Coconut Products and Why They are Suitable for Blood Support
The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera L.) is a member of the Arecaceae (Palm tree) family with a natural range spanning Central Malesia to the South-West Pacific, including North-Western Australia. It is currently grown as a profitable crop across the tropics and subtropics of the world. There are two primary variants of the species or genus (the genus Cocos has only one species):
- Tall variety—Slow-growing, hardy cross-pollinated (male and female flowers mature at various times) plant that bears fruit 6–10 years after seedling and can survive up to 120 years.
- Dwarf variety—a fast-growing, less-hardy self-pollinated plant that bears fruit after 4–5 years.
The coconut tree produces a drupe or nut, which is made up of roughly 38% shell, 52% kernel, and 10% water and is used to make nutritious food, beverages, and cosmetics. The edible component is the endosperm, which consists of meaty flesh and water. One can make coconut milk by grating the solid/fleshy section of the endosperm, which is not the same as coconut water. The mesocarp is made up of coconut fiber, which has been used for a variety of uses other than food, such as firewood. Coconut flesh, also known as copra, is the primary product of interest for cosmetic and oil manufacturers.
Almost every component of the coconut has been used for medicinal purposes in the past. The nutshell fiber, roots, inflorescence, fruit pulp, and liquid ingredients like milk or water have all been proven to be used for medical purposes, ranging from diarrhea and inflammation to blood sugar regulation.
Coconut's nutritional benefits
Coconuts are abundant in medium and short chain fatty acids (MCFAs) such lauric acid, which are naturally occurring saturated fats.
In the body, lauric acid is converted to monolaurin, a helpful molecule that kills a wide range of disease-causing organisms. It's used to treat regular colds as well as viral diseases like the flu.
Coconuts also include the nutrients listed below, which might be beneficial to the body:
- Vitamin C
- Thiamine or vitamin B1
Products made of coconut and their effect on blood sugar
Coconut flakes are the most common item seen in supermarkets. Coconut water, cream, oil, milk or sugar, and flour are also quite common. Let’s look into these products and their effect on blood sugar management.
The fluid endosperm within young coconuts is known as coconut water. This liquid is absorbed mostly into the flesh of mature coconuts as the coconut matures. Coconut water has long been a popular beverage in the tropics, particularly in Tropical Asia and Trinidad and Tobago, where it can be purchased fresh or bottled.
It's a thin, sweet liquid derived from the cores of fresh, green coconuts. Coconut water is a nutrient-dense, hydrating beverage high in vitamins and minerals that had been successfully used as liquid in intravenous therapy in emergency situations due to its sterility, PH and mineral content.
Coconut water, also known as "nature's sports beverage," has grown in popularity as a natural source of sugar, electrolytes, and hydration. Due to its high potassium and mineral content, it's also advertised as a sports drink, as it aids the body's recovery after strenuous activity.
Coconut water is primarily carbs, unlike coconut meat, which is high in fat. Because of this, and because many brands add sugar, flavorings, and other fruit liquids, people may be concerned about how this drink affects their blood sugar levels.
Coconut water that has been sweetened has twice as much sugar as coconut water that has not been sweetened. If you're trying to cut back on sugar, go for unsweetened coconut water instead of other sugary drinks like soda. To keep your blood sugar in check, control the amount of coconut water you consume.
Consuming mature coconut water has been shown in animal experiments to reduce blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C levels. More research is still required. Limit yourself to 1–2 cups (240–480 ml) of unsweetened coconut water per day.
Shredded coconut and water are combined to make coconut cream. To obtain a richer product, coconut cream can alternatively be made with milk instead of water. It's comparable to coconut milk, but with a lower water content. The main distinction is consistency. While coconut milk is normally a liquid, it has a thicker, paste-like consistency.
Coconut cream is created by boiling 1 part shredded coconut with 1 part water or milk until foamy, then straining the mixture through cheesecloth, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Refrigerate the coconut cream and set it aside.
Coconut cream is rich in flavor and high in healthful medium-chain fatty acids. To drastically elevate your blood sugar, you'd have to eat a lot of coconut cream because a portion of 55 grams has a glycemic load of 4.
The meat of mature coconuts is used to make coconut oil, commonly known as copra oil. Anti - oxidative and energy-boosting triglycerides are abound in this oil, and is also low in cholesterol.
Coconut oil not only has a delicious, flavour and aroma, but it also leaves very little grease behind. As a result, it's often used in baking and cooking to replace butter, olive oil, and vegetable oils.
Coconut oil can also be used for a variety of cosmetic purposes, including:
- a skin moisturizer made from natural ingredients
- a hair conditioner that stays in your hair
- a component in soap scrubs and lotions prepared at home
Coconut oil has been connected to a number of important health benefits. It could help you lose weight. When ingested as part of a well-balanced diet, coconut oil has been shown in several trials to aid weight loss.
Over an 8-week timeframe, one small study indicated that ingesting coconut oil was more beneficial than peanut oil for increasing fat-free mass. In a previous research. Men who ingested 2 tablespoons (30 ml) virgin coconut oil for four weeks had a considerable abdominal fat reduction.
Monolaurins, which are present in coconut oil, have been discovered to be potent antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents.
Despite its health benefits, coconut oil is a saturated fat that can raise cholesterol levels. Furthermore, because coconut oil is heavy in calories, consuming large amounts of it without modifying your diet may result in weight gain over time.
Coconut milk is a sweet, milky white liquid made from mature coconut meat. The high oil level and sugars are responsible for the milk's color and rich flavor. Coconut milk is known as "santan" in Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia, and "gata" in the Philippines.
It's not to be confused with coconut water, which is the liquid that naturally occurs inside a young green coconut. Coconut milk is an excellent way to include items that help you maintain a healthy weight. It contains Medium-chain Triglycerides (MCT), which help to keep weight under control.
Increased insulin sensitivity is also aided by the presence of MCT. As a result, the body's insulin functions are improved, and glucose levels are better maintained.Coconut milk has a number of health benefits for the heart. It may not aid in the reduction of good cholesterol, but it will undoubtedly aid in the reduction of bad cholesterol levels in the body. However, make careful to eat in moderation.
Many nutrients and minerals have the ability to increase immunity and defend against sickness.
Coconut milk has been used in Ayurveda for healthy and hydrated skin and hair.
Coconut flour contains a significant amount of dietary fiber, which can actually reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is low in carbohydrates and has a minor influence on blood glucose levels when compared to wheat and corn flour.
It's also gluten-free, making it a great choice for people with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that's more common among persons with type 1 diabetes. Coconut flour is also high in protein, which keeps you fuller for longer and is necessary for cell repair and growth.