
- Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils because it contains high concentrations of lauric acid, a fat that supports good cholesterol .
- One hundred grams of coconut oil equals 862 kcal and one hundred grams of fat.
- Coconut water has more potassium than four bananas, few calories, and contains no cholesterol .
- 100 ml of coconut water is equivalent to 19 kcal, four grams of carbohydrates, one gram of protein and one gram of fiber .
- Penelo, L. (2019, July 31). Coconut: nutritional value, benefits, properties and how to know when it is at its point. The vanguard. https://www.lavanguardia.com/comer/materia-prima/20180702/45479995942/fruta-coco-propiedades-valor-nutricional.html
- Parada, M. (2018, July 22). The coconut: a fruit full of properties and benefits. Avogel. https://www.avogel.es/blog/coco-propiedades/