NOURISH | Superfoods Series: Coconut
In Sanskrit, the coconut palm is known as kalpa vriksha, meaning “the tree that supplies all that is needed to live.” It is for this very reason that coconuts are one of the greatest natural gifts on the planet. In Superfoods, author David Wolfe outlines the many health benefits of coconut products such as coconut flesh, coconut cream, and coconut oil.
Some benefits include:
- Coconuts improve digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and amino acids.
- They help maintain a healthy immune system by naturally fighting off viruses, bacteria, and fungal overgrowth.
- They help regulate and support healthy hormone production.
- They are a natural precursor to the anti-aging hormone compound known as pregnenolone.
- The medium-chain saturated fatty acids in coconut products work to increase metabolism and help with weight loss. Coconut cannot be stored in the body as fat and needs to be burned on the spot, which helps fire up excess fat-burning metabolism.
- It contains virtually no cholesterol and can actually help normalize cholesterol levels.
- Applying coconut to the skin can help soothe and even prevent rashes and inflammation.
Specific benefits of fresh coconut water include:
- Coconut water can be great for re-hydration and cooling the body.
- It is a great tonic and nutrition source for people of all ages, including infants.
- It possesses organic compounds containing growth-promoting properties, which makes it excellent for improving muscle size and physical growth in children.
- It helps calm urinary tract infections and alleviates the pain of kidney and urethral stones.
Delicious Coconut Recipes to Try at Home:
- 1 cup shredded coconut flakes
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1 ½ cup raw cashews
- 1 ¼ cup hempseed
- ½ cup goji berry extract powder
- 1 ½ cup goji berries (another superfood!)
- 1 cup tocotrienols
- 2 ½ tbsps. raw honey
- 1 pinch or two of Celtic sea salt
Grind seeds and nuts separately in a coffee grinder, then add the remaining ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until turned into a mush. Roll this mush into balls and refrigerate.
Coconut Ice Cream
from Sweet Gratitude: A New World of Raw Desserts by Matthew Rogers and Tiziana Alipo Jamborra
- 1 ½ cups of coconut milk
- ½ cup of coconut meat (wet measurement)
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons of agave syrup
- ½ cup coconut flakes
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ¼ + 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lecithin
Add ¼ coconut flakes (in addition to the ½ cup already blended) to the ice cream maker before cranking. Blend all ingredients really well. This delicious vegan ice cream makes about 4 servings.
More raw food & nutrition titles are available from North Atlantic in our Food, Diet and Nutrition section!
Photo courtesy of Robert Wetzlmayr (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.