Nourishment for the Body - Inside and Out
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What makes coconuts so healthy? Cultures that include coconuts in their regular diet have the lowest heart disease rates in the world. The coconut’s amazing healing properties are known to reduce the risk of cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes, as well as help detoxify the liver, build lipoproteins, fats, hormones, and bile, which are all necessary for digestion. They also speed up metabolism and provide an immediate source of energy while supplying fewer calories than other fats. Coconuts are so healthy that baby formulas often include coconut oil as an ingredient. It is one of the healthiest “super foods” in the world. The traditional Pacific Islander diet included large quantities of coconut, and those who still follow this diet have a low incidence of heart disease and obesity.
Contrary to popular belief, the liquid inside a fresh coconut is not coconut milk. It is instead coconut water or coconut juice. Squeezing or extracting the liquid from the coconut meat makes coconut milk. Coconut water is a natural isotonic beverage with the same level of electrolytic balance as we have in our blood. It’s called the fluid of life. In fact, during the Pacific War of 1941 thru 1945, both sides in the conflict regularly used coconut water siphoned directly from the nut to give emergency plasma transfusions to wounded solders.
Fresh coconut water is clear and drained directly from the hollow center of a coconut. It is 100% pure, sterile, fat-free and good for you with one of the most concentrated sources of electrolytes known. Many cultures associate coconut water with cures for digestive ailments, skin and hair quality, healthy organs, weight control and general wellness. It is used to wean babies off breast milk, give pregnant mothers nutrients, hydrate athletes and nourish the elderly. You can find coconut water in most health food stores. My favorite brand is Amy & Brian’s All Natural Coconut Juice with pulp, without pulp or with lime. I love the pulp! Lime is a surprisingly good complement to the coconut juice and Amy & Brian’s products have done a good job of finding the right balance of the two flavors.
A refreshing, slightly sweet beverage, coconut juice has more potassium than a banana and several times more than most sports drinks. When consumed before or after exercise it helps to combat dehydration and fatigue. In Asian countries where coconuts are common, coconut juice is considered one of the healthiest drinks available. Because the coconut juice is very similar to our body’s own chemistry, it is absorbed quickly in the body.
Coconut is a nut or actually a seed; but unlike most nuts, it is the source of several food products—coconut oil, coconut water, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut spread and coconut flakes. Coconut oil has been called “the healthiest dietary oil on earth.” One of the benefits of coconut oil is that it helps protect against heart disease and stroke. In addition to germ fighting properties, medical research has shown that medium chain triglycerides also possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, all of which help protect the arteries from clogging up with plague and the heart from succumbing to heart disease.