Healthy Highlight: Coconuts

Coconuts seem to be everywhere these days! It’s such a versatile food that can be used in so many ways to cook beautiful and wholesome meals.

Uses for coconuts

Whole coconuts are available as ‘young’ coconuts which are green or white in colour and contain higher water content. Mature coconuts are brown and hairy with firm meat and less coconut water.

Coconut oil is a fabulous cooking oil as it’s heat stable (unlike many vegetable oils) and won’t go rancid or transform into trans-fats at high temperatures. Be sure to buy high-quality coconut oil, as lower qualities tend to be chemically extracted which decreases the nutritional quality of the oil.

Coconut water is an amazing source of electrolytes and so hydrates the body really well after a workout. Alternatively, coconut milk is a great cow’s dairy alternative to use in smoothies to add a source of healthy, satiating fat.

Coconuts and nutrition 

Coconuts are nutritional powerhouses! The contain mostly medium-chain triglyricides (MCTs) which are not stored in fat deposits in the body as much as long-chain triglyricides (generally the most common form of fat in modern diets).

These MCTs are known for increasing thermogenesis (fat-burning) and their use as a mild suppressant, which makes them great for controlling food-cravings and boosting your metabolism, making your body more adapt at processing fuel for energy.

Coconuts also contain lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid which is known to increase HDL blood cholesterol levels. This is good cholesterol and benefits most people by preventing arterial vessel blockages. However, coconuts overall do contain high levels of saturated fat, and so should be eaten in moderation as part of a well-balanced, wholefoods diet.

Recent research has also shown that the presence of cytokinins in coconuts are responsible for their anti-aging and anti-oxidant properties.

Here are some yummy recipes that I’m sure you’ll love!

 

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