Is coconut really healthy, or is it just all hype? We're sure you've seen all sorts of news circulating about the effects of coconut products (most famously coconut oil), and it can get very rattling to know what to (or what not to) believe. We believe getting information from the right sources, not the hyped sources is where we will get the best answers. So we went to science to get down the the benefits of this superfood.
It is great for weight loss
In the 2006 edition of the Ceylon Medical Journal, coconut meat was found to be a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides. This type of fat is believed to encourage weight loss in our bodies, because of the ability of medium-chain triglycerides to convert into monoglycerides and medium-chain free fatty acids when our body digests food. These two substances are what our bodies use to burn energy, which boosts our metabolism and makes us feel satisfied longer after a meal (so we feel hungry less, ergo, snack less). When our bodies make use of this type of good fat, we have lower calorie intake over time, which could help in weight loss.
Yes, coconut oil is a saturated fat, so if ingested without a certain amount of physical activity (exercise and workout), then it will make you fat. Remember that since it is a medium-chain fatty acid, you can metabolize it quickly and burn it off as energy much easier than processed foods.
Coconut can help prevent illness
Because coconuts are replete with antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic properties, they are able to kill viruses and fungi, as well as living organisms like parasites (which are found even in the healthy foods we eat, like organic vegetables and fruits, and proteins). Eating coconut raw, as coconut oil, coconut milk, or freeze-dried, can help you ward off symptoms of colds, sore throat, urinary tract infections, and bronchial illnesses (which are all caused by microbials).
Tip: Oil pulling with coconut oil is based on an Ayurvedic practice that detoxes the body by drawing out harmful toxins in the saliva. Aside from making sure you eat coconut, use it in your daily detox regimen too by oil-pulling with cold-pressed virgin coconut oil! It's great for preventing allergies, asthma, coughs, throat illnesses, and fatigue!
Supports internal health
Looking great on the outside is good, but being health on the inside (where it counts!) is better. Coconuts have been linked with improved insulin secretion, which means that it helps people with diabetes of pre-diabetes to manage their hunger levels. And, since insulin release is reduced overall, it follows that good quality coconut may help protect the body from free radicals that cause premature aging and diseases like cancer.
Perhaps one of the most controversial issues surrounding coconut nutrition is its effect on cholesterol. The body needs good cholesterol for proper cellular function, so it's a good thing that coconut improves HDL cholesterol! It can also help thyroid functions to work more efficiently.
Raw Bites Recommends: Inspiral Coconut Pecks
These organic, gluten free, GMO free coconut chips come in both sweet and savory variants, and are the answer to your junk food cravings. The savory variant comes in a delicious smoked flavor with hints of lime, paprika, and cheesy goodness (thanks to the magic of nutritional yeast). Sweet variants range from berry-coated or vegan salted caramel coated options. All are crunchy, satisfying, and addictively health. Get your stash of Inspiral Coconut Pecks in your Raw Bites Box this month!