Wonders of coconut for health!
Tender (green) coconut water, coconut kernel, coconut oil, and coconut milk are nature’s gift for human health.
“There is sweet water inside a tender coconut. Who poured the water inside the coconut? Was it the work of any man? No. Only the Divine can do such a thing."
…Sri Sathya Sai Baba
1. Coconut water – a nutritional powerhouse1-9
Coconut water naturally present in tender green coconuts contains all the essential nutrients. It is sterile and similar in composition to human blood plasma.
· It has 94% water, very little fat and zero cholesterol. Some studies say that it increases the HDL levels in the body.
· It has easily digestible carbohydrates in the form of sugar and electrolytes similar to those found in the human body. It is a rich source of all the five electrolytes and natural salts our body needs.
· It is rich in vitamins and minerals, better than what is contained in most fruits.
· It is full of amino acids, enzymes, and antioxidants with antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties to boost the body’s immune system.
· It has abundant plant hormones having significant antiaging, anticancer, and antithrombotic effects.
· One cup (240 gm) contains carbohydrates (9 gm), fibre (3gm), protein (2 gm), vitamin-C (10% of RDI), magnesium (15% of RDI), manganese and potassium (each 17% of RDI), sodium (11% of RDI), calcium (6% of the RDI) and 46 calories. An average green coconut may provide about 200 ml to 1000 ml of water, depending upon its type and size.
Caution: One should exercise moderation while consuming it, as one would do with anything that is good. Once a coconut is cut open, the water should be consumed immediately as exposure to air can result in loss of nutrients. If one does not get fresh coconuts, one should exercise care in choosing the brand and check the label of store- bought coconut water to ensure that there is no added sugar.
Medicinal properties of coconut water1-9
Helps to counter kidney problems: Coconut water acts as diuretic and increases the flow and production of urine. Most urologists recommend coconut water on alternate days as it can reduce the size of kidney stones and even help eliminate them.
Wonderful for skin: Coconut water can be applied, at least for two to three weeks, to affected skin areas with acne, spots, wrinkles, stretch marks, cellulite, and eczema. It should be left overnight to clear up and give a youthful smooth look to the skin. It can heal wounds, prevent prickly heat and summer boils, and help to subside the rash caused by small pox, chicken pox, measles etc.
Removes toxins from and rehydrates the body: Coconut water is excellent for patients with diarrhoea, especially in tropical regions, to replace the fluid loss and to reduce the need for intravenous therapy. It is an ideal drink in dehydration conditions. It is so completely compatible with the human body that it can be infused intravenously into the bloodstream. According to a study, coconut water can be effectively used as a short-term alternative to an intravenous drip for hydration and resuscitation of critically ill patients in remote regions.
Helps with digestion and metabolism: It is good for feeding infants with intestinal disturbances. It can kill intestinal worms and counter acidity in the body. It can aid in both diarrhoea and constipation cases. It is an excellent tonic for the old and the sick, a good sports drink, and ideal during pregnancy. It is anti-inflammatory and can reduce swelling in hands and feet.
Other benefits: It can help in balancing blood glucose and insulin levels, prevent abnormal blood clotting, regulate blood pressure, improve circulation, reduce plaque formation, enhance eye health, and help in preventing osteoporosis. It is good for plants too; it has traditionally been used as a growth supplement in plant propagation.
2. Coconut kernel10-11
The tender coconut kernel can be a delicious and nutritious meal rich in minerals, fibre, anti-oxidants, and vitamins, especially vitamin K that helps in blood clotting and building up strong bones.
Meat from matured coconut would be hard with a slight sweet and nutty taste with a high level of fibre and oil that can function like probiotics by feeding the good bacteria in the intestines. Several studies have demonstrated that this dietary fibre protects against heart attacks and strokes.
3. Coconut oil – considered healthiest of all oils12-35
Refined coconut oil, made from dried coconuts, is mainly used in the manufacture of biscuits, chocolates and other confectionary items, ice cream, pharmaceutical products, and costly paints. Generally filtered coconut oil is used for cooking and toiletry purposes.
Virgin coconut oil is made from the milk extracted from fresh and matured coconuts. It will have a very good taste and smell with long shelf life. It is classified by some analysts and research studies as an exception among vegetable oils for two major reasons:
(i) it has a very high level (90%) of medium chain saturated fatty acids* which have unusual health-benefiting properties compared to other saturated, and long chain fatty acids. Its fatty acids permeate cell membranes with ease, without the need for special enzymes. They are easily digested, putting less strain on the digestive system. They are used in hospitals to prepare liquid food for patients who have had sections of their intestine removed and cannot digest solid food. They go directly to liver and immediately get converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
* Some experts believe that there is little scientific evidence to prove this.
