Why go nuts for coconuts?

If I were to compile a list of my top 10 foods that I LOVE LOVE LOVE and could eat all day every day, there would be no question that coconuts would appear in the top 5. I’m quite literally obsessed.  I’m referring to ‘young coconuts’ here not the rock hard brown furry things you often see scattered on tropical beaches.. but on second thoughts they are pretty delish too!

On a hot, humid Australian summer’s day, nothing beats an ice cold coconut water straight from a young coconut. So much so that I usually slurp mine down in a matter of seconds… but that still leaves the best part.. you can then spend a good 10 minutes scooping, scraping and sucking out the delicious sweet flesh from inside. It just makes me so excited.

Coconuts have been around for years and years; however in the last 12 months they have ‘come into vogue’ in the health industry with many health professionals and scientists now beginning to sing their praises. You only have to trace it back to its ‘roots’ to find out there is something pretty special about this nut.. In ancient India coconut trees are known as kalpa vriksha which is sanskrit for “the tree that supplies all that is needed to live’

I only discovered young coconuts about 18 months ago, and I laugh when I think back on my first attempt to open one. I’m pretty sure I tried at the wrong end, coconut skin was flying around the kitchen, and the hole I managed to make was barely big enough for a straw.. and that in itself was a 15 minute ordeal. Well now I’m pretty damn efficient at doing it; breaking into a coconut is a strangely satisfying thing.. Anyway now that I have finished discussing the intricacies of my love for coconuts I should probably actually start to make a point…

Is coconut really a superfood? Can it really prevent and cure heart disease? Does coconut actually have health benefits when it comes to weight loss and insulin stabilisation? We don’t have all these answers in black and white BUT what we do know is there are multiple health benefits to be gained from the array of coconut products on the market.

Let’s talk a little about coconut oil. This seems to be the topic that has all the health big wigs talking. Coconut oil is the safest and healthiest oil to cook with. Yes it is exceptionally high in saturated fat BUT they aren’t your ‘run-of-the-mill’ fats like you find in cheese, steak and other foods we readily consume. Coconut oil contains a lot of medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently in the digestive system and have been proven to have therapeutic effects on several brain disorders including Alzheimer’s. I think medical professionals may begin to see the light on this one. SATURATED FAT IS NOT THE ENEMY.

coconut

Coconut water…easily my favorite part of the coconut. It’s one of the purest drinks you can get if consumed straight from the coconut itself. Packed with electrolytes makes it the ideal drink choice to stay hydrated or even rehydrate following a hard workout. Add it to smoothies or protein shakes to give them a delicious sweet burst that will leave you happy as larry on a hot summer’s day. Or chef up a delicious coconut water based cocktail, pour it back in the shell and you have a little piece of tropical paradise.

Coconut cream and milk: great additions to heaps of curries and sauces especially for those like me that can’t eat dairy. Go one better and make coconut milk based ice cream.. The best thing I have tasted since vegemite toast…. My mum makes a killer avocado, coconut and lime version; I pretty much have to stick my head in the bowl to make sure I lick it allllllll up!

So that covers the food side of it… what about skin care? Yes coconut oil and creams derived from coconuts are amazing for your skin. They replenish the skin giving it a healthy radiant glow.

What about dry sun damaged hair? Cocounut oil can help restore moisture and prevent against further hair damage

Skin protection? Yes coconut oil blocks out 20% of the suns UV rays. (I still probably recommend 30+ in Australia, especially if you burn easily)

Have you got the message yet? Did I mention that I LOVE coconuts.

Happy Monday!

Here are some good websites if you want some more information about why you should also start going nuts for coconuts!

http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/

http://coconutoil.com/

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