Coconuts have had a bad rap in recent years. And unjustly so.

Recent research shows this nostalgic “nut” (it’s really a seed) offers a myriad of health benefits, some of which may astound you. The coconut’s powers range from boosting digestive health and immune function to stoking your body’s fat-burning ability. Let’s look at the four superfoods the coconut offers…

Coconut “water” is the liquid found inside young coconuts (and differs from coconut milk). It is rich in potassium and other purported “youth-enhancers” and hence its popularity with athletes and A-listers. And 100% natural, at that.

Coconut milk comes from the meat of the fresh green coconut. When the coconut dries or ripens, the “meat” becomes hard and much of the oils become saturated.

Coconut flour is simply dried coconut meat that has been ground into a fine powder. Despite its sweet taste, it has no sugar and provides a bevy of benefits to baked goods.

Finally, coconut oil. It’s heat-stable (and therefore perfect for high-temperature cooking), packed with medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and available in full-flavor or neutral flavor varieties.

Selecting and Storing Coconut

Choose a coconuts that is heavy for its size and that sounds full of liquid when shaken. Avoid those with damp "eyes". Whole, unopened coconuts can be stored at room temperature for up to 6 months. Packaged coconut is available in cans or plastic bags. Store unopened canned coconut at room temperature up to 18 months; coconut in plastic bags will keep up to six months. Refrigerate after opening.

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About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.

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