Coconut: Top of the Superfood Chain

Coconut: Top of the Superfood Chain

For years, the mainstream view on coconut consisted of tropical drinks by the pool. Now, this sweet, hearty botanical treat can be found in just about everything, including a variety of healing applications. These are the kind of plant superpowers that brings this simple, plentiful nut to the top of the superfood chain.

Sweet Straw

Some have described the taste of coconut meat as “sweet straw”. It is a stringy, grainy texture that can soon break down into a nice, natural dessert. The thing is, this sweet straw is packed with some nutritious goodness.

Medium Chain – Folks may gawk that coconuts contain too much saturated fat but many do not realize that it is a medium chain fatty acid (MCFA). This is the type of fat the body breaks down quickly and instead of causing cholesterol may prevent it, according to a study in the Philippine Journal of Cardiology.

Magnificent Manganese – Sometimes mistaken for magnesium, the mineral manganese is an important nutrient for strong immune function, nervous system support, and blood sugar stabilization. Coconut contains high levels of manganese which also helps metabolize proteins and fats.

K & Cu –  These are the element abbreviations for potassium and copper, two important nutrients found in manganese. These two minerals assist in proper cell fluid balance (potassium) and red blood cell formation (copper).

Feed Your Thyroid

One of the most common afflictions in America today is hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid). There are many symptoms of this condition which include extreme fatigue, excessive weight gain, chronic viral infections, abnormal hair loss, mood swings, fluctuating body temperature, frequent bruising, and consistent headaches/migraines.

Check with your doctor for a proper exam to determine if you may be afflicted with a thyroid issue. If so, talk to your physician and naturopathic doctor before going on a prescription, synthetic thyroid medication. Depending on the severity of your diagnosis, lifestyle changes and coconut may be helpful in reversing thyroid challenges.

Coconut oil has been found to rebalance the immune system and decrease internal inflammation two major causes of hypothyroidism. Health Impact News reports that,

“Coconut oil has a direct effect in suppressing inflammation and repairing tissue, and it may also contribute by inhibiting harmful intestinal microorganisms that cause chronic inflammation.”

No Obese 4U

Another benefit of eating sources of MCFA, like coconut, is the ability to allow the body full use of your choice of energy consumption.

A study by researchers at the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University, Quebec, Canada which was published in the March 2002 Journal of Nutrition stated that,

“Animal and human studies have shown that the fast rate of oxidation of MCFA leads to greater energy expenditure (EE). Most animal studies have also demonstrated that the greater EE with MCFA relative to long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) results in less body weight gain and decreased size of fat depots after several months of consumption.”

Shore Up Your Brainpan

There have recently been preliminary studies that are showing some beneficial effects of consuming coconut oil. One notable story is of a Florida pediatrician named Mary Newport who, after reading the potential for the brain to utilize MCFA ketones, gave coconut oil to her husband who suffers from early onset Alzheimers.

The results showed such significant improvement that Newport’s husband was quoted as saying he felt as if a “light had switched on” in his brain. More studies need to be conducted but some feel that by including coconut into your diet, especially if you are over 50 years old, there is a chance you may be able to prevent Alzheimer’s and other dementia related diseases.

Care for Your Hair

Using coconut oil on your hair makes for stronger roots, a hydrated scalp and shinier coat. Simply massage coconut oil into your hair and scalp then cover with a shower cap or plastic wrap before bed. In the morning, shampoo and rinse. That’s all it takes a few times per week to keep dandruff away while maintaining a healthier, younger looking you.

Oil Pull

The centuries old practice of oil pulling with coconut oil has shown to be an effective dental health practice used to decrease mouth microbes and possibly reduce systemic toxicity.

A study published in the Nigerian Medical Journal (March-April 2015) concluded that,

“Oil pulling has been proven to be an effective method in reducing plaque formation and plaque induced gingivitis. This preliminary study shows that coconut oil is an easily usable, safe and cost effective agent with minimal side effects which can be used as an adjuvant in oral hygiene maintenance.”

These are just a few reasons why coconut is considered top of the superfood chain.