Doesn’t it feel like coconut sort of appeared out of nowhere? As soon as coconut flew onto the scene, it appeared like a superstar. Or, better yet, a superfood.Did you know you could survive on a deserted island on coconuts alone?
Yup, it’s really that good for you. Coconut has a plethora of health and beauty benefits from the inside out. Or better yet, from the inside in. This superfood can not only work wonders on your skin and hair when applied topically, but when ingested, contains heaps of nutritional benefits for your entire body. Not only that, but it's also so versatile, and appears in all forms, shapes and sizes - from coconut oil to coconut meat.
Did we mention coconut is actually naturally organic? It’s one of those ingredients that grow without any chemical assistance. And as you may have already heard, coconut is highly praised and valued in both cuisine and cosmetics.
A brief background story on Coconut
Coconut is a fruit, a nut and a seed. The coconut itself has many layers of protection. The exocarp is the outermost layer and is usually green in color. Beneath the exocarp is the husk, which is that brown and furry layer, and beneath the husk is the layer known as the endocarp. The endocarp protects the seed, which is home to the meaty white inner flesh and beloved coconut water. Coconut palms grow in the tropics from the Philippine islands to Madagascar.
Just How Nutritious Are Coconuts?
Coconuts are loaded with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and other health promoting compounds. For instance, coconuts contain iron, B6, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. The coconut water itself is an excellent source of potassium and electrolytes. Raw coconut meat contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-microbial properties. Coconuts support the immune system, offers the body a quick source of energy, improves digestion, and helps keep the hair and skin well nourished, hydrated and healthy.
The Raw Meat in Coconut Contains:
- Vitamin A, C, E, and K
- Protein (yes you read that correctly, every 100 grams of coconut contains 3.33 grams of protein.)
Coconuts Support Heart Health
Coconut has been falsely advertised as a fatty fruit. Individuals with health and heart concerns have been told to stay away from this superfood (before it was unofficially declared as a superfood of course). Fortunately, recent studies have been revealing quite the opposite. The cocosin compounds present in coconut are believed to reduce the LDL cholesterol and increase the HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is what’s known as the ‘good guys,’ whereas LDL cholesterol has been labeled as the ‘bad guys.’
Supports Weight Loss
Though there is no conclusive evidence that coconut oil can aid in weight loss, many confidently believe it does. The medium chain-fatty triglycerides found in coconut is believed to boost the metabolism and balances out the digestive tract.
Protects the Body from Free Radicals and Infection
The compounds found in coconut meat have been said to rid the body of bacterias which cause skin infections, urinary tract infections, dermatitis, and fungal infections. The ascorbic acid and flavonoids present in coconut are antioxidants which remove free-radicals from the body, while protecting the healthy cells in the body.
Improves Skin Health and is a Wound Healing Agent
The antioxidants mentioned above protect the skin cells from sun damage and act as an anti-inflammatory agent. These anti-inflammatory elements are said to heal wounds, burns and reduce infections.
Our Final Thoughts on Coconuts
Coconut is one of those magical ingredients which you can add to almost anything! You can apply coconut oil directly onto your skin, scalp and hair as a part of your natural cosmetics routine. Or, you can sprinkle fresh coconut flakes over your favorite breakfast bowl or sweet and healthy desserts for added nutritional value. You can add coconut milk or water to your morning or mid-day smoothie, before or after a workout or run, and you can cook your favorite vegetables in coconut oil for healthier, cleaner eating.
What’s your favorite coconut recipe? We love everything coconut from sweet to savory, from hair masks to body lotions. Share your coconut cosmetic or cuisine secrets with us, we’d love to hear from you!