Superfood: The Coconut
This Fitbit will only touch on the vast amount of benefits and information there is about Coconuts.
There are two types of Coconut Palm trees: Dwarf Coconut Trees and Tall Coconut Palms.
Dwarf Coconut Trees grow to 26-32 feet tall and will reach full height at 20 years. The Dwarf Coconut will start to flower after is reaches approximately 3 feet tall which normally occurs in 3 years. This tree will produce around up to 100 coconuts per year. The coconuts are round and bright colored with thin husks .The lifespan of the Dwarf coconut trees are 30-40 years.
Tall Coconut Palms are fast growing and mature at 65-100 feet tall. Their lifespan is 60-70 years. They produce between 40-50 nuts year round. These coconuts have a thick fibrous husk that is oblong and floats very easily.
Coconut trees grow best in moist, sandy well drained soil, found in saline rich coastal regions around the world. Due to the ability of the coconuts to stay afloat, coconuts can travel vast distances across oceans. Coconuts will have different varieties of flavor depending on their final destination. They will take root, germinate and grow on the shores they wash up on.
The caloric value of a coconut is 354 calories per 3.5 ounces.
The saturated fat that was taboo is now hailed as a good fat. Lauric acid is the fatty acid that increases HDL Cholesterol levels in the blood, “High Density Lipo-Protein”. This is the good cholesterol that has positive effects on the coronary arteries by helping to slow or prevent ACSD, Atherosclerotic Coronary Disease; vessel blockage. Other saturated fats within the coconut oil are: Capric Acid, Caprylic Acid, Myristic Acid and Palmitic Acid.
Polyunsaturated fats – Linoleic
Monosaturated fats – Oleic acid
Polyphenols – Phenolic acid also known as Gallic acid are the polyphenols that are responsible for the taste and fragrance.
There are primarily 6 kinds of coconut oil on the market today.
Pure: Extracted from dried coconut flesh or “Copra”. It is unrefined and has no additives. This is the most preferred oil of the 6 types.
Refined: This oil is refined, bleached, and deodorized by mechanical and chemical treating of the copra. This process creates odorless oil.
Virgin: Obtained from the milk of the fresh coconut meat, not from the copra. Processed by fermentation, centrifugal separation and/or enzyme action with little or no heat used in this extraction process. This oil has a nice fragrance and the taste is superior, loaded with antioxidants, healthy fatty acids and anti-microbial properties.
Extra Virgin: There are no standards for this said superior quality of oil. Buyer beware when you see this labeling. Know your source to be sure you are getting this quality.
Organic: Organic oil is extracted without any chemicals and has been grown in soil without any synthetic fertilizers or insecticides. Only organic manure is used to preserve the most natural, healthy oil.
Organic Virgin: Produced from the organic coconut in an organic method.
Another great and healthy product from the coconut is “Coconut Water”. It is considered the “water of life”. Coconut water is a superfood in and of itself. Filled with minerals, vitamins, amino acids, sugars, and enzymes. Not to be confused with Coconut milk: Coconut milk and coconut water are not the same.
Coconut milk is produced from crushing the meat of the coconut and extracting the liquid. Coconut water is the liquid you hear swishing about when you shake a coconut. Coconut water saves lives. We have known its value of sustenance since WWII when no medical supplies were available and our medics had to improvise. Coconut water was used as IV fluid to the injured, dehydrated and malnourished.
Even as recent as the devastating tsunami in 2004, the Pacific rim suffered, it has been noted and documented of many accounts of survival only by the consumption of coconut water. This well-balanced natural offering has much-needed calories that would/should be an ideal drink than any other brand of soft drink beverages. Coconut water also prevents dehydration conditions and gastrointestinal issues. Coconut water has naturally occurring bioactive enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA-polymerases etc. In effect, these enzymes help in the digestion and metabolism. Its water is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that the human body requires them from external sources to replenish.
So whether you are on a tropical beach or in Colorado, take the time to enjoy some cold coconut water for the health of it!
|Coconut water (Cocus nucifera), Fresh,
Nutrition Value per 100 g
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.20 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||1.1 g||3%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.043 mg||<1%|
|Vitamin C||2.4 mg||4%|
|Vitamin a||0 IU||0%|
|Vitamin E||0 mg||0%|
|Vitamin K||0 mcg||0%|
Athena Bell, Exec VP IFPA
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