This powerhouse tropical fruit can improve our health in many ways– from reducing inflammation to burning fat more efficiently.
BY BRUCE FIFE
Rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, coconuts are incredibly nutritious. These tree nuts provide healthy meat, juice, milk and oil that have fed and nourished people around the world for thousands of years. Nearly a third of the world’s population depends on coconut to some degree. On many islands, coconut is such an important staple that it provides the majority of the food eaten there.
In traditional medicine around the world, coconut is used to treat a wide variety of health problems ranging from skin infections and burns to asthma, bronchitis, fever, flu and more. Coconut oil is of special interest because it possesses healing properties potentially beyond that of any other dietary oil, and is used extensively in traditional medicine among Asian and Pacific populations. May Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure of all illness. The coconut palm is so highly valued them as a source of food and medicine that it is called “the tree of life.” Wherever the coconut palm grows, the people there have learned of its importance as a effective medicine. Only recently has modern medical science unlocked some of the secrets to coconut’s healing properties.
COCONUT IN MODERN MEDICINE
Modern medical science is now confirming the use of coconut in treating many conditions. Published studies in medical journals show that coconut may provide a wide range of health benefits. Some of these are summarized here.
– Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes and other illnesses.
– Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease, cavities and other diseases.
In traditional medicine, coconut is used to treat health problems ranging from burns to bronchitis.
– Kills fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
– Expels of kills tapeworm, lice, giardia and other parasites.
– boosts energy and endurance, helping enhance physical and athletic performance.
– Improves digestion ad absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, mineral and
– Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
– Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of
strong bones and teeth.
– Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.
– Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and stomach
– Improves digestions and bowel function.
– Supports tissue healing and repair.
– Supports and aids immune system function.
– Is heart-healthy; improves cholesterol ratio, which reduces risk of heart disease.
– Functions as an antioxidant, helping protect the body from harmful
free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease.
– Does not deplete the body’s use of essential; fatty acids and protects them
– Does not deplete the body’s antioxidant reserves as other oils can do.
– Is lower in calories than all other fats.
– Supports thyroid function.
– Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
– Applied topically, helps form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward off infection.
– Reduces symptoms of psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis.
– Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
– Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin and age spots.
– Promotes healthy-looking hair and complexion.
– Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
– Does not form harmful byproducts when heated to normal cooking temperature like
other vegetable oils do.
WHOLE-WHEAT COCOONUT BROWNIES
This recipe makes 16 brownies, each containing half a tablespoon of coconut oil.
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 cup sugar or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pecans, choppped
1 cup shredded of flaked coconut
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Blend coconut oil (not hot) and eggs together.
3. Mix in sugar and vanilla and set aside.
4. In a separate bowl mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
5. Mix wet and dry ingredients together. Stir in pecans and coconut.
6. Pour batter into a greased 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.
7. Cool to room temperature and cut into 16 squares.
REFERNCES: MOTHER EARTH LIVING MAGAZINE/ NATURAL HOME, HEALTHY LIFE