(ii) Half of its fat content is lauric acid, a fat rarely found in nature, identical to a special group of fats found in human breast milk. Human body can convert lauric acid into a highly beneficial mono glyceride that can actually destroy lipid-coated viruses such as, HIV, herpes, measles, various pathogenic bacteria, protozoa, etc.
3.1 Medicinal properties of virgin coconut oil12-35
Several studies indicate that coconut oil can enhance health as well as aid in treating several ailments due to its unique features. In particular it can:
· maintain right proportion of cholesterol and prevent heart disease and high BP.
· treat Alzheimer’s disease, seizures, and other brain disorders and improve memory and brain function;
· treat kidney and bladder infections and digestive disorders and also prevent insulin resistance and diabetes;
· reduce inflammation, treat arthritis, and prevent osteoporosis;
· boost immune system, increase metabolism, and prevent cancer;
· reduce body weight, build muscles, and balance hormones;
· treat respiratory disorders including common cold and flu and act as a natural remedy for pneumonia26;
· prevent and treat alcohol addictions27;
· prevent dental disorders and can be used as a mouthwash and for oil pulling which can kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health, reduce bad breath, and hydrate dry lips, mouth, and throat; coconut oil mixed equally with baking soda can be used as toothpaste;
· treat all kinds of skin disorders and act as an excellent skin and hair care. Due to its antimicrobial and antiviral properties, can treat ear infections, fungal / yeast infections, cold sores, skin rashes and irritations, bug bites and bee stings, frequent nose bleeds, piles and haemorrhoids, vaginal dryness, and help in perineal massage for expectant mothers. A combination of coconut oil and anise (“saunf” in Hindi) can be twice as effective as some lotions used for treatment of head lice.
· Coconut oil can be used as a household cleanser too!17-18
Testimonies of coconut oil users can be found in Coconut Diet Forums and Health Impact News20.
3.2 Simple ways of preparing virgin coconut oil at home32-35
One can make coconut milk and then oil from it at home from matured coconuts in different ways as shown in some of the videos given in the links. If one chooses to purchase, high quality oil should be preferred. Low quality ones may be bleached, hydrogenated, or deodorized and may contain chemical residues.
3.3 Way to consume virgin coconut oil17-22
Consuming two table spoons (30ml) of raw organic virgin coconut oil per day is said to be sufficient for reaping its health benefits. This would still leave room for other healthy fats found in nuts, avocados, olive oil etc. One can start with a smaller quantity as per one’s comfort level, and increase it slowly depending on how one feels. It can be eaten raw or added to tea, coffee,salads etc. It can also be used for cooking, as it is stable at high temperatures.
Caution23-24: The claims about uniqueness of coconut oil are being viewed with apprehension by some health institutions and authorities in some countries because of its high saturated fat content, though there is sufficient scientific evidence to show that it is excellent for health.
4. Coconut Milk36-39
Coconut milk can be used as a substitute for milk by those with lactose intolerance and allergy to animal milk. This milk is also nut free, soy free, and gluten free. It can be a great base for smoothies, milkshakes and the like, or as an alternative to dairy in baking.
Coconut milk is immensely rich in vitamins and minerals. It gives all the benefits similar to that of coconut oil due to abundance of lauric acid and medium chain saturated fatty acid in it. It is also known to relieve the symptoms of sore throat and treat mouth ulcers. It can also be used to moisturize the skin, prevent wrinkles, cure sunburns, condition the hair etc.
References and Links:
The information given in this article is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The following sources and related links may be tapped for further details. Necessary caution needs to be exercised based on one’s own discretion and medical conditions.
2. Swami continues to bless vibrionics……
Opening of two new exclusive vibrionics clinics
A weekly vibro clinic was started at Eswaramma Sadan at Sivam in Hyderabad India on 28 December 2016. Two practitioners attend to patients every Thursday.
A weekly vibro clinic was inaugurated by the District President at Sri Satya Sai Mandir Palvancha of Kothagudem district in Telangana India on 12 December 2017. After a brief presentation by Practitioner 11585, 13 patients were treated on the spot. The clinic is run by two practitioners on Thursdays evenings.
Blessings showered on a newly-trained SVP
After completing her SVP training in November 2017 the Practitioner 11570flew back home on the 29th. On 30 November when she was going to use the SRHVP and so picked up the Soham Book 3, she was astonished to see droplets of nectar on the top half of the cover page. More nectar appeared on the book on 2 December.
Om Sai Ram