Long prized for its sweet flavor and high fiber content, coconut has been deemed by many health gurus to be a superfood – but its uses go back far longer than most of us can imagine.
From coconut oil to coconut water, this food truly has the potential to do it all. It makes a great post-exercise drink(1), produces the perfect healthy fat to use in food preparation(2), and even coconut flour is, it turns out, healthier for us than wheat bran(3).
But there’s even more to this food than that.
Coconut Oil And Brain Health
The fact of the matter is, our brains need fat in order to function(4). All fats will help improve your mood, but coconut oil in particular is associated with anti-stress and anti-depression benefits due to being a medium-chain fatty acid.
“Virgin coconut oil (VCO), which may be produced from fresh coconut meat, coconut milk or coconut milk residue, is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (TGs) and lauric acid. VCO has been widely consumed as a health food and has also been utilized for cosmeceutical purposes. Previous studies reported the benefits of VCO consumption, including antiulcerogenic, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, antihypercholerolemic, antomicrobial and hepatoprotective effects… as VCO is rich in medium-chain fatty acids and polyphenols, it may be used as an antistress and antidepressant nutritional oil,” one study claims(5).
Coconut Oil And Digestive Health
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Coconut oil has been shown to improve digestive health in animal models(6) (7), and it’s true that coconut itself is a high-fiber food – meaning it’s great for your digestive tract. Coconut flour is particularly high in fiber, making it a great alternative to standard white flour.