Nutritional Value of Coconut

Once upon a time, we were told to stay away from coconut because it contained a lot of saturated fat. Well, times have changed and coconut has made one of the best comebacks in history. That is why we will look into the nutritional value of coconut in this post  These days, every single part of the coconut is appreciated for having lots of nutrients.

In this post, we will take a look at the nutritional value of coconut. We will also chip in a few health benefits of coconuts. Join us on this journey to see what makes coconut tick.

Coconut: What it is and its origin

Before we dive headlong into the nutritional value of coconut, let’s first explain what coconut is. There has always been confusion about whether coconut is a nut or a fruit. Actually, it can be classified as a nut, fruit, and even a seed, it depends on how you see it.

Scientifically, it is a fibrous single-seeded drupe. You’ll notice that straight from the tree coconut has a hard green exocarp. When you take that layer off, you see the brown hairy mesocarp. The inner brown part is the endocarp and the outer part of the seed. The inner part of the seed is the white fleshy part also known as coconut meat. Then there’s the water.

Coconuts have been eaten and used for health purposes for a very long time. Stories written by travelers that visited India in the fifth century mentioned coconuts. These days, coconuts are predominant in the tropics. It is obvious that coconuts can grow just about anywhere.

At one time dieticians told us to avoid coconuts because of their fat content. To be honest, coconuts didn’t change, however, their use of the last few years have. We now make use of coconut in cooking and skincare, blend coconut meat into smoothies, and drink coconut water.

Nutritional Value of Coconut

Coconut has earned its place as a super-food but what exactly does it contain? Today, we have coconut available in several forms, each one with a unique nutritional profile. Let’s show you the different forms and what they contain below.

Dried Coconut Meat (1 Ounce)

  1. Calories: 187 (9 percent DV)
  2. Carbohydrates: 7 g (2 percent DV)
  3. Fat: 18 g (28 percent DV)
  4. Fiber: 5 g (20 percent DV)
  5. Protein: 2 g (4 percent DV)
  6. Saturated fat: 16 g (80 percent DV)
  7. Sugar: 2 g

DV means Daily Value, g means grams.

Coconut Milk (8 ounces)

  1. Calories: 552 (27 percent DV)
  2. Carbohydrates: 13 g (4 percent DV)
  3. Fat: 57 g (88 percent DV)
  4. Fiber: 5 g (20 percent DV)
  5. Protein: 5.5 g (11 percent DV)
  6. Saturated fat: 50 g (250 percent DV)
  7. Sugar: 8 g

Coconut Water (8 ounces)

  1. Calories: 46 (2 percent DV)
  2. Carbohydrates: 9 g (3 percent DV)
  3. Fat: 0.5 g (1 percent DV)
  4. Fiber: 3 g (12 percent DV)
  5. Protein: 2 g (4 percent DV)
  6. Saturated fat: 0.4 g (0 percent DV)
  7. Sugar: 6 g

Coconut Oil (1 tablespoon)

  1. Calories: 121 (6 percent DV)
  2. Carbohydrates: 0 g (0 percent DV)
  3. Fat: 13 g (20 percent DV)
  4. Fiber: 0 g (0 percent DV)
  5. Protein: 0 g (0 percent DV)
  6. Saturated fat: 11 g (55 percent DV)
  7. Sugar: 0 g

From the above, you can see that coconut in whatever form is good for human consumption. With this out of the way, let’s look at some health benefits of coconuts.

Health Benefits of Coconuts

Good for maintaining heart health

According to different studies, people who eat a lot of coconut meat have shown healthier hearts. True that coconut contains LDL cholesterol which is bad, but it also contains a healthy amount of HDL cholesterol.

HDL cholesterol is good for the heart as a result, helps to maintain heart health when taken in healthy amounts. Virgin coconut oil has proven to have a neutral effect on human cholesterol levels. Eating coconut will also help to decrease belly fat which is one of the risk factors for heart disease.

Controls blood sugar

When you look through the nutritional value of coconut, you will notice that it is high in fat and fiber. On the other hand, it contains very little amount of carbs. This translates to the fact that coconuts can help to stabilize blood sugar.

The level of fiber in coconuts is also instrumental in slowing down digestion. This process is very helpful in improving insulin resistance helping the regulation of blood sugar as well. So if you are thinking of a way to control blood sugar levels, you should consider eating more coconuts.

Powerful antioxidants

Coconuts, especially coconut meat, contain a lot of phenolic compounds. These antioxidants help to protect your cells from oxidative damage. According to different tests, coconut has proven to have free radical and antioxidant scavenging activity. The antioxidant content of coconuts helps to boost immunity and keep you healthy.

Eating coconut and cooking with it

Now that you have seen the nutritional value of coconuts and their health benefits, you must be interested in eating them more. There are several steps you can take to add coconut to your diet. Remember that there are several forms of coconuts so let’s show you a few methods.

  1. When baking, replace about 20 percent of your regular flour with coconut flour.
  2. Also in baking, you can replace butter with coconut oil. However, the latter has more fat than butter, which means that you’d be needing less oil.
  3. Replace regular vegetable oil with coconut oil for cooking. It is important to note here that you pick either refined or virgin coconut oil based on your taste.
  4. Add some coconut milk to coffee or tea instead of regular creamer.
  5. Make popcorn with coconut oil instead.

Nutritional Value of Coconut – Conclusion

Congratulations! You have just learned about the nutritional value of coconut. We have also shown you a few health benefits of coconut and how to add it to your meals. What other health benefits of coconuts do you know? Share them with us in the comments section.

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