Coconut and coconut oil are extremely popular in the marketplace right now and for excellent reasons. Coconut offer numerous benefits for your health, including hair and skin care, boosting your immunity, and improving digestion.
13 Health benefits of coconut
Dental care-Coconut oil is a great option for oil pulling , and is helpful maintaining and improving oral health, as well as reducing plaque induced gingivitis, and reducing bad breath . Coconut oil helps the body to absorb calcium more efficiently. Calcium is an important mineral in helping to develop strong and healthy teeth.
Diabetes– Coconut helps in improving the secretion of insulin and in controlling blood sugar levels.
Healthy bones-Coconut oil helps the body to absorb minerals more efficiently
Skin care-Coconut oil is a wonderful moisturizer and a great option for massage (Add abhyanga massage link). With its antioxidant properties it can help in preventing premature skin aging. Coconut oil also has antibacterial properties making it a wonderful option for skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions.
Hair care-Since coconut oil has such amazing moisturizing properties it’s great for dandruff (MHM article on dandruff) as well as a great conditioner for damaged hair.
Brain health—Dr. Mary Newport has had amazing results in treating her husband, who suffered with Alzheimer’s . This 2006 study showed immediate improvement in brain function of patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease.
Immune system health-Coconut oil has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It also contains antimicrobial lipids, caprylic acid and lauric acid which also help to strengthen the immune system.
Digestive health– The anti-microbial properties of coconut oil can help with fighting off parasites, bacteria and fungi that can contribute to indigestion.
Candida-Caprylic acid in coconut oil help to eliminate candida albicans.
Virus fighter-According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS and other illnesses.
Incorporating coconut into your diet has never been easier. There are a wealth of coconut products available online and in health food stores. Even major grocery chains are carrying a range of coconut products. For those of you who think coconut products are limited to oil and water, you’re in for a wonderful surprise. Here is a list of coconut products you might not have tried.
Coconut Vinegar–Can be made from the sap of the coconut palm tree or coconut water. The product is boiled in water and yeast is added the fermentation process gives it a distinct flavor.
Coconut Aminos– This is made from the sap of the coconut palm tree. The sap is mixed with sea salt, which is rich in minerals. This product is a great option for those who can’t eat traditional soy sauce.
Coconut Nectar– This low glycemic index sweetener is made from the sap of coconut blossoms. It is rich in minerals. It is a wonderful alternative to agave.
Coconut Sugar– The liquid sap is collected from the coconut palm tree, then left to dry. After the liquid has evaporated, it is ground and used in sugar.
Desiccated/Flaked/Shredded Coconut-Made from the meat of the coconut. This is ground or grated. The difference between them is the shape of the flake.
Coconut Flour– Is made from the remnants from making coconut milk. Leftover solid pieces from making coconut milk are baked, blended leaving a powdery flour. This is a great option for those who are gluten intolerant.
Coconut Milk-Is incredibly easy to make. By simply blending coconut flakes and water and straining it in cheesecloth, you end up with a flavorful high fat milk. Repeating the process two or three times will reduce the fat content. Here’s the recipe.
Coconut Water– This is the liquid inside a coconut. Naturally high in sugar and mineral rich. This is a great post workout drink to restore electrolytes. Not all packages coconut water is created equally, read labels and avoid additives.
Coconut Oil-Is extracted using one of two methods, dry or wet. The dry method uses sunlight or heat to dry the meat, it is then pressed to express the oil. The wet method uses centrifuges to separate the oil and water inside the coconut. It can also use pretreatments including heat, salt or acids.
Coconut Cream-This is basically thick coconut milk, without the water. You can easily get coconut milk by refrigerating coconut milk and skimming the thick top layer and leaving the liquid.
What coconut products are best?
Always look for organic raw products when possible.
Remember not all coconut oil is created equally. For the best flavor look for organic, unrefined extra virgin coconut oil .