Whether it’s your personal trainer, a colleague or a family member absolutely everybody is going nuts for coconuts at the moment. They are one of this year’s true superfoods and have become a seriously on trend option which is great for your health. Whether you’re cooking with their oil, enjoying them in yoghurt or butter form or even just enjoying it straight from the shell, coconuts are a great addition to your diet for many reasons, looked at in more depth below.
Coconuts provide both short chain and medium chain fatty acids, also known as MCFA, which are essential for the good health of your heart. The majority of foods contain long-chain fatty acids which aren’t quite so good for your health in general whilst coconuts with their high levels of MCFA can help lower the risk of heart disease and another great surprise about coconuts is their high content of lauric acid, which is the predominant fatty acid in breastmilk.
Coconuts have nearly the same level of fibre as the superfood psyllium and also rival the content of wheat, rice and oat bran. Coconut can supply as much as 61% of your dietary fibre needs and the type of fibre in the coconut also has no impact on your blood sugar, another bonus point! This high fibre count also means that coconuts can help improve your digestion and soothe digestive problems, as they help support the absorption of nutrients from other foods.
The Glycaemic Index measure how fast carbohydrates in food raise blood sugar levels and as the last point states coconuts have very little effect on your blood sugar. This means that, due to their fibre content, coconuts actually slow down the body’s release of glucose, limiting the body’s use of insulin. Coconut nectar and other derivatives are a great alternative to honey for cooking as the low GI compares favourably to the highs of honey and natural sugar.
We all know that reaching a dangerous weight is a mixture of not enough exercise and the wrong foods and coconuts won’t reverse any damage but they can help prevent it taking off. Coconuts help speed up the metabolism as they provide an immediate burst of energy without a high calorie count. They also help limit cravings for sugar, once again because of their ability to slow down the body’s glucose release.
The great thing about coconuts is that their popularity means you can find them in almost any form. Enjoy them for cooking with coconut oil by Lucy Bee or as a sweet treat such as a COYO ice cream or yoghurt created simply from coconut. Coconut Water is fantastic in smoothies or juice and you can feel safe in the knowledge you’re enjoying a product which is truly great for your health.
I've been a bit spoilt by eating the real thing fresh off the tree in the tropics; but I do like adding coconut milk (from blocks) to curries. I'll continue with that!
I'm not keen on coconut either like Olga but I've been surprised how using coconut oil doesn't actually make me think of coconuts and it's such a great alternative to other oils.
Unfortunately as someone who just doesn't like the flavour/smell/texture of coconut I feel like I'm missing out on all these great health benefits! I just can't make myself try it.