Amazing benefits of coconut abound, although some question its effect on cholesterol.
A few years ago during a wellness exam, I was shocked to hear my cholesterol had gone up. Normally, my bloodwork was healthy.
Seeing my concern, the nurse quickly assured me that while my overall cholesterol was higher, my bad (LDL) cholesterol was down and my good (HDL) cholesterol was up.
What had changed? My diet was the same. Although, I had started a new morning habit of drinking sugar-free hot cocoa.
To this, I added 2 tablespoons of coconut cream for a creamy and smooth drink without dairy. This is the only consistent thing that had changed over that year. So, yes, coconut does raise your cholesterol numbers, but in a very good way.
Like many of you, I have added coconut to my diet, knowing that it is a healthy fat. The benefits of coconuts are plentiful and Katie from Healthy Peace of Mind is here today to tell us all about them.
Coconut is an Amazing Superfood
Coconut is one of the healthiest foods on the planet and it has been making a significant comeback in the past couple of years.
Don’t listen to the negative reputation coconut gets about being high in saturated fats and damaging to your heart.
Coconut has loads of health benefits.
In fact, in recent years, coconut has become known as a superfood.
A superfood is a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. It helps in so many different ways, from improved skin and hair to help with weight loss, digestion, and even heart disease.
The Many Amazing Forms of Coconut
Coconut comes in different forms. All parts of the coconut have a purpose, and each has excellent health benefits.
- Meat: The white flesh inside of the coconut – raw coconut.
- Milk: The white milky substance extracted from the white flesh of mature coconuts.
- Water: The juice found in the middle of the coconut.
- Oil: Extracted from the meat or kernel of mature coconuts.
Amazing Benefits of Eating Raw Coconut
Raw shredded coconut is the meat of the coconut that has been dried and shaved. Eating raw coconut is delicious and nutritious and is full of minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
It is also easy to integrate into other foods; often, it is served alongside desserts or as a garnish.
There are different types of coconut meat. The kind of coconut meat can make a difference in its flavor, texture, and how you use it in a recipe. Older coconut meat is crunchier and thicker, while young coconut meat is tender and soft.
Depending on where you live, it might not be as easy to obtain a whole coconut. Although, you should be able to find raw coconut in the frozen section of your supermarket.
Dried coconut, which is typically considered a raw food, can often be easier to find as it doesn’t need refrigeration.
The most common form is raw shredded coconut and can be easily added to the top of yogurt, in a smoothie, or on a delicious dessert.
1. Helps Digestive System
Coconut is excellent if you struggle with digestive issues. The fiber in coconut meat is important at keeping your digestive tract moving. It keeps constipation away and helps keep your digestive system healthy.
Plus, the anti-inflammatory properties in coconut help with digestive disorders, bowel disorders, and help your body absorb more nutrients.
2. Lose Weight Eating Coconut Meat
Coconut also happens to be amazing at helping with weight loss or to avoid weight gain. Adding more coconut to your diet burns fat and helps raise your metabolism.
It gives you more energy, which helps you to stick with your regular workout routines.
Bonus Tip: You can also replace regular sugar with coconut palm sugar, which is much better for you.
Amazing Benefits of Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is the milky white substance extracted from the white flesh of mature coconuts. It has many health benefits, such as stimulating weight loss, raising good cholesterol, and lowering bad cholesterol.
3. Weight Loss with Coconut Milk
Coconut milk includes medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which have been shown to aid with weight loss. MCTs, stimulate energy through heat production, or a process called thermogenesis.
Recent studies suggest that MCTs increase insulin sensitivity, and it is believed that this sensitivity promotes weight loss. Insulin is an essential hormone that breaks down glucose and controls blood sugar levels.
4. Heart Healthy Coconut Milk
Coconut milk can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
It can help improve good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol in your body.
This will help lower blood pressure levels, all of which help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
5. Boosts Immune System
Coconuts milk contains a fatty acid called lauric acid, and many researchers believe that it supports the immune system.
Some research has found lauric acid has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Simple Strawberry Banana Smoothie
- 1 Cup Coconut Milk
- 1 Cup Mixed Greens
- 1/2 Banana
- 1 Cup frozen strawberries
- Honey, to taste
Measure out the coconut milk, banana, and mixed greens in the blender and blend. Then add the frozen berries and honey, and blend again. Add more coconut milk if needed.
