Health and Wellness

Superfood coconut: incredibly versatile, nutritious, healthy

superfood coconut-nutricious,versatile,healthy
Written by Banani Chakraborty

Superfood coconut is incredibly versatile, nutritious and healthy. It is high in vitamins, fibre and minerals. We use it as a food for its water, milk, oil and tasty flesh. Further, we use it as skin-care as well as the hair-care item. Even we use its husks and leaves in furnishings and decoration. Antioxidants rich coconut helps to slow down the ageing process as well as prevents our body from free-radical damages.

If we want to live life to the fullest, then we need to use coconut in various ways in our day-to-day life.

Superfood coconut: Incredibly versatile, nutritious, healthy

In Sanskrit, it is famous as kalpa’vriksha’. It means ‘tree which gives all that is necessary for living’. We use all parts of it. We use it, the fruit of coconut palm, not only for its water and milk but also for its sugar, oil and tasty flesh. Even we use husks and leaves in furnishings and decoration. At first, we need to show our gratitude towards nature for such a wonderful gift.

A fully blossomed palm tree produces nearly 60-180 coconuts in a single harvest. The tree makes coconuts 13 times a year.

Superfood coconut grew in tropical regions for over 4500 years. However, of late, it is gaining popularity for its culinary uses along with flavour. Added to this are numerous potential health benefits.

What is the scientific name of the coconut tree:

To begin with, this tree falls in the member category of the palm tree family(Arecaceae). Most importantly, it is the solitary known living variety of the genus Cocos. Its scientific name is ‘cocos Nucifera’. The term ‘coconut’ refers not only to the entire coconut palm but also the seed or the fruit.

Is coconut a nut or a fruit?

Botanically superfood coconut is not a true nut, but actually a one-seeded drupe fruit. In fact, it has three layers. They are endocarp, mesocarp and exocarp. The outermost, smooth and green layer is the endocarp. The fleshy layer in the middle is mesocarp. The hard and woody layer of it which surrounds the seed is the exocarp.

Types of coconut:

It is mainly of two types, tall and dwarf. The tall trees grow up to 50-90 feet. They start to give fruits after 7-10 years. Their life span ranges between 90-100 years. Whereas the dwarf variety grows up to 20-60 feet, gives fruits after 4-5 years and lives between 40-50 years. Further, the tall varieties are cross-pollinated and the dwarfs are self-pollinated.

There are several different types of superfood coconut. Below are some popular varieties (read with coconut at the end of each variety):

  • East coast tall.
  • West coast tall.
  • Tiptur tall.
  • Mayapan.
  • Macapuno.
  • Malayan yellow dwarf.
  • Orange dwarf.
  • Cameroon red dwarf.
  • Fiji dwarf.
  • Brazilian Green dwarf.
  • Chowghat dwarf.
  • King dwarf.
  • VHC1.

Nature of coconut products:

The raw white flesh inside it is the kernel. It holds a firm texture. It is to some extent sweet flavour and delicious. We have to cut a coconut at first. Then we can scrape superfood coconut out of the shell to eat. Generally, we get it in sliced, grated or shaved form.


We get its milk and cream after pressing the raw, grated meat. Besides, we can grate or shave dried coconut in order to cook or bake. We further process it and ground into flour.

We also can extract its oil from the meat.

Coconut uses:

Or

Different uses for a coconut tree:

Superfood coconut is famous for its versatile usage, ranging from food items to cosmetics as well as various decorative items. You can present the decorative items to your love and relations on some special occasions. It will, at first, better your love and relations happiness level. Furthermore, it will help to better your self-esteem.

