In ancient times, coconut trees saved people from cannibals. It was on the islands of Polynesia. The tree acted as a real fortress, provided food for food and water, more precisely, the milk contained in the fruits of the tree. Thick foliage protected from arrows. And the most interesting thing is that the nuts on the tree ripen gradually, that is, they could provide people with food and water for a long time.
The days of cannibalism are over, and coconuts are simply eaten, they are tasty and healthy.
|Calories per 100 g, (kcal):||354|
|Protein in 100 g, (g):||3.4|
|Fat in 100 g, (g):||33.5|
|Carbohydrates per 100 g, (g):||6.2|
What do coconuts look like and where do they grow?
Coconut trees are found in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Brazil, Thailand.
The fruit is a hard-shell fruit with pulp and liquid inside. As the nut ripens, the water becomes milk.
In fact, it is wrong to call a coconut a nut. By botanical standards, it is a drupe, the same as an apricot or a cherry. Coconut has all the features of a drupe, has coarse fibers, a lot of liquid and a stone. An interesting fact is that coconut has a very rich vitamin and mineral composition, which can fully support the vital functions of the human body.
Composition and calorie content of coconut
The pulp of the nut contains a lot of carbohydrates, as much as 15.2 g, a little protein and fat, 3.3 g and 3.4 g, respectively. Caloric content is 360 units.
The composition of coconut water is somewhat different, there are very few carbohydrates in it, only 6 g, and a lot of fats – 27 g, and a little protein, only 4 g. The calorie content of water is at a low level and is only 16.7 units.
Useful properties of coconut
The pulp contains a lot of indigestible dietary fiber, which is important for the normal functioning of the stomach. They have a stimulating effect on peristalsis and, as it were, remove food debris from the walls of the esophagus and stomach.
Coconut saturates the body with fats, but healthy ones, in which there is no cholesterol.
The nut has a rich vitamin composition, these are B vitamins, there are vitamins A, PP, E and C. There is a large amount of copper in the composition of coconut. And she, in turn, plays an important role in the conversion of iron in the body, which stabilizes the amount of hemoglobin.
Thanks to lauric acid, coconut helps to get rid of harmful microbes and improve the functioning of the stomach.
Coconut juice. Benefit and harm
It is quite difficult to find natural coconut water in our country. It occurs exclusively in unripe fruits and is the basis for the formation of milk. It tastes like a sweetish-sour liquid. It is almost completely free of fats and has a low calorie content.
Of the useful properties of water, one can single out:
- quick quenching of thirst;
- maintaining an optimal level of water balance;
- preventing the development of bacteria in the bladder.
In countries where coconuts are everywhere, the water of the fruit is still used as a saline solution. Water has a unique composition and can be moisturized and added to food.
There are no significant contraindications to the use of coconut water. But you should always remember that any product and liquid can cause an allergic reaction.
Coconut pulp. Benefit and harm
Walnut pulp is very beneficial for maintaining heart muscle. The natural fats that make up the composition allow not to accumulate harmful cholesterol, but, on the contrary, to remove it from the body. Also, the pulp is useful:
- with diseases of the joints;
- while following a vegetarian diet;
- in the presence of nervous and urological diseases;
- to normalize hormonal levels;
- to improve the condition in diabetes of the second form;
- as an additional remedy for eye disease and decreased visual acuity;
- as a stimulant of the metabolic process.
The pulp of the fruit helps prevent the development of atherosclerosis and prevent the development of cancer. Coconut can be helpful in the presence of acne and as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Coconut helps to reduce the negative effects of antibacterial drugs on the body. Drops are even made from the pulp to relieve ear pains.
Benefits of coconut for women
For the beautiful half of humanity, coconut is useful in that it allows you to stabilize the menstrual cycle and reduce discomfort. It also helps prevent fungal infections.
The fruits are extremely useful for cosmetic purposes. They help to keep the skin and hair in good condition.
The benefits of coconut for men
Coconut helps men support their masculine function. Extracts from nuts are found in many medicines aimed at maintaining sexual and reproductive function.
A nut will be useful for introducing into the diet during active sports, since it contains a lot of protein, which will allow you to recharge with energy.
Consuming coconut during pregnancy and breastfeeding
There are no contraindications to the use of coconut while carrying a baby and lactation.
Can children eat coconut?
Before the onset of 3 years, it is not recommended to introduce coconut into the diet. The same applies to shavings, flour, milk. Yet this is an overseas fruit, which at such a tender age can cause an allergic reaction.
Is coconut good for weight loss?
Despite its high fat content, coconut will be beneficial in the process of losing weight. Lauric acid, which is a fat, but also a valuable source of energy. For this reason, coconut is ideal for a low-carb diet.
The pulp of the fruit has a positive effect on the functioning of the thyroid gland. Coconut helps reduce appetite and hunger.
Eating coconut for diabetes
Diabetics can afford to consume coconut pulp, but in small amounts and not regularly. And oil from this nut is prohibited for them.
What does coconut treat for and how to take it for medicinal purposes
Coconut oil is widely used for medicinal purposes. It helps to relieve the discomfort after insect bites and heal wounds faster. It is added to tea for sore throats. And if you rinse your mouth with water and oil, you can get rid of harmful bacteria and whiten your teeth.
Coconut oil helps relieve stress and relax quickly. To do this, rub a small amount of the product into the temples and scalp. In just a few minutes, relief is felt. The oil is used to eliminate the manifestations of herpes, it also does not allow wounds to “creep away”.
With the daily use of a small amount of oil, you can improve the work of the gastrointestinal tract and protect the heart muscle, regulate the level of cholesterol in the body. Regular consumption of the oil promotes wound healing in the stomach lining and reduces irritation.
The oil helps to relieve nasal congestion and has a positive effect on the functioning of the thyroid gland.
The use of coconut in cosmetology
Despite the excellent composition, only oil from this nut is used in cosmetology. But, this oil is suitable for hair, nails and skin. The oil is added to natural soap. The main properties of the oil:
- giving elasticity to the skin;
- restoration of healthy hair structure;
- getting rid of brittleness and stratification;
- normalization of fat balance both on the hair and on the skin;
- strengthening the nail plate.
The oil protects the skin from negative weather influences. It is added to tanning products. It has pronounced whitening properties.
Coconut. Harm and contraindications
Allergy to coconut is extremely rare, but still, excessive consumption of pulp and milk can harm, and above all, due to the high fat content. A large amount of pulp can provoke an exacerbation of pathologies associated with the liver and stomach. And if there are problems with the digestive process, then the pulp will not be completely digested and gradually accumulate in the stomach, which sooner or later will cause the appearance of individual intolerance.
It is forbidden to use coconut in the presence of phenylketonuria and diseases of the gallbladder. It is not recommended for use in case of liver diseases.
How and with what to eat coconut
The easiest way is to smash the coconut on a heavy object or hammer. You can try to chop with a knife or pierce with a knitting needle, but then you can only drink milk.
If the pulp of the fruit is young, then it can be eaten with a spoon. It can be cut into small portions and added to different dishes, stored in the refrigerator, by the way, its shelf life is at least 1 month. And if you make shavings, then the pulp can be stored even longer.
Desserts are mainly made from the pulp, added to cakes.
How to choose and store coconuts
The fruit should not be large. Refuse to buy damaged and deformed ones. There should be no dents on the peel, and even more so cracks, which can cause the development of fungal diseases and bad taste.
If no gurgling is heard when shaking, then it means that there is no liquid there and, most likely, that it is damaged.
The skin of the fruit must be very firm. The fruit itself should not be wet. After opening, inspect the pulp, it should have a uniform color and not have a strong unpleasant odor.