On many islands coconut is a staple in the diet and provides the majority of the food eaten. Nearly one third of the world’s population depends on coconut to some degree for their food and their economy. The coconut palm is so highly valued by many Pacific and Asian cultures that it is called “The Tree of Life”, as it is used in traditional medicine practices.
More recently, the coconut, and it’s many products, have gained popularity and interest for it’s health benefits that extend beyond its nutritional content.
- Coconut’s medium chain fatty acids are a great source of fuel compared to other fats.
- Coconut is rich in lauric acid, which has been shown to the good HDL cholesterol.
- Coconut water packed with electrolytes and minerals, but is also high in simple sugars (beware).
- Coconuts are rich sources of a number of vitamins and minerals.
- It is considered a very good source of potassium and B-complex vitamins such as folate, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine.
Best Ways to Use
- Coconut slices or chunks are eaten as a snack.
- Desiccated coconut powder is used in the preparation of variety of savory dishes.
- Desiccated coconut powder can also be used for sweets like, granola bars, cake, cookies, chocolate, pies and custards.
- Fresh tender coconut water can be made as special refreshing drink by adding lemon, mint leaves, orange zest, etc.
- Coconut milk is added to flavor variety of curries.