Amazing Benefits of Coconut Water
Coconut water is the juice found in the center of a coconut. It helps nourish the fruit and you when you drink it.
It forms naturally in the fruit and contains 94% water and very little fat.
6. Weight Loss with Coconut Water
Because of its high water content and electrolytes, coconut water is the perfect sports drink.
Drinking more coconut water while trying to lose weight not only hydrates you but keeps you from drinking more harmful beverages.
Coconut water is good for curbing your appetite and reducing cravings. Especially if you are someone that often struggles with sugar cravings.
7. Clean Drink Alternative
It’s hard to know what drinks are good for you aside from water. When it comes to labeling, drinks might say they’re healthy and good, but if you read the ingredient label, there are many harmful ingredients.
100% Coconut water is easy to bring with you when you want a delicious flavored drink with nothing terrible added to it.
8. It Hydrates You Quickly
Coconut water can be even better than regular water. It works wonders at hydrating you quickly thanks to all of its nutrients. If you are dehydrated and hot from a long run, hike or day in the sun, you want to have some coconut water on hand.
9. Improves Your Skin
Coconut water does wonders for your skin, because drinking more, and hydrating properly, helps with your skin quality. You will have youthful, glowing, beautiful skin with smaller pores and fewer breakouts when you add coconut water to your diet. You can drink it plain or add it to various recipes like broth soup, smoothies, and homemade fruit juice.
Tropical Coconut Water Smoothie
- 2 Medium Bananas
- 1.5 Cups Coconut Water
- 2 Cups Frozen Pineapple Chunks
- 2 Cups Orange Juice
Place all ingredients in blender and blend. Pour and enjoy
Amazing Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil comes from coconut kernels. It is colorless and available for purchase as refined and unrefined coconut oil. Coconut oil is body-friendly in that it is heart-healthy, great for oral health, and has many other health benefits.
A great way to get coconut oil daily is by putting a teaspoon or two into your morning coffee. Not only does it add a great little coconut taste, but you receive all of its many benefits.
10. Hormone Balance with Coconut oil
Coconut oil benefits your hormones as well! Coconut oil can naturally balance hormones because it is an excellent source of saturated fat, including lauric acid.
Studies have found that coconut oil may be an excellent fat to consume during menopause and has positive effects on estrogen levels.
11. Improve Digestion with Coconut Oil
Coconut improves digestion as it helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, calcium, and magnesium. Coconut oil will help improve bacteria and gut health by destroying harmful bacteria and candida.
12. Moisturize your skin with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is ideal for moisturizing your skin and helps with any dryness. It can replace some of the missing moisture in your skin and works miracles for you.
13. Make Your Own Skincare
A great way to get the benefits of coconut oil is by adding it to homemade beauty products. Coconut oil is easy to incorporate into your favorite DIY skincare with its many amazing benefits for your skin.
Check out my favorite Body Butter recipe that contains coconut oil.
14. Helps Reduce the Signs of Aging
If you are concerned about fine lines and wrinkles, then applying coconut oil to your skin is perfect for you. It has natural collagen that can help promote growth in your skin, which is what helps it keep its elasticity.
15. Improves Skin, Hair, and Nails
Coconut oil can also improve your features. Upon introducing coconut oil to your diet, you will notice an improvement in your hair, skin, and nails.
You can also use coconut oil externally on your hair to increase health and shine.
Coconut Oil Hair Mask
- 2 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 2 Tablespoon Honey
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 10 Drops Lavender
Mix all ingredients, and apply to damp hair. After that, leave in for at least 30 minutes. For best results, keep in overnight. Shampoo out in the shower.
Enjoy Coconut’s Amazing Benefits Today!
The benefits of coconut never stop amazing. They can add flavor and nutrition to our everyday lives. Coconut is making its way into our everyday beauty routines and getting the respect it deserves. From healing to freshening up our hair and skin, the benefits seem endless.
Have any good recipes that include a form of coconut? Be sure to let me know in the comments, so I can try it out!!
Katie is a stay at home mom of two little ones, a toddler boy, and a newborn girl. She blogs at Healthypeaceofmind about all things, fitness, all-natural living, clean eating, and health. She blogs for young moms, and women looking for motivation and help to take the beginning steps to start a more healthy lifestyle. To see the results, you have to put in the work, and she wants to help!