Coconuts have long evoked thoughts of summertime, tropical destinations and comical bikinis but now they’re bringing something else to mind… health. Coconut seems to be the new hot health craze. From its water to oil to milk, the rotund fruit is gaining popularity among fitness buffs, raw foodies, yogis and more. Let’s take a closer look at why this once exotic treat is becoming mainstream.
Touted as a healthy alternative to Gatorade, coconut water is getting some major endorsements from the sports community. Coconut water has few calories and twice the potassium of a banana. Coconut water is being praised for its ability to hydrate and replenish electrolytes after a workout. Because of this, the drink is also being used as a hangover cure.
Coconut oil was once thought to be unhealthy (it does contain high levels of saturated fat) but is now being regarded in a more favorable light. In moderation, coconut oil may even contribute to wellness, possible aiding in heart health, weight management and resistance to viruses and illness-causing bacteria. Vegans often use coconut oil as an alternative to butter. While its effects if consumed are still being studied, it’s no secret that coconut oil is a great moisturizer for skin and hair.
Coconut milk is the liquid from the meat of the coconut combined with water. This is different from coconut water, which is found freestanding in green coconuts. Coconut milk can actually be fairly high in calories, so be mindful that this is not a beverage to drink mindlessly. Coconut milk is often used as a dairy-free alternative to milk, and can be added to coffee as a cream alternative. Coconut milk is not a great source of calcium, but it does contain healthful vitamins.
So are coconut products worth the hype? Depending on which form you’re consuming and why, the answer is… maybe. Keep in mind that coconuts, like all foods, are best when enjoyed in moderation.
Do you feel like you’re being knocked over the head with the coconut craze? Are you buying it?