Coconut, friend or foe?

Coconut is quickly becoming a talking point of the Fitness world.

It’s now regarded by many as a super food with plenty of benefits coming from this Fruit/Seed/Nut.

Now, many believe that Coconut is a nut, because of the name, obviouslyyy. Botanically speaking, Coconut is a dry drupe. A drupe is a fleshy fruit with thin skin and a central stone containing a seed (think Plum). A Coconut has three layers, the exocarp (outer layer), this is usually green, the mesocarp (fleshy middle layer) and the endocarp which is the hard layer surrounding the seed. Typically when you purchase a coconut at the supermarket both the exocarp and mesocarp layers have been removed.

So why is it a Superfood?

Mike Foale, wh0 was an honorary research fellow at the University of Queensland in Australia, argues that Coconut Oil, which we use in our Fruit and Nut bars, “is a staple for millions of tropical coastal people worldwide and those people do not suffer from heart disease while on their traditional diet”.

Dr Bruce Fife, who runs the Coconut Research Center in America, states that scientific evidence shows that the Saturated Fat in Coconuts… is actually health Saturated Fat! He goes on to say that “Coconut oil is unique because it is composed predominately of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs),” he says. “The size of the fatty acid is extremely important because physiological effects of medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are distinctly different from the long-chain fatty acids more commonly found in our diet.

“It’s the MCTs in coconut oil that make it different from all other fats and, for the most part, gives it its unique character and healing properties. Few foods nowadays contain MCT. By adding coconut oil to your diet you can literally eat your way to better health.”

Furthermore, a research conference in 2010 concluded that a food’s effect on heart disease should not be judged solely by how much saturated fat it contains, due to the different saturated fatty acids can have different cardiovascular effects.

So our new best friend Coconut has been found to have several health benefits!

  • Coconut protects against heart disease by increasing good cholesterol and lowering the ratio of bad and good cholesterol.
  • Coconut helps boost your metabolism and increases your energy because it’s more likely to be burned as fuel than stored as body fat!
  • It has been found to prevent the likelihood of having a stroke and brand disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimers.
  • It also helps to treat malnutrition because it easy for the body to digest and absorb.
  • It kills disease causing bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses because of the antimicrobial effects of its fatty acids.
  • It also helps diabetics by slowing sugar release into the bloodstream.

So how much Coconut is too much Coconut?

Most of the information surround Coconut and the benefits appear to be related directly to Coconut Oil. Dr Bruce Fife recommends one to three tablespoons of Coconut Oil per day for health maintenance. I personally use it as a replacement for Butter or Olive oil! But it’s important to know that it burns at a lower temperature than Olive oil so you’ll need to put it on a lower level if using it on a hob!

DID YOU KNOW

  • It takes 11-12 months for a Coconut to mature.
  • The word Coconut was established in the 1700’s, before that they were called Nargils which was coined by Sir Francis Drake.
  • In World War II and Vietnam, Coconut Water was used to replace IV’s when they were in short supply.
  • Coconuts are nicknamed “The Tree Of Life” because you can use every part of it, as it produces Fibre, Food Fuel, something you can drink, utensils and you can also use it as musical instrument.

Summary

Our Fruit and Nut bars contain approximately 7g of Coconut per bar and we try to use it in all the products we have due to so many health benefits and it’s great taste too! Some further reading below, just incase you wanted to read up a little more.

Further Reading:

  • Beccari, O.  The origin and dispersal of cocos nucifera.  The Philippine journal of science, C. Botany, v.7, Jan. 1917: 27- 43.   http://cocos.arecaceae.com/beccari.pdf
  • Davidson, Alan.  Coconut in Penguin companion to food. New York, Penguin Reference, c2002.  p. 239-241.
  • Duke, James A.  Cocos nucifera L.  in Handbook of nuts.  Boca Raton, FL, CRC Press, c2001. p. 100-109.
  • Hill, Arthur W.  The original home and mode of dispersal of the coconut.  Nature, v. 124, July 27, 1929: 133-134, 151-153.
  • Macbean, Valerie.  Coconut cookery: a practical cookbook encompassing innovative uses of the tropical drupe Cocus nucifera, accompanied by assorted information and anecdotes ranging from hard data to the frankly frivolous.  Berkeley, Frog Ltd., North Atlantic Books, c2001.  198 p.
  • Modern coconut management: palm cultivation and products. Edited by J. G. Ohler.  London, Intermediate Technology Publications, 1999.  458 p.
  • Rosengarten, Frederic Jr.  Coconuts  in The book of edible nuts.  Mineola, NY, Dover Publications, 2004. p. 65-93.
  • Woodroof, Jasper Guy.  Coconuts: production, processing, products.  Westport, CT, AVI Publishing Co., 1970.
    241 p.

 

 

 

 

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