Are you confused about whether eating coconuts are healthy or not? Thankfully in the past couple of years the correct information has been seeping out there to the general public about this amazingly nutritious food. It's unknown where exactly the coconut palm originated from, but classified as a seed, this gift from nature is used widely for food, drink, medicine, cosmetics, shading other crops, and producing earth friendly products like mats and utensils. In sanskrit it is known as kalpa vriksha, which means "the tree which provides all the necessities of life."
Widely known as a saturated fat most assume it's unhealthy, but not all fats are deemed bad. They contain lauric acid which is present in mother's breast milk. The lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid which requires less energy and enzymes to digest, therefore providing more energy quickly to the body. The oil that is pressed from the coconut is actually known to lower cholesterol levels and cultures that consume coconuts on a regular basis have frequently lower levels than people living in the U.S.
Coconut water is another gem that this food offers. Forget the so called sports energy drinks loaded with refined sugar and artificial flavors. Coconut water is one of the most highest and natural sources of electrolytes, important for your cells and maintaining voltages across the cell membranes. After a strenuous workout your source of electrolytes depletes through your sweat, losing potassium and sodium. Many of the popular sports drinks have sodium chloride or potassium chloride added to them along with loads of sugar to make it taste good. Not coconut water, it's a natural source of sodium, magnesium, and contains fifteen times more potassium than a banana. It's also naturally sterile from the fibers in the husk that filter it through and is especially helpful to recharge the body after a grueling workout. Surprisingly enough the water is identical to human blood plasma making it a universal donor. Mixing the water with a fresh green juice or an algae like chlorella or spirulina can make us feel like we've had an instant blood transfusion.
You can find the water from companies such as Vita Coco in your local health food store. The water is flash pasteurized to give it a longer shelf life. Not truly raw, but still very beneficial and sometimes more cost effective. The Thai coconuts which are pictured above can be found at your local Asian market or health food store. Speculation has recently surfaced about how they are shipped and whether they are treated with pesticides or formaldehyde. For you die hard raw purists or true organics, you're in luck because now you can order organic Thai coconuts online from Alex Malinsky of Raw Guru.
So, after hearing all of this splendid information on why you should incorporate this incredible food into your diet, I'm sure you're wondering how to pick one out at the store. The easiest ones to consume are the young Thai coconuts which are white and pointy with a cylindrical shape. The outer shell has been shaved off and you will find it wrapped in clear plastic. Look at the the tip and underneath of the coconut to make sure there isn't any mold growing. The best way to consume it is in a delicious drink by scooping the meat out and blending with the water, half of a vanilla bean scraped, agave nectar to taste, and a pinch of sea salt. Truly divine and delicious to the palate. Watch my video here on how to open one up.
Besides eating it another way to use it is to put a small amount on the ends of your hair for a natural shine or on your face as a moisturizer. Another great tip is after sunbathing, rub a small amount on your body to help retain the tan and provide a shining glow to your skin. And lastly for those of you that have had a late night on the town with friends, it's also great for hangovers. Drink a glass before bed and when you wake up in the morning to help you recover. Who would have imagined all of these fascinating uses and remedies coconuts can be used for. Hooray for coconuts!
Do you have a favorite way to eat coconuts?