‘C’ for Coconut
by Dr Marli Botha
We look at the health benefits of coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut water. The popularity of coconut doesn’t end with hot-right-now coconut water. A variety of coconut-derived ingredients—from coconut oil to coconut milk—is increasingly being used in home kitchens, restaurants and packaged foods. But can a food so rich in calories and laden with saturated fat be healthy?
- Coconut water has fewer calories, less sodium and more potassium than a sports drink. Professional tennis player John Isner believe that coconut water kept him on his feet during his epic 11 – hour marathon Wimbledon tennis match. He believes that it prevents cramps in the hottest and most humid conditions.
- A single cup of coconut water contains enough potassium to keep the kidneys in good health. The diuretic effect is beneficial in the prevention of kidney stones and can assist to reduce blood pressure. The arginine in coconut water increases blood circulation to all organs, including kidneys.
- The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil showed that energy consumption is increasing in 24 hours by as much as 5 %, and it could potentially lead to a significant weight loss over the long term (Eur. J. Clin . Nutr . 50 : 152- 158. )
- Coconut oil can also be very effective to treat hair loss and prevent hair damage because it blocks out 20 % of harmful UV rays (Pharmacogn Rev. 2011 Jul ; 5 ( 10 ) : 164-73 . doi : 10.4103 / 0973-7847.91114 .)