Underneath the Coconut Tree-

More than just for pleasure, coconut for your Health and Wellness. 

Now the coconut is recognized as a nutritional powerhouse

Coconut-a tropical pleasure.

Most people conjure up an image of a lounge chair on the beach, a sunhat, and a coconut shell with a little umbrella, at the sound of the word coconut. Or the beautiful palm leaves cascading somewhere on the fringes of the photo of that idyllic tropical get-away. But did you know that the coconut can be  a powerful source of vital nutrients? How about coconut for your  Health and Wellness? 

Perhaps your total experience with coconut is in a candy bar, or as a decadent sprinkling on a desert. Or the taste in a pina colada.

Desiccated coconut adds elegance to any desert.

ONE OF THE MOST NUTRITIOUS OF ALL FRUITS

This tropical fruit is available where ever good healthy foods are sold. The coconut, which is a fruit, has been a staple part of the diet of Asian and tropical countries for several centuries.

In the Caribbean, coconut trees and coconuts are as much a part of the culture and landscape as the sunshine and beaches. Cracking a coconut is a skill learned early by some, and feared by others.  The first tree a child in school learns to draw is a coconut palm. The action of making those long strokes lends itself to fine muscle development. (Excuse my reminiscence)That is the early Childhood Educator in me showing up.

The fruit usually grows at the top of a tall palm, and climbing a coconut tree to retrieve the nuts is a dying art, that many never bothered to learn. As a child, we treasured coconut, because it was usually used in sweet treats and baking recipes. So that the hard task of preparing the grated coconut was always worthwhile.

Now, since I can more appreciate the coconut as a nutritional powerhouse,  I use it in almost any recipe, with the confidence of getting good nutrition and exotic tastes.

The young nut contains several cups of nutritious and refreshing water.

The young nut contains several cups of nutritious and refreshing water.

Coconuts are used either in the young form, where the water is the main ingredient consumed, and the meat appears as a soft gel.  As the coconut matures, the shell and the meat inside becomes thicker and harder. In this process the nutrients are also emerging.

Coconut water is composed of many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes which help in the digestion and metabolism.

Despite its very light consistency, its water has a much better composition of minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc than most fruits.

Coconut water is also a very good source of essential B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates, which the human body requires from external sources to replenish itself.

        Amazing!!! coconut for your Health and Wellness? 

THE BENEFITS OF COCONUT ARE CONTAINED IN ITS MANY FORMS

COCONUT WATER

This is the “water” contained within the shell of a young coconut. The amount of water varies by the size, maturity, and variety of the coconut. It is one of the best sources of electrolytes known to man. Have you noticed in the movies where people are stranded on an island a coconut tree always appears? There is nothing closer to water that grows on a plant, bringing extra benefits from nature. The clear liquid is sweet, and sterile and composed of unique chemicals such as sugars, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, amino acids, cytokine, and phyto-hormones.

SHREDDED COCONUT

A mature coconut is useful mainly for the meat inside. When this meat is extracted and shaved it is known as shredded coconut, and used for baking and other decadent forms of cooking.

The mature coconut meat can be shredded and used to produce, cream, milk, flour, and oil.

The mature coconut meat can be shredded and used to produce, cream, milk, flour, and oil.

CREAM OF COCONUT

If you take the grated (shreded) coconut meat and press or squeeze the liquid from it, the resulting liquid is known as cream of coconut. Usually used for making Pina Colada and other tropical cocktails.

COCONUT MILK

If this grated coconut meat is slightly hydrated with water to yield more liquid, pressed and drained the liquid is known as coconut milk. It is high in nutrients, and fat, and can be used as a plant based milk in vegetarian and vegan preparations. I have used it to replace, milk, yogurt and sour cream in recipes, with the result being more flavorfu,l and the satisfaction of added nutrients.

 

 

COCONUT FLOUR

Coconut flour. A gluten free alternative to traditional flours.

Coconut flour. A gluten free alternative to traditional flours.

After the milk has been extracted from the grated coconut meat, the residue is dried, ground to a finer consistency, and used as flour for baking. It is an excellent source of fiber and a safe substitute for celiacs, gluten intolerances, and those with allergies to other more traditional flours.

 

 

COCONUT OIL

If the milk is left to settle, the oil contained in the coconut meat originally collects on the top. This is known as raw, cold-pressed coconut oil. It is distinguished as cold pressed, because there are other methods of extracting coconut oil, that involves heat and chemical processes, which compromises the quality and the nutrients of the oil. For nutritional purposes, make sure that your coconut oil is organic and cold-pressed.

Nutritional experts advise to consume a couple of tablespoons of raw organic coconut oil daily, and many have reported measurable benefits from doing so.  Me, personally have a hard time, drinking oil, so I use it in many ways. For pan frying, sautéing, baking and cooking.

Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which makes it a powerful antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal, and boosts the immune system. These properties combined can prevent, or help reduce the symptoms of several health conditions and illnesses.

Coconuts and especially coconut oil is thought to be efficient for weight control, lowering cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.

Coconut oil has shown to improve the condition of people with  Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and other digestive disorders. The general belief is that there are very few nuts, fruits or oils which can claim such diversity as coconut, for your   health and Wellness. 

Countless stories are told of the benefits of coconut oil as a cosmetic agent. Both for skin and hair. If you look around, you will find that coconut extracts are used in a variety of cosmetic preparations and anti-aging concoctions.

On a lighter note,

the versatile coconut palm has been put to use in other ways. Making art and craft from the non-food parts of the coconut plant is both a dying art  and a source of admiration, which I shall attempt to capture. Here are a few ways that they can be used.

Other parts of the coconut tree and fruit, can be used in creating art and other useful things.

Wine bottle made from a coconut shell.

The leaves of the coconut palm used to weave a basket.

The leaves of the coconut palm used to weave a basket.

Coconut shell used to create a lamp shade.
coconut shell carving

coconut shell carving

Coconut shell used to create a lamp shade.

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Your HEALTHY LIFESTYLE advocate, and Network MARKETING coach  

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