Ingredient Spotlight: Coconut

Coconuts

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We’re nuts about coconuts here at Purium HQ. That’s why you can find this pure and premium ingredient in a couple of our products. So, just what benefits make this superfood so great? Well, it’s one of the most versatile foods out there—from its water to its oil, coconuts can help promote hydration, immune health, skin health and possibly even weight loss.

Today, we’re covering the possible benefits of coconut in its various forms (oil, water and meat). Plus, we’ll include a recipe using one of our favorite Purium products, Coco Hydrate!

Coconut Benefits

Is it bad for you?

Before we go too deep, let’s first address the elephant in the room. Every time we post anything coconut-related, there is always at least one comment asking about whether it’s actually good for you.

Why? Many believe that this food is too high in saturated fat, which can be considered unhealthy. It’s important to keep your fat-consumption in mind, especially if you’re on a diabetes-related diet. But the criticisms don’t stop there.

Last year, one Harvard professor went viral for calling coconut oil, “pure poison.” Most times, people refer to coconut oil or coconut meat as the main perpetrators of excessive fat. For this reason, we encourage people to use these forms in moderation. We also always recommend going with organic, virgin oil.

But we don’t believe that it is so bad that you need to cut it of your diet. In fact, we believe you should integrate it more–especially coconut water. The water is significantly less calories and saturated fat in comparison to other coconut forms. And that is why you’ll find it in so many of our products.

Okay, now let’s get into some benefits of consuming this superfood.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil can actually be more helpful than you think.

Increasing Good Cholesterol

Although it may be high in fats, the specific type of fat happens to be beneficial to you. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), specifically, lauric acid. This MCT  is thought to help increase healthy cholesterol (HDL) in the body. One study published in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that daily consumption helped increase HDL levels in healthy adults. What’s more, there were no safety issues noted with daily intake. (1)

It is thought that increasing HDL and decreasing bad cholesterol can help promote better heart-health.

Strengthens Immune Health

The same lauric acid that helps boost HDL can also help strengthen the immune system. That’s because this acid takes a different form in the body–monolaurin. This helps decrease the amount of bacteria in the body (2). In fact, one study suggests it can help fight Candida, a type of yeast that can cause infections.(3)

Lauric acid has also been touted to help balance hormones because of its saturated fat content.

May Support Weight Loss

We know what you’re thinking: how can a high-fat oil help support a weight loss routine? Well, in moderation, it may help you eat less, just like wheatgrass. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why this oil is used by keto dieters. It is believed that the oil can reduce appetite and produce ketones. One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition seems to support this idea. However, the study was on conducted on a small scale. (4) It focused on only 14 individuals, so more research is needed.

But its oil isn’t the only part of it that is great. It’s water can be just as beneficial.

Coconut water

Coconut water is a healthy choice for hydration.

Promoting Electrolyte-Production

Thinking about grabbing that colored sports drink to help re-fuel post-workout or on a hot day? Think again! Coconut water naturally contains electrolytes and hydrating minerals, such as potassium.

In fact, Dr. Axe reports that the liquid is sometimes used to replenish electrolytes in emergency situations (5). Sipping on some coconut water could give you that hydrating boost you  need on a hot summer’s day. That’s why we encourage use during those hot months (see our summer tips).

Fun fact: Coconut water is usually taken from young, green coconuts.

Encouraging Healthy Blood Pressure

What’s more, Dr. Axe reports that this water can help lower blood pressure, just like eating greens. One study published in the West Indian Medical Journal showed promise in this area. After drinking the water for two weeks, some participants in the study enjoyed a lower blood pressure reading when compared to an initial measurement. (6)

Researchers believe this occurred due to the water’s potassium content and how that helps the cardiovascular system by offsetting sodium.

Promote Health Muscle Recovery

The antioxidants and nutrients in this superfood also supports recovery, especially after long exercises. One study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology and Applied Human Science found that participants who ingested this water after workouts recovered quicker than those who didn’t. (7)

Plus, the participates didn’t experience bloating due to the water’s low-carb content. Sometimes you can feel a bit bloated after drinking too much water after workouts. Coconut water seems to help avoid that issue.

With its oil and water being so great, how does coconut’s meat fare?

 

Coconut meat can be grounded up to create a superfood flour.

Coconut meat helps supply fiber as well as important minerals, like iron and potassium, according to Very Well Fit. Because it is high in saturated fat, many people actually avoid the meat. But you can find the meat grounded up into flour, which is an amazing source of fiber

(with less saturated fat).

While we don’t use the meat in our products, we encourage you to enjoy it in moderation.

Coconut

Purium-Powered Coconuts

Going cuckoo for coconuts? Here are two favorites products:

Use them to create this recipe below!

Strawberry Lemonade Refresher

When we first stumbled on this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats, we just had to try it out. We adapted the recipe to include our own coconut water.

Ingredients:

  • Coco Hydrate
  • 1 handful of strawberries (just a few berries will do if you’re making one glass)
  • 1 cut lemon

Add the Coco Hydrate and strawberries into a blender, along with 1 to 2 cups water (to preference). Then squeeze some lemon juice in. Blend and enjoy!

Want to make it a little more fun? Mix in a little vodka for a sweet treat. You deserve it!

Cited Studies:

  1. Chinwong, S., Chinwong, D., & Mangklabruks, A. (2017). Daily consumption of virgin coconut oil increases high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in healthy volunteers: a randomized crossover trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine2017.
  2. Kabara, J. J., Swieczkowski, D. M., Conley, A. J., & Truant, J. P. (1972). Fatty acids and derivatives as antimicrobial agents. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy2(1), 23-28.
  3. Ogbolu, D. O., Oni, A. A., Daini, O. A., & Oloko, A. P. (2007). In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria. Journal of medicinal food10(2), 384-387.
  4. Van Wymelbeke, V., Himaya, A., Louis-Sylvestre, J., & Fantino, M. (1998). Influence of medium-chain and long-chain triacylglycerols on the control of food intake in men. The American journal of clinical nutrition68(2), 226-234.
  5. Campbell-Falck, D., Thomas, T., Falck, T. M., Tutuo, N., & Clem, K. (2000). The intravenous use of coconut water. The American journal of emergency medicine18(1), 108-111.
  6. Alleyne, T., Roache, S., Thomas, C., & Shirley, A. (2005). The control of hypertension by use of coconut water and mauby: two tropical food drinks. West indian medical journal54(1), 3-8.
  7. Saat, M., Singh, R., Sirisinghe, R. G., & Nawawi, M. (2002). Rehydration after exercise with fresh young coconut water, carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage and plain water. Journal of physiological anthropology and applied human science21(2), 93-104.

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2 comments

  1. Just wanted to let you know. I had a horrible skin infection, starting 1/4/19, covering my chest, back, neck, face. Doctors think it is eczema or an allergy. It looked like poison oak. They prescribed steroids, anti-biotics, the usual drugs (which I hate); nothing worked. Very expensive! Finally, after 3 months, I think it just ran its course. It started to come back 2 weeks ago. This time, I slathered it with coconut oil. Gone in 1 day! OK if you use my name in your ads.

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