The coconut has been a staple in the diets of many islanders and has been steadily gaining popularity
in our culture today. Once you get past the hard, hairy shell of this giant nut, you will find a nutritious
core which provides healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. The coconut is so highly valued in some
cultures that it has been given the name, “Tree of Life.”
Just a few of the many benefits of the coconut are as follows:
• Provides a quick energy source
• Boosts endurance for improved physical performance
• Improves digestion
• Heart healthy and helps to reduce cholesterol
• Completely non-toxic to humans
This list can keep going on and on. Other than the entire nut, you will generally find coconut products
such as oil or water.
The fats in coconut used to be considered unhealthy, but research has proven this to be incorrect.
Coconut oil is actually made up of medium chain fatty acids, which unlike long chain fatty acids, actually
aid the metabolism because they are burned for energy instead of being stored as body fat. Medium
chain fatty acids (also known as medium chain triglycerides) are also beneficial for lowering the risk of
heart disease and atherosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries) and do not have a negative impact on
Coconut water also offers some great benefits. It contains easily digested carbohydrates and
electrolytes, making it a better option for hydration than typical sports drinks. The next time you go out
for a run or need a refreshing drink on a hot day, reach for a coconut water. Because of it’s high potassium content it’s been dubbed “nature’s sports drink.”
While we don’t often find the coconut at the typical grocery store, it offers so many healthy and
nutritional benefits it’s worth tracking down. Enjoy a little coconut oil, water or do like they do at Ze/Lin
and incorporate it into your daily smoothie for a nutritional pick-me-up.
By: James Van Dyne