Given the many times that experts have touted the benefits of consuming more fruits and vegetables, it should come as no surprise to learn that coconuts posses some amazing benefits. A tropical fruit that is a versatile as it is unusual, coconuts are now processed around the world to produce a number of products, including sugar, soap, milk, cosmetic products, butter, flour and the ever-popular, coconut oil. Given the popularity and widespread availability of these various products that utilize coconuts and their benefits, it can sometimes be easy to overlook these round, hard-skinned fruits in their more natural state.
Eating fresh coconuts, as a sizable portion of the world's population does as part of their daily diet, according to the Coconut Research Center, reaps many benefits that people will find attractive. Just a few of these advantages are outlined below.
Improves functioning of the brain
Just one serving of the fresh, white, fragrant coconut meat provides a person with 17% of their daily supply of copper. This trace mineral is responsible for activating enzymes that then trigger neurotransmitter production. These neurotransmitters are responsible for transferring information from cell to cell. This finding shows great promise in keeping age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's, at bay.
As the world's people become heavier, obesity brings crushing health issues that are both short, and long, term. A study in the June 2006 issue of Ceylon Medical Journal found that a dietary fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) is found in abundant quantities in coconuts. MCTs are known to aid significantly in the loss of weight given the speed at which the human body can metabolize them. MCTs have also been shown to help curb hunger pangs more effectively than those long-chain triglycerides such as the ones found in dairy products and meats.
Improve cardiovascular health
Another way the MCTs in coconuts have been shown to improve health is in reducing the total amounts of cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in October 2008 showed that volunteers who consumed MCTs as a part of a weight loss plan that was to last for four months showed a significant reduction in the amounts of harmful cholesterol levels in their blood.
Just one cup of coconut meat has been shown to contain seven grams of fiber, This is according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. Most people already know that fiber helps keep the intestinal tract healthy and guards against constipation; fiber also helps protect people from diabetes, boosts their immune systems, lower the LDL cholesterol levels in blood and reduce blood sugar levels.
Adding just a few cups of raw, natural coconut to the diet several times a week can reap huge benefits for people. From children to centenarians, coconuts provide health benefits that cannot be overlooked.