How Coconuts are Good For Your Health

Nutrient Content

Vitamins

A Source of:

  • Folate – 5%
  • Thiamin – 4%
  • Vitamin C – 4%

Minerals

Excellent Source of: 

  • Manganese – 60%

Good Source of: 

  • Copper – 17%
  • Selenium – 12%
  • Iron – 11%

Also a Source of:

  • Phosphorus – 9%
  • Potassium – 8%
  • Magnesium – 6%
  • Zinc – 6%

Other

Excellent Source of: 

  • Fiber – 29%

Also a Source of:

  • Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)

*All nutritional information from (1)

How Coconuts Prevent Chronic Disease

Coconuts are very unique compared to other fruits. Coconuts are composed almost entirely of saturated fats, which cause many people to infer that they are unhealthy. However, the kinds of fats that make up coconuts are at the forefront of health research because they are not your “typical” saturated fats. (2)

How Coconuts Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases

The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut are a novel resource for patients experiencing Alzheimer’s or suffering from mild cognitive impairment. MCTs are broken down by the liver into ketone bodies, which can then pass the blood-brain barrier to fuel neurons. A hallmark of Alzheimer’s is reduced glucose utilization. Coconuts’ MCTs can provide an alternative source of energy for Alzheimer’s patients. (3)

The hormones and phenolic compounds may also help to prevent the build-up of amyloid-β plaques in the neurons. These plaques are another hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. (4)

In one study, coconut oil was identified as a possible agent of slowed Parkinson’s disease progression–a disease impacting over 10 million people worldwide. (5, 6)

How Coconuts Help Prevent Cancer

One of the MCTs that has been studied for anti-cancer properties is lauric acid. Lauric acid has been shown to induce cell death of colon cancer cells and inhibit the proliferation of breast and endometrial cancer cells. (7,8)

How Coconuts Help Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

There is much controversy regarding coconut oil. It is growing in popularity for its cardiovascular benefits. When comparing coconut oil to animal fats, like butter, coconut oil has been shown to increase the good HDL cholesterol and lower the bad LDL cholesterol; this argues that it can better help combat cardiovascular disease when compared to butter. When compared to plant oils, coconut oil raised both HDL and LDL levels. So, someone with cholesterol issues should be careful and consider these findings when choosing a cooking oil (9). That being said, if you use butter, then coconut oil is a healthier alternative. 

Coconuts Help Promote a Number of Health Benefits

How Coconuts Promote Mental Health

Animal studies have shown that virgin coconut oil may reduce stress. (10)

  • Manganese: Manganese serves a vital role in several essential processes in our brain (11)

How Coconuts Promote Skin and Hair Health

Coconut oil has been used as a moisturizer for years. Virgin coconut oil promotes skin health by protecting against inflammation and enhancing skin barrier function. (12)

Coconut oil is able to penetrate the hair shaft to help hair retain its proteins, which helps it maintain its full vitality. (13)

Concerns With Coconuts

Many people talk about the many wonders of coconuts. In reality, they are great for brain health, but your cardiovascular conditions need to be taken into consideration when consuming substantial amounts of it. People have sited that coconuts raise HDL cholesterol, but that might be a result of the high fat content; they also raise LDL cholesterol levels.

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