Saturday, August 7, 2010

The multiple uses of the coconut

Some of you may not be aware of the many benefits of the coconut. Coconuts can get a bad rap for the "fat" they contain. I wanted to let you know some of the cool uses of the coconut and its oils and water that can benefit you.

The coconut is a natural water filter that takes almost 9 months to filter each quart of water in its shell! The clear coconut water that results is one of the highest sources of electrolytes found in nature. ( A much better choice than gatorade or propel!)Young coconut water is identical to human plasma. Plasma makes up 55% of human blood, and the remaining 45% of our blood is hemoglobin which is essentially transformed plant blood (chlorophyll). So, if you could consume a drink of about 55% coconut water and 45% green leaf juice it is like getting an instant blood transfusion. I have made many of these with my juicer and felt an amazing energy boost. You can purchase coconut water at some health food stores and some grocery stores like New Seasons and Whole Foods. You can also buy young coconuts (white, flat on one side and cylindrical around the edges) at some asian supermarkets. You just crack open the shell and pour out the delicious coconut water. Coconut water is great to drink after a hard workout to replace electrolytes. If you find some thai coconuts at the supermarket, you can scoop out the soft flesh and eat that as well. This meat is pure, saturated fat which is great for rejuvenating oxidative tissue damage and improving the functing of the nervous system. I have purchased my coconuts at Uwajimaya Store in Beaverton.

Coconut oil is another one of my favorites. Coconut oil contains mostly medium chain fatty acids that the body can metabolize efficiently and convert it into energy quickly. Most animal sources of fat are high calorie, high cholesterol and consist of long chain fatty acids which are harder for the body to break down. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil provide energy quickly so people who suffer from poor digestion would benefit from eating this oil as it does not burden the liver or gall bladder. Here are some other nice benefits of coconut oil:
*can be used topically to treat psoriasis, dry skin and chapped lips, stretch marks
*no cholesterol, and helps to lower cholesterol
* reduces the need for vitamin E
*doubles the body's ability to use antioxidant, omega 3 fatty acids
*normalizes blood sugar levels

I use this oil instead of butter in cooking and baking. I also spread it on bread and almost anything. It tastes wonderful. The recommendation is 1-4 tablespoons daily for a dietary supplement. When you buy it look for cold pressed and packaged in a dark glass container (it is light sensitive). I have found it at Fred Meyer, New Seasons,and Whole Foods.

Another one of my favorites is coconut milk. My daughter is dairy intolerant and I do not consume much dairy at all. I give her coconut milk because of the great fats and the taste. I also love hemp milk and almond milk but coconut milk is a little thicker and creamier so I use it for baking as well. There is even coconut ice cream, kefir, and creamer made from coconut milk and it is 100% dairy free. Coconut milk does not have all the same benefits as coconut water or oil but it does contain the medium chain fatty acids.

Hopefully, now you will never look at the coconut the same! Try it!

More information:
"The Coconut Miracle" by Bruce Fife, ND
"Eating for Beauty" by David Wolfe

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