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Coconut this and coconut that.

Coconut this and coconut that. That hairy brown (or green if younger) beauty is found in pretty much everything these days. You can get; flavoured coconut waters, coconut yoghurt, coconut based hand creams. You name it, someone has probably managed to squeeze at-least a bit of coconut into it.

But why is that? Why are experts crazy for coconuts all of a sudden? This article helps highlight a few of the many ways in which the goodness has been extracted from coconuts.

Coconut water

Firstly, what is coconut water? Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside young, green coconuts. As the coconut matures (turning brown and hairy) the liquid is replaced with coconut “meat” (that’s the white stuff). The water is low in calories, naturally fat and cholesterol free, has more potassium than four bananas and is also super hydrating! Yep – sounds pretty good to us!

Not everyone seems to like the ‘original’ sweet nutty taste though. Don’t worry friends there are many drinks out there now which combine coconut water with other fruits such as pineapple, peach and mango. There’s now many reasons to give it a try!

Coconut milk

Coconut milk has certainly been around for a while but not everyone knows of its benefits or how it is made. So, how is this tasty alternative to cows milk made?

Coconut meat (the white stuff) is grated and soaked in hot water. The coconut cream rises to the top and the remaining liquid can be squeezed through a cheesecloth to get the milk. The more times this process is repeated the thinner the milk gets. Usually, the thicker versions of the milk are used for desserts and the thinner milk is used commonly for curries. So now you know how it is made, why and when should you consume it?

If you’re lactose intolerant but you’ve found a great recipe that calls for cow’s milk then look no further – simply substitute with coconut milk. Also, if you’re feeling a bit of a flu coming on and wondering what you could take, yep – you’ve guessed it, coconut milk should help. The milk contains a number of saturated fatty acids with one in particular called lauric acid. Lauric acid is converted by your wonderful body into a compound called monolaurin that is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Coconut oil

Coconut is appearing in many beauty products. Why is that? Coconut oil has been proven to improve moisture and fat contents of skin. This is perfect if you suffer from dry skin or eczema. It can also be used as a face cleanser and as a sun block.

Coconut oil has also been used for centuries to cleanse mouth bacteria by doing an oil pull. Experts recommend if you want to heal gums and repair your teeth to undertake an oil pull three times a week for 20 minutes a time.

What about my hair? Can it help with that? Yep – it certainly can! Coconut oil has the perfect fatty acids to help dry hair or if you suffer from dandruff.

Coconut meat

So what about coconut meat. Can I still get the nutritional benefits from it? Of course you can! Coconut meat comes in all sorts of forms these days. Be it snack packs containing diced chunks, flaked coconuts or simply the whole coconut itself (a bit trickier in this form, unless one has a hammer!).

Coconut meat is high in fiber, which is great as fiber assists your digestion process and also helps you feel full. This is fantastic for those that want a little helping hand in managing their weight.

Did you know coconut contains manganese? Ah, manganese. Where would we be without it? Well, did you know that a cup of coconut contains over 50 percent of your recommended daily intake? Manganese helps you metabolise both fat and protein. It also supports both the immune and nervous systems and promotes stable blood sugar levels.

So there you have it. A few ways you can harness the goodness of our hairy friends that go by the name of coconut (or cocos nucifera if you want to impress your friends). Let us know how you get on and if you find any new benefits for this cheeky nut. #longlivethecoconuts

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