  • At first, we use mature and ripe coconuts as an edible seed.
  • Secondly, we process the flesh to get plant milk, flour and oil. We use the milk to thicken stews and soups or as a substitute for milk. Moreover, it is an incredible hair conditioner. It not only makes our hair soft and shiny but also protects hair loss. We also can make a DIY face mask with it.
  • Thirdly, we make charcoal from the hard shell. We also use it to steam food and make numerous beautiful crafts.
  • Fourthly, we make coir from the fibrous husk. It is a natural scrubber. We use it to clean cups, dinner plates and other vessels, even the floor.
  • Added to this, superfood coconut’s water is a healthy and refreshing drink.
  • Moreover, we use copra (dried flesh of it), milk and oil for various cooking purposes along with preparing cosmetics and soaps.
  • Further, we prepare various decorating and furnishing items using the fibrous husk, hard shell and long pinnate leaves.
  • Furthermore, coconut tree leaves are used to make fences and for thatching.
  • Additionally, brooms are made of the sticks from the leaves.
  • It also holds religious and cultural importance in certain societies. The Hindus use it in various ritual practices.
  • The roots are helpful to make dyes, toothbrush, mouthwash as well as have medicinal value.
  • However, we use superfood coconut’s flowers for various medicinal uses.
  • Above all, we use the shells, husks, leaf stems, leaves and flower stem to make fires in traditional kitchens.
  • Finally, the tree trunk as timber is used to build houses, furniture, drums, bridge, boats and canoes.

Highest Coconut producing countries:

The following ten countries are the top producing countries of it:

  • Indonesia.
  • The Philippines.
  • India.
  • Sri Lanka.
  • Papua New Guinea.
  • Brazil.
  • Vietnam.
  • Ghana.
  • Mexico.
  • Thailand.
  • Malaysia.

Coconut nutrition:

To begin with, superfood coconut’s flesh is very nutritious. It contains a high amount of fibre along with vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6. Moreover, it possesses the following minerals:

  • Iron
  • manganese
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorous
  • Magnesium
  • Sodium
  • Selenium

It is high in carbs as well as fats.

Fibre:

100 grams of raw coconut provides 9grams of fibre which is 26% of the DV. Whereas 100 grams of dried coconut provides 18 grams of fibre which is 52% of the DV. Most of them are insoluble. It means that our body cannot digest it. Therefore, superfood coconut assists to move food through our digestive system. Moreover, it helps our bowel health. It aids to relieve stress on the pancreas as well as enzyme systems. Therefore, it lowers the risk of diabetes.

(May read stress management technique).

Fat:

It is unique due to the high amount of fat content. Almost 88% of the fat is saturated.  The fats are mainly medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).  Our small intestine can absorb almost all of them. Our body produces energy from it.

Coconut meat, dried (unsweetened), nutrition, 1 ounce (oz):

  • Calories: 187 (9% of DV).
  • Fat: 18g (28% DV)
  • Saturated fat: 16g (80% DV)
  • Fibre: 5g (20% DV)
  • Protein: 2g (4% DV).
    nutricious value of coconut

    source google image

  • Sugar: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 7g(2% DV)

Nutrition of Coconut oil: 1tablespoon

  • Calories: 121 (6% of DV).
  • Fat: 13g (20% DV)
  • Saturated fat: 11g (55% DV)
  • Fibre: 0g (0% DV) (May read apple).
  • Protein: 0g (0% DV).
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g (0% DV)

Nutrition of Coconut water: 8 oz

  • Calories: 46 (2% of DV).
  • Fat: 0.5g (1% DV)
  • Saturated fat: 0.4g (0% DV)
  • Vitamin C: 10% of the RDI
  • Fibre: 3g (12% DV)
  • Protein: 2g (4% DV)
  • Manganese: 17% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 17% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 15% of the RDI
  • Sodium: 11% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 6% of the RDI
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 9g (3% DV)

Nutrition of Coconut Milk: 8 oz (240 grams).

  • Calories: 552 (27% of DV).
  • Fat: 57g (88% DV)
  • Saturated fat: 50g (250% DV)
  • Fibre: 5g (20% DV)
  • Protein: 5.5g (11% DV).
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 13g (4% DV)
  • Manganese: 110% of the RDI
  • Copper: 32% of the RDI
  • Iron: 22% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 22% of the RDI
  • Selenium: 21% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 18% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 11% of the RDI
  • Folate: 10% of the RDI

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of raw or fresh, shredded coconut meat are as follows:

  • Calories: 354
  • Carbs: 15 grams. (Please read banana).
  • Fat: 33 grams.
  • Protein: 3 grams.
  • Fibre: 9grams.
  • Manganese: 75% of the DV.
  • Magnesium: 8% of the DV.
  • Iron: 13% of the DV.
  • Copper: 22% of the DV.
  • Potassium: 10% of the DV. (May read walnut).
  • Phosphorous: 11% of the DV.
  • Selenium: 14% of the DV.

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of dried coconut meat are as follows:

  • Calories: 650
  • Carbs: 25 grams.
  • Fat: 65 grams.
  • Protein: 7.5 grams.
  • Fibre: 18grams.
  • Manganese: 137% of the DV.
  • Magnesium: 23% of the DV.
  • Iron: 18% of the DV.
  • Copper: 40% of the DV.
  • Potassium: 16% of the DV.
  • Phosphorous: 21% of the DV.
  • Selenium: 26% of the DV.

Coconut benefits:




Superfood coconut may benefit our health in numerous ways.

1.Contains antioxidants:

Its meat contains phenolic compounds which are actually antioxidants. It may aid to protect our cells from oxidative damage.  Phenolic compounds are

  • Gallic acid
  • Salicylic acid
  • Caffeic acid
  • p-coumaric acid

The polyphenols in it can protect the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Therefore, it cannot form plaques in arteries. Besides, some studies revealed that coconut oil can prevent cell-damage and death due to oxidative stress and chemotherapy.

2.Helps digestive health:

Because superfood coconut is rich in insoluble fibre, so it facilitates to increase our stool. As a result, it helps to maintain a healthy digestive system supporting bowel regularity. Further, it aids to absorb vitamins A, D, E and K, which are fat-soluble nutrients.

Added to this, MCTs in it helps to strengthen gut bacteria. Consequently, it supports inflammation along with metabolic syndrome like situations. Furthermore, coconut oil may lower growth of harmful yeasts like Candida albicans that causes severe infections.

3.Boosts heart health:

Several studies revealed that coconut oil improves HDL (good) cholesterol as well as reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol. Therefore, it helps to lower the risk of heart diseases.

We can extract virgin coconut oil from dried coconut meat. It may help to reduce belly fat. So it is beneficial to minimize the risk of heart problems along with diabetes.

4.May control blood sugar:

Superfood coconut is rich in fibre and healthy fat and low in carbs, so it can help to stabilize blood sugar. It contains arginine, an amino acid. It promotes functions of pancreatic cells which release insulin to control blood sugar level.

Moreover, its fibre helps to slow down digestion and better insulin resistance. So it controls blood sugar level.

5.Easy to add to diet:

It works wonderfully to add flavour to our foods like rice dishes, fish stews and curries. Shredded coconut is good for baking. It adds natural sweetness along with moisture to quick bread, muffins and cookies.

If we mix a sprinkle of raw coconut, it adds a touch of tropical flavour to oatmeal. When stirred in yoghurt or pudding, it works as a tasty calorie booster and helps to gain weight.

We may use its flour in baking instead of wheat flour. It is not only nut-free but also gluten-free, low-carb, paleo diet.

(May also read Bengali foods that use coconuts. However, you can try it in preparing Indian spicy prawn masala as well as chicken korma recipe).

6. May help weight loss:

Superfood coconut may be helpful for weight loss. MCTs in it may support feelings of fullness along with calorie and fat burning. These are helpful for weight loss. Additionally, its high fibre helps to prevent overeating.

7.Better immune system:

At first, it has no trans-fats. Additionally, it is non-toxic, gluten-free and hypoallergenic. Moreover, it has antiviral, antibacterial, anti-parasitic and antifungal healing properties. Therefore it supports the overall immune system.

(Also read mango).

8.Good for both hair and skin:

Superfood coconut is very good for our skin and hair. In fact, its oil, milk and water provide wonderful benefits for our hair and skin. It helps us to have a glowing youthful skin. It can even prevent skin cancer. Moreover, it treats oily skin. Additionally, it is good for our hair and skin. It is a good hair conditioner.

9. May protect Alzheimer’s:

It contains a modest quantity of medium-chain triglycerides(MCTs). Our liver can easily absorb it, at first. Then it converts to ketones. It indeed supplies energy to our brain. Therefore, superfood coconut may be helpful for people who have Alzheimer’s disease.

Coconut oil benefits:

Its oil is not only delicious but also contains heat stable fat. We use it in baking, roasting, sautéing and etc. The lauric acid in it provides excellent health benefits. Its saturated fat content is higher than olive oil and canola oil.

Moreover, we get the following health benefits from the oil of the superfood coconut.

coconut oil benefits

source google image

  • A good and delicious source of nutrients as also as hydration.
  • Helpful after exercise.
  • May reduce blood pressure and support heart health.
  • May prevent kidney stone.
  • Protect Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Strengthens liver.
  • Beneficial for diabetic patient. (May read honey).
  • Relives from gall bladder disease.
  • Skin moisturizer hydrates dry hands.
  • Improves skin elasticity, tone and age spots.
  • Hair conditioner.
  • Adds shine to hair.
  • Head lice as well as dandruff remover.
  • Very good as a face wash as it acts as a natural cleanser. (Also Read; how to wash your face for healthier skin).
  • Avoids wrinkles.
  • Remove eye makeup and use as an eye cream.
  • Excellent lip scrub, lip gloss and lip balm.
  • Treat feet.
  • Relieves psoriasis and soothe eczema.
  • Soothes sunburn.
  • Heals nail fungal.
  • Very good massage oil.

Coconut milk benefits:

To tell the truth, we get almost all the above-mentioned benefits from the milk of the superfood coconut.  Moreover, we get the following hair and skin benefits:

  • Promotes hair growth.
    coconut milk benefits

    source google image

  • Repairs dry and damaged hair.
  • Hair conditioner.
  • Prevents acne.
  • Protect premature ageing.
  • Natural makeup remover.
  • Excellent facial scrubber.
  • Amazing skin moisturizer.
  • Heals sunburn. (Also read sunscreen cream).

Can I drink coconut milk every day?

It is the milky substance, extracted from the white meat of a mature coconut.


See the nutrients above. Superfood coconut is rich in calories and fats. Therefore, consuming it in moderation can provide several health benefits as stated above. But consuming too much of it along with carbohydrate-rich foods can cause weight gain.

Coconut water benefits:

It is unbelievably nourishing, hydrating and refreshing as well. Therefore, it gives energy and motivation. It contains no synthetic colour or sugar. Besides, it is rich in potassium and electrolytes. So it is a healthier drink, particularly for the sportspersons.

However, we get all the above-mentioned benefits of superfood coconut’s water. Also, see the benefits of its oil as well as milk.

(Also read how to stay motivated).

As we get refreshing energy along with motivation (also know how to stay motivated), It, in turn, will help us to have a positive attitude. Motivation, energy as well as positive attitude are extremely necessary to do something fruitful in our life.

Green coconut:

In fact, they are the same as the browns. They are young and not fully ripened. We mainly use them to drink their refreshing, mouth-watering, sweet and healthy water. Additionally, they are less fleshy than the browns. So, it increases our happiness level, particularly in summer.

Potential Drawbacks:

Superfood coconut is not only high in calories but also high in fat. Therefore, it may cause weight gain. Weight gain is bad for our heart health. If anyone is looking to lose weight naturally, then he may be cautious regarding its consumption.

Although, more quality research is necessary to establish its effect on cholesterol and heart disease. So we can eat it in moderation. If we want to eat it more, then we need to consult a doctor or healthcare provider.

Is coconut good or bad?

Indeed, it is a nutritious superfood. It is rich in vitamins, fat, fibre and minerals. It is amazingly healthy and nourishing and as well versatile. Being antioxidant-rich, it helps to slow-down ageing procedure along with protecting us from free radical damage. Moreover, they are good for our skin and hair. (May read flawless skin). Additionally, superfood coconut boosts our metabolism.

How much coconut should you eat a day?

We can take 1-2 tablespoon of its oil daily. A man, who takes 2000 calories daily, may take 35-40 grams of its oil. However, we will take it moderately.

How to open a coconut:

We will know it precisely because coconut water presently is a very trendy drink. At first, this beverage is refreshing and delicious.  We will extract the water and drink it.

How to extract the water:

First, we will find the three eyes or indentations at the top of the superfood coconut. Generally one of them is very soft. We will use a sharp knife or a screwdriver to taste it and then poke a hole. Now invert it over a glass or a bowl to collect the water. Leave it for a few minutes and shake it if necessary. Generally, we will get a ½ to 1 cup of water from it.

Now we will remove the white meat.

How to extricate the meat:

For this, we will at first set the micro oven temperature to 380o F or 190o C and fully heat it. Now place the coconut on a baking sheet and bake it for 15 minutes or until a crack appears. Then, we will remove it from there.

Let it cool for a few minutes. Now wrap it in a small but clean piece of cloth or kitchen towel. Hit it against a hard surface, preferably a concrete surface. Otherwise, we may tap the cracked coconut along the crack to fully split it.

Now unwrap the pieces. Wedge a butter knife amid shell and flesh and cautiously separate them. Still, there may be a brown fibre. Using a vegetable peeler we will take away this fibre. Now we have the white meat of the superfood coconut.

If there is no crack, then split the husk with a screwdriver or a mallet. Afterwards, separate the husk from the meat with a paring knife or butter knife. Then using a peeler we will remove the rough brown exterior from the flesh.

Crack coconut using a cleaver, hammer or the blunt backside of a knife.

There is another way. After taking its water, we may hold it with our non-dominant hand. Hit it with the back of a cleaver or the blunt backside of a knife or a mallet against the ‘equator’ line repeatedly. This tentative line runs around the middle of it. If you notice carefully, then you can see it. This is the easiest line to break superfood coconut through the middle.

We may slightly rotate it after each hit. We require some solid hits. After the appearance of a crack, coconut will split easily. If you feel necessary, then you can use a dull knife through the crack to split it.

Do it cautiously so that you do not hurt your hand. Initially, it may be hard, but after a few practices, it will be easy.

At first, we will take away the white flesh using a sharp knife. Due to this, we will hold the half with the non-dominant hand. Next, using the knife we will try to form a perpendicular line from the cracked age. Cut it as deep as possible. Then cut it from a separate angle. It will look like a ‘v’ shape or as a triangle. Then centre the knife in the middle of the two cutting lines under the flesh and gently pry the white meat. In this way, you can remove the meat.

How to hollow out a coconut:

For this read how to crack a coconut with a hammer or the blunt backside of a knife.

How to use coconut meat:

A few ways to use superfood coconut’s meat are:

  • Blend it into smoothies, sauces and dips.
  • Before baking meat, poultry, fish, tofu and etc. coat it along with breadcrumbs.
  • Shred-it and add to fruit salad, oatmeal, mixed greens, yoghurt and etc.
  • Add dry coconut to homemade trail mix

However, its water, oil and milk serve amazingly for our all-round skincare and hair care. Additionally, we can make various homemade DIY with them. Some of them are:

  • Lemon and its water for glowing skin. (Also read uses of lemons).
  • Aloe Vera gel, tea tree essential oil and its milk.
  • Olive oil and its milk.
  • Its milk, sandalwood powder, honey and saffron.
  • Rosewater and coconut oil.

Some facts about superfood coconut:

  • Due to all the above reasons, its worldwide demand has increased over 500 per cent in the past decade.
  • At present coconut water is more than $300 million global industry.
  • In the last five years, the coconut oil price has increased more than twice. However, Asian countries supply about 90% of it.

Below is the list of Amazon’s top sellers for the following products.

For its milk:

  • Aroy-d Coconut Milk.
  • Native Forest Simple Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk.
  • Native Forest Classic Organic Coconut Milk.
  • 365 Everyday Value Organic Coconut Milk.

For its water:

  • Taste Nirvana Coconut Water.
  • Bai Molokai Coconut Flavoured Water, 12 pack.
  • Vita Coco Coconut Water.
  • Zico Coconut Water.

For its oil:

  • Island