Coconuts have always been a big part of my diet and life growing up. My mother would make curry and desserts using coconut milk. And when we were kids, my father would bring us young coconuts as a treat. We would all gather around and watch him pour out the sweet coconut water. Then when were done, he would crack it open so we could enjoy the meat inside. The white meats were soft and nutty and we would scoop it out with a spoon. The coconut water is really the best drink ever.
Usually when I am at the Asian market, I can pick out young fresh coconut. They are not expensive at all, prices ranging from 99 cents to $1.50. So every time I drink the juice, it brings me back to my happy childhood. The drinks are really nature’s soft drink.
At caloriecount.com, they gave coconut water a nutritional analysis and it got an A! The water has no cholesterol and contains natural sugars and salt. Coconut water is high in many vitamins and minerals, especially potassium. The most important nutrient found in coconut water or milk is lauric acid. Lauric acid is believed to have antimicrobial properties and is found naturally in mother’s milk, cow milk, and goat milk.
Pictured here is of “Melissa’s Fresh Young Coconuts” sold thru Amazon.com, they are very pricey!
A friend of mine said his father (the physicist) used to work with Dr. Mary Enig. She even sent him a signed copy of her new book- Know Your Fats. I have yet to read the book, but I know just where to find it. Dr. Enig has classified coconuts as a “functional food,” which provides health benefits over and beyond the basic nutrients. She has specifically identified lauric acid as a key ingredient in coconut products.
Approximately 50% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the anti-viral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human or animal to destroy lipid coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria including listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia. Some studies have also shown some antimicrobial effects of the free lauric acid. - Dr. Enig, Know Your Fats
Many people may think that coconut milk or meat is full of fat. It is high in calories, but it also has many nutritional benefits. Modern research has shown that not all saturated fats are alike and that the fatty acids in coconut oil, the medium chain triglycerides, do not raise serum cholesterol or contribute to heart disease, but are in fact very healthy. Just like how almond and avocadoes are good for you, despite their high calories. And olive oils are better for you as well.
Since I have started making my own soaps, coconut oil has been an important part of the ingredients. I actually prefer coconut oil to palm oil for soaping now. Since I’ve learned about how countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia have destroyed rainforest to grow more palm plantations. This has threatened many animal species and habitats. Such as the elephants and orangutans. And destroying tropical rainforest means less oxygen producing trees. Althought you can still purchase some palm oils from sustainable farms, they are usually hard to find in the marketplace.
Besides soaping, I also use coconut oil to moisturize my skin on occasions. It would normally be liquid in the summer (76 F degrees melting point) and harden up a bit in autumn and winter. So you can just take a dab and put it on your skin or heel of your feet. Or even to moisturize your hair and scalp too.
The Oiling of America by Mary Enig, PhD and Sally Fallon
The truth about saturated fats by Mary Enig, PhD and Sally Fallon
Coconut Milk Revealed as Super-Healthy and Non-Fattening by Russel Eaton’s blog GetWellBooks.com
The Truth About Coconut Oil by Michael Babcock