Once you crack open a fresh coconut, you can enjoy the delicious coconut water and scoop out the white meat with either a spoon or knife, depending on how tender it is. The riper the coconut, the thicker and fleshier the meat. Meanwhile, younger coconuts have a very tender flesh that can easily be scraped off with a spoon. Coconut meat is highly nutritious; it is chock-full of vitamins and minerals that can benefit your health in a number of ways, as previously noted. Here Joanne Washburn, Food.news, reflects on health benefits of coconut:
“Coconut once had a bad rap due to its high calories and saturated fat content. Dietitians used to caution against eating too much coconut and coconut-derived ingredients — such as coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut flour — because of the health risks associated with saturated fat.
But over the past few years, more and more people have begun to embrace coconut as a promising health food, and for good reason. For one, it has been shown to improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It’s also packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants that protect against inflammation.
Plus, coconut is an extremely versatile food. It can also be turned into sugar, butter and cream. You can simply eat coconut meat or drink coconut water as is, too. Additionally, you can use coconut or coconut-derived ingredients in savory recipes for a slightly sweet and nutty flavor.
Here’s a closer look at some of the health benefits of coconut:
1. Provides nutrients and antioxidants
Coconut is packed with several essential vitamins and minerals, as well as potent antioxidants.
Here’s what one cup of fresh coconut meat contains:
- Protein: 6 percent of the Daily Value (DV)
- Zinc: 9 percent of the DV
- Phosphorus: 14 percent of the DV
- Selenium: 16 percent of the DV
- Potassium: 6 percent of the DV
- Iron: 11 percent of the DV
- Copper: 41 percent of the DV
- Vitamin B1: 5 percent of the DV
2. Improves cholesterol levels
About half of the saturated fat in coconut comes from lauric acid, which helps raise levels of “good” cholesterol. This cholesterol helps remove other forms of cholesterol from your bloodstream that could otherwise clog your arteries and raise your risk of heart problems.
In one study, researchers found that coconut milk increased good cholesterol and lowered “bad” cholesterol better than soy milk.
Take note that coconut oil is 100 percent fat, the majority of which is saturated. Saturated fat can increase bad cholesterol levels, which is why it’s considered unhealthy. Still, there’s nothing wrong with using small amounts of coconut oil in the context of a healthy diet. Just make sure it’s not the only oil you’re using.”
Read More … Article Source: https://www.food.news/2021-08-11-5-coconut-health-benefits.html
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