The Nutritional Value of Coconuts

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The health benefits and nutritional value of coconut and how to incorporate it to your diet

Coconut is the fruit that comes from the palm trees, and it was originally grown in tropical regions, but got popular around the world due to its unique fresh flavor and its culinary uses. What most people don’t know is that coconut apart from its round shape and hairy shell has a high nutritional value and important health benefits.

Coconut meat and coconut milk

The white solid part of the coconut fruit is called coconut meat and it can be eaten raw cut into slices or even dried and grated. Coconut milk is made by pressing the raw meat and coconut oil is also extracted from that same part.

Coconut is one of the fruits that are not that high in carbohydrates, but it is quite high in fats. Coconut meat also contains protein, vitamin B and is a source of minerals like manganese and copper.

The benefits of coconut

Coconut consumption can promote good bone health and help in the metabolic process of protein, carbs, and cholesterols thanks to manganese.

Coconuts contain saturated fatty acids called lauric acid, that inside our body is converted to a very beneficial compound called monolaurin with antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties that can protect us from a variety of microorganisms that cause diseases. That’s why coconut milk consumption helps our body fight several viruses and infections.

Coconut water

Coconut water is the clear fluid that we find inside a coconut once we open it. Usually, it comes from young coconuts of 6-7 months and one fruit contains ½ to 1 cup of water. People drink it like a juice, but unlike most juices it is very low in sugar and calories.

The benefits of coconut water

Coconut water is well known as a rehydrating beverage great to consume after a workout session. In comparison to regular water, it is high in electrolytes as potassium, sodium, and manganese. It is a great alternative to sports beverages since it is effective in replenishing fluids and electrolytes after exercise, and it doesn’t have additives or artificial sweeteners. 

How to select store bought coconut milk and water

When you purchase coconut milk you have to be aware that it can go bad very quickly. Always check the expiration date on the can and once you have opened transfer it in a different container and keep it in the fridge. You can also make your own coconut milk by using unsweetened coconut flakes.

If you have a whole coconut, make a small hole on top and drink the coconut water with a straw but in case, you want to buy it in a bottle make sure it is 100% coconut water and doesn’t contain added sugars or preservatives. You can drink it after your workout session or use it in smoothies, it very hydrating, refreshing, and absolutely delicious.

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