3 health benefits you didn’t know about coconuts
They may be synonymous with lazy, idyllic tropical beaches fringed by palm trees, but coconuts are also hard-working nutrient providers.
Coconut milk and oil are widely used in South-east Asian cuisine, and for good reason: they are packed with healthy fatty acids and other nutritional content that provides health benefits.
Here are three health benefits of eating coconut you might not have known:
- Fats derived from coconuts are healthier than many alternatives
Coconut oil is used in cooking as a substitute for other oils more and more widely. This is because people are realising that it is a far healthier fat than sunflower and numerous other types of oil. Coconut oil may be made up of 100% fat, yet its molecular structure contains high amounts of ‘medium-chain fatty acids’, as opposed to ‘long-chain fatty acids’. The body converts medium-chain acids in coconut oil to fat less easily than long, making it easier to metabolise coconut oil than alternatives. In sum: coconut oil, though it should be eaten in moderation, is healthier for you than fats comprised of long-chain fatty acids.
- Coconuts are fairly high in Iron
The iron taste that is no noticeable in foods such as molasses is noticeably absent from the flavour profile of coconut. Even so, coconuts are fairly high in iron. A 100 gram serving of fresh coconut can provide 13% of your recommended daily allowance. In addition to being high in iron, they also contain a good amount of the stress-busting B vitamins as well as magnesium and trace amounts of calcium.
- Coconuts contain natural antibacterial and antiviral compounds
Coconuts also contain lauric acid which the human body converts into a compound called monolaurin. This has antiviral and antibacterial properties and assists the body in combatting a range of disease-causing opportunistic organisms.
Did these health benefits of coconuts surprise you? Do you know of additional benefits to eating this fruit?
Does Coconut Oil Go Bad? How is it best to store coconut oil? Here is a great article explaining the whys and wherefores….
Finally, discover some great smoothie recipes to add coconut oil to your everyday routine.