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21 Amazing Health Benefits Of Coconut (Nariyal)


Coconut is a fruit that belongs to genus Cocos nucifera palm and is available in  hundreds of varieties all over the world. Coconut is not actually “Nut” and in fact, botanically speaking it is considered as a drupe. Coconut is both the name of the fruit and also of the tree on which coconut grows. Coconut fruit is very beneficial for our health and provides a lot of benefits because of the number of nutrients like vitamins,minerals, antioxidants, lauric acid etc. present in it. In this article, we will know about all the major health benefits of coconut in detail but first, let’s take a look at the below-mentioned nutrition chart of coconut.

Nutrition Chart Of Coconut

Nutrition Chart Of Coconut
source-USDA

 

Health Benefits of Coconut

Health Benefits of Coconut
source-pixabay.com

 

(1) Reduces The Risk Of Diabetes

Regular and moderate consumption of coconut is very beneficial for reducing the risk of  diabetes because of the high level of dietary fibers present in coconut. About 61 % percent of coconut’s weight is fiber and this fiber slows down the release of glucose into our bloodstream and transport the glucose to the cells where it gets converted to energy.

The dietary fiber present in coconut is non-digestive which means it doesn’t contain any calories and eating them don’t affect the blood sugar level in a negative way. The dietary fiber present in coconut also helps in providing relief from pancreatic stress and enzyme systems and thus reduces the risk  of developing diabetes.

(2) Beneficial For Diabetic Patients

Eating coconuts is beneficial for the people suffering from diabetes because of the ability of coconut to improve insulin secretion and maintains effective utilization of blood glucose. Consuming coconuts help in reducing the glycemic craving by slowing down the rise in blood sugar level. The dietary fibers present in coconut also helps in proper digestion and keep our digestive system healthy.By doing so, it helps supports proper absorption of nutrients and minerals and reduces vomiting,nausea, and other stomach problems.

The glycemic index of coconut is 35 which is considered very low and this low glycemic index means that when coconut is digested by our system then it releases sugar into the bloodstream at a very slow pace and this helps in controlling diabetes.

(3) Improves Insulin Secretion

Consuming coconut is beneficial not only for the people suffering from diabetes but also in reducing the risk of development of diabetes because of the low glycemic index of coconut and presence of high dietary fibers in it. In addition to this, eating coconut also helps in reducing cravings for sweets ( which is just like a poison for diabetic patients ) and improves secretion of insulin and ensures proper utilization of blood glucose.

(4) Provides Anti-Aging Benefits

Regular and moderate consumption of coconut is very beneficial in reducing the signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots etc. and keeps premature aging at bay because of the high level of antioxidants and other compounds like Cytokinins, Kinetin and trans-zeatin present in coconut. These compounds provide antithrombotic, anti-cancer and anti-ageing benefits and thus keeps premature aging at bay.

(5) Boosts Immune System

Regular and moderate consumption of coconut is very effective in making our immune system stronger because of the antioxidants present in coconut. These antioxidants fights with the free radicals of our body stabilize them and prevents them from doing damage to our body cells (including the immune system ).

In addition to this,coconut also possesses antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic properties and consuming coconut increases our strength to fight the bacteria and viruses responsible for causing diseases and illness. Eating raw coconut helps in providing relief from throat infections, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, tapeworms and other illness caused by microbes.

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(6) Provides Relief From Abdominal Fats

Consuming coconut on a regular basis ( but in a moderate quantity) is very effective in reducing the abdominal fat level. Abdominal fat is nothing but the fat that gets deposited in the abdominal cavity (around belly ) , but this “abdominal fat” is considered as the most dangerous of all fats and having too much of abdominal fats can give rise to other health problems like  heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, stress, obesity, respiratory problems like asthma etc. Because of the so many health risks associated with abdominal fat ( belly fat).It is important for us to keep abdominal fat under control and we can use coconut for doing the same. Consuming 200 grams of coconut serving a day for a period of two weeks can help in significantly reducing the BMI and waist circumference of our body.

(7) Energy Booster

Consuming coconut is very beneficial in boosting the energy level of our body because of the ability of coconut to burn body fats for providing energy. In addition to this, the triglycerides found in coconut oil increases the total energy expenditure of our body which means we burn more calories than usual and this helps in weight loss. It has been found that people who eat coconut on a regular basis can control their hunger very well and they can go without eating for several hours with no effect of hypoglycemia. Consuming coconut on a regular basis also improves thyroid function and thus helps in reducing the symptoms of chronic fatigue.

 (8) Promotes Weight Loss

These days, obesity and overweight are a major health problem that affects millions of people all over the world. What makes it even worse is that obesity can give rise to many other health problems like heart attack, heart strokes, respiratory problems, high blood pressure, diabetes and so on. (source ) . The problem of obesity is getting worse day by day and as per  a report by WHO, it has been found that in some countries number of people who lose their life because of obesity is even higher than those who lose their life because of being underweight.  Because of so many risks associated with obesity, it is important for us to take good care of our health and maintains a healthy weight.

Consuming coconut on a regular basis is very effective in dealing with obesity problem as it promotes weight loss. This weight loss benefit of coconut is mainly because of the high level of dietary fibers present in coconut. These dietary fibers help in feeling us fuller for a long time and decreases our urge to eat again and again. As overeating is a major cause of obesity so by controlling overeating, it helps in controlling obesity.

In addition to this, coconut also increases our metabolic rate and signals our body to burn more calories. Although coconut helps in losing weight but it is still important to eat them in moderation as they are high in calories and eating too much coconut can lead to weight gain.

(9) Helps In Treating Epilepsy

Coconuts are high in fats but low in carbohydrates and this combination makes them suitable to be a part of the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is a diet that consists of a low level of carbohydrates and high level of fats and is used for increasing the concentration of ketone bodies in the blood.Consuming such diet is very beneficial for the children suffering from epilepsy as it dramatically reduces the rate of seizures in epileptic children.

(10) Reduces The Risk Of Cancers

Regular and moderate consumption of coconut is very beneficial for reducing the risk of various types of  cancers like breast cancer, colon cancer etc. because of the high level of antioxidants present in it. These antioxidants fights with the free radicals of our body stabilize them and prevents them from doing damage to our body cells and cause  cancer.

(11) Keep Us Hydrated

Water plays a very important role in keeping us healthy as our body need water for almost all bodily function and a large part of vital organs of our body are made up of water. Our body is made up of 60 percent of water, our heart and brain are composed of 73 percent water, our lungs are made  up of 83 percent water (source ).

In addition to this, our body needs water even for cellular level activity and because of all these reasons, it is important for us to keep our body hydrated at all time. Lack of water can cause dehydration which can give rise to many health complications like low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, fever, sunken eyes etc.

Coconut water is very beneficial in keeping us hydrated and in fact, drinking coconut water is even more beneficial than drinking plain water as it not only provides hydration but also provide a lot of nutrition and helps in maintaining the electrolyte balance of our body.

Source-  5 Major Side Effects of Eating Too Many Coconuts

(12) Is More Nutritious And Healthier Than Whole Milk

It has been found that coconut water is even healthier and nutritious than the whole milk because of the presence of Lauric acid in  it. Drinking coconut water not only helps in keeping us hydrated, helps in maintaining electrolyte balance but provides a lot of other benefits and one such benefit is the ability of coconut water to cure the hangover.

(13) Prevents urinary tract infection

Coconut is diuretic in nature which means it increases the rate at which urine is produced and released by our body. Because of the increase in urine flow, it helps in proper removal of toxins out of the body and thus helps in reducing the risk of urinary tract infections.

(14) Maintains Proper Blood Cholesterol Levels

Regular and moderate consumption of coconut helps in controlling cholesterol level of our body and thus reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, heart stroke etc. and other health problems. Although coconut contains saturated fat which is infamous for increasing bad cholesterol level but, it has been found that saturated fats in coconut increases the good cholesterol level and controls the rate at which bad cholesterol level rises.

By doing so, it helps in controlling cholesterol level and thus prevents us from the risk of various cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, heart stroke,  blockage of arteries and so on. In addition to this, the dietary fibers present in coconut also helps in maintaining proper cholesterol level.

 (15) Improves Heart Health

Eating coconut is good for our heart and helps in keeping our cardiovascular system healthy because of the presence of healthy short chain and medium chain fatty acids in it. Short chain and medium chain fatty acids are very different from long chain fatty acids ( which is present in almost 98 percent of all fatty acids) because of their ability to control cholesterol level and reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular problems.

As a per study, it has been found that countries like Sri Lanka and Polynesia, where coconut is a dietary staple, people do not suffer from high serum cholesterol and heart diseases. In addition to this, the presence of lauric acid in coconut also make it very beneficial for our heart health. Coconut also helps in regulating cholesterol level and this also helps in keeping cardiovascular diseases at bay.

(16) Controls acidity and heartburn

Drinking coconut water is beneficial not only in keeping our body hydrated, maintaining electrolyte balance but also for providing relief from gastrointestinal problems like acidity and heartburn.

(17) Beneficial For Pregnant Women

Pregnancy is an important phase of every woman’s life and it is important for every pregnant woman to take good care of what she is eating and drinking because food she eats will affect not only her health but also the health of the fetus developing under her. It has been found that coconut water is very beneficial for pregnant women because of its natural antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Because of this benefit, it helps in improving the immunity  and health of pregnant women and prevents both mother and the baby from the risks of infections. Coconut water also boosts the amniotic fluid level and thus improves the overall health of the fetus.

(18) Provides Antibacterial,Antiviral And Antifungal Benefits

The antibacterial,antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic properties of coconut are very beneficial in killing all the bacteria, virus, and fungi responsible for spreading infections and causing diseases. This benefit of coconut is mainly because of the high level of monolaurin and lauric acid present in coconut.

(19) Improves Dental Health And Maintains Oral Hygiene

Are you suffering from bad breath ? If yes, then properly rinse your mouth with coconut water . This will help in killing the bad breath causing bacteria present in our mouth and will improve the overall dental health

(20) Make Our Bones And Teeth Stronger

Regular consumption of coconut is good for bones and teeth as it improves the ability of the body to absorb calcium and manganese and thus helps in the proper development of bones and teeth. Eating coconut also reduces the risk of osteoporosis, a condition in which our bones lose its density and becomes extremely weak and fragile.

(21) Improves Overall Health

Coconut is very beneficial for our health and provides a lot of benefits, and as per some research it has been found that people who eat coconut on a regular basis are comparatively healthier than those who don’t consume coconut. In some countries, coconut is used as a main ingredient of food and is added to almost every dish because of the numerous benefits associated with coconut.

 

Reference

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-coconut-for-skin-hair-and-health/

https://www.coconutsecret.com/coconuthealthsecrets2.html

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/coconut.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut

 

Disclaimer

The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, but I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.

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