Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Natural Health Fruit: Health Benefits Of Coconut

Coconut cream / milk

Coconut cream is widely used in curries, desserts and cakes. That's because it enhances the aroma and tastes of the dishes and can be obtained easily and cheaply. It has a thick, paste-like consistency and when diluted, it is called coconut milk.

However, people avoid coconut cream because of its high fat content. Especially those who want to lose weight. But do you know that it is good saturated fat which can be easily metabolised or turn into energy fast? That means it does not cause blockages in our arteries. I'm not suggesting you to indulge in this natural health cream, but rather than avoid it altogether, it is alright to eat in moderation. The principle fatty acid in coconut milk is lauric acid, which is the same fat found in abundance in mother's milk. When converted to monolaurin, it boosts your immune system and protects your body against many viruses, including hepatitis C, herpes and even HIV!

It also promotes normal brain development and contribute to healthy bones. It also has important anti-carcinogenic and anti-pathogenic properties which helps to prevent cancer. More importantly, coconut cream is less likely to cause weight gain than polyunsaturated oils. Never know coconut cream can be so good right? Canned or packaged coconut cream is available in supermarkets. It must be refrigerated once opened and does not last more than a week. Also, do not freeze coconut milk as this causes it to curdle when you next use it in cooking. Try different brands of canned coconut milk to find the one to your liking. Those with thick cream floating on top of the can with the watery milk below it are proofs that they are not artificially homogenized.

Virgin Coconut oil

Extracted from fresh coconut milk and meat, virgin coconut oil has such an aromatic and flavourful taste that it is used in many Just like coconut cream, this natural health oil reduces bad cholesterol unlike polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower and safflower oils. It contains least calorie count among the category of monosaturated oils. You ladies out there got to know this ! Surprise, surprise ! Coconut oil does speed up metabolism and aids you in shedding off the excess fats !

People of traditional cultures, such as the South Pacific Islands and the Philippines where coconut and palm oils are plentiful, suffer lower rates of obesity and health problems. Look at our society today - we pile high on our plates food equally high in carbohydrates and polyunsaturated oils which increase our risk of heart diseases and diabetes. Yet we complain about our weight and poor health. It's a shame !

However, coconut oil is different from other animal oil. Studies have found that it aids in lowering blood pressure and regulate thyroid dysfunction. Unlike refined oils, this natural health oil does not turn rancid easily and become toxic to our bodies. If you have damaged hair, try using coconut oil on your hair and scalp. It has been proven to be a more effective treatment for damaged hair than mineral oil and sunflower oil. That's because coconut oil is the only oil among the three which effectively reduces protein loss in hair.

Virgin coconut oil is an excellent beauty care product too. Here are some benefits :

  1. it penetrates and moisturises the skin
  2. minimise damage from sun exposure that causes sagging, wrinkling and blemishes
  3. removes dead skin cells, producing an even texture and glow 4) heals damaged or diseased skin

Sometimes, wonderful remedies can be within your reach and in abundance, only if you look hard enough. In this case, it is the Coconut.

Author: Laura Ng

1 comment:

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