Coconut

Coconut oil and coconut milk contain mainly medium chained saturated fatty acids, though these saturated fatty acids can form antiviral and antibacterial compounds that help protect the body from infections. There are mixed opinions on the effects of coconut oil on cholesterol levels in the blood. Though the consumption of coconut should be limited to a few times a week because of the link between saturated fatty acids and heart disease.

Coconut water is believed to have the same electrolyte balance as isotonic sports drinks, making it a good natural alternative to sports drinks, and ideal for rehydration after extended periods of exercise.

Coconut sugar has a lower score on the glycaemic index than regular table sugar so won’t cause the same sugar highs and lows, making it a good alternative sugar for those who suffer from diabetes. Coconut sugar also contains some nutrients and trace elements in small amounts. Coconut sugar is also a more environmentally sustainable sweetener.

Coconut flour is high in fibre and has a low glycaemic index meaning it has a slow breakdown of energy and helps maintain stable blood glucose levels.

Nutritional Benefits

Vitamin C
  • Prevents cells from oxidative stress and damage to cells.
  • Aids in the absorption of iron in the body
  • Aids in the utilisation of iron
Vitamin E
  • Prevention of cell damage by oxidative stress
  • Helps strengthen immune system
  • Maintains healthy skin and hair
Vitamin B1
  • Contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism
  • Normal nervous system function
  • Contributes to normal heart function
Vitamin B6
  • Contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism
  • Contributes to a reduction of fatigue
  • Normal protein and glycogen metabolism
  • Normal immune system function
  • Contributes to hormone regulation
Calcium
  • Contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism
  • Contributes to normal muscle function
  • Maintenance of normal teeth and bones
  • Contributes to cell specialisation and division
Iron
  • Contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism
  • Aids in the reduction of tiredness and fatigue
  • Contributes to red blood cell and haemoglobin formation and the transport of oxygen around the body
  • Contributes to normal immune system function
  • Helps maintain normal cognitive function
Magnesium
  • Contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism
  • Helps to maintain normal muscle function
  • Contributes to protein synthesis and cell division
  • Maintains normal hormonal health
Phosphorus
  • Contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism
  • Aids absorption and utilisation of calcium in
Selenium
  • Important in the maintenance of the immune system
  • Important for successful fertility and reproduction.
  • Involved in the regulation of some hormones

 

Risks and Side Effects

There may be some risks associated with the saturated fat content of coconut.

 

Uses

Coconut has various uses, the oil can be used in baking and cooking, and also makes a good, natural hair conditioner, moisturiser and makeup remover. Coconut milk and water can be added to juices and smoothies. Coconut flour is gluten free and is a good alternative flour used in baking. Coconut sugar can be used as a sweetener is baking or can be added to tea, coffee or breakfast cereals.

 

Coconut products we have available can be found here.

Recipes using coconut can be found here.