Crazy for Coconuts

Everyone seems to be crazy for coconuts these days — and for good reason too.  This delicious, nut-bearing fruit is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

the coconut is known as the miracle fruit

The coconut consists of four basic parts: meat, juice, milk, and oil; and all of these elements combine to create a highly nourishing food that has fed and sustained populations throughout the world for centuries.

Once the outer husk of the coconut is removed, what remains is the seed and its rich inner white lining, the coconut meat. Unlike most other fruits, coconut meat is relatively low in carbohydrate, containing only 7 grams of carbs in a 2-by-2-inch serving.  However it is loaded with fiber, with about 4g, in the same serving size.

Lately, “virgin” coconut oil, which is extracted from the fruit of fresh mature coconuts, has been generating a lot of buzz for its numerous health benefits. Coconut oil might be high in saturated fat, at around 14 grams per tablespoon, but some studies indicate that the saturated fat in coconut might not be so bad when it comes to your heart’s health  Indeed, coconut oil is high in lauric acid, a specific type of saturated fat that is classified as a medium-chain fatty acid, meaning it can actually help to raise good-for-you HDL cholesterol levels.

Cardiovascular benefits

Research indicates that hyperlipidemia and various forms of heart disease are uncommon among populations who consume coconut, despite the fact that coconut is a concentrated source of saturated fat.  One group of researchers conducted a case-control study among the Minangkabau population in West Sumatra, Indonesia, a known population of high coconut consumers.  The researchers examined the difference in food patterns and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) between the coronary cases, and their gender- and age-matched apparently healthy counterparts serving as controls.  Similar intakes of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids between the cases and controls led the researchers to conclude that the consumption of total fat or saturated fat, including that from coconut, was not a predictor for CHD in this food culture.

In addition, preliminary evidence suggests that coconut may help keep overall body fat, as well as your waistline, in check because the fats in coconut are more readily burned as fuel rather than being stored as body fat.

If you’re in need of your daily coconut fix, several Suja Juices contain various coconut elements from coconut meat, coconut water and coconut powder to provide a subtle, yet deliciously nutty flavor that is sure to make you go (coco)nuts for this all-star fruit.  You’ll find that coconut plays a starring role in both Suja’s Classic and Essential varieties.  Classic varieties containing coconut include Bliss and Vanilla Cloud; Essential varieties with coconut include Blue Dream, Macachino, Tropical Aloe, Chocolat, Vanilla Chill, and Chocolate Charge.

References:

http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442477202

http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3700?fg=&man=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=&qlookup=coconut+meat

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15563444

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15329324

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8654328

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058

 

Cheers,

Suja Juice

 

Julie Upton

Julie Upton

Julie is a San Francisco-based registered dietitian and nutrition communications specialist. Ms. Upton received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from Michigan State University and completed her dietetic internship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. She holds a Master of Science Degree in Nutrition Communications from Boston University and is co-author of The Real Skinny: Appetite for Health’s 101 Fat Habits and Slim Solutions (Penguin 2013). Upton is co-founder of Appetite for Health (www.AppforHealth.com), where she writes daily about nutrition, fitness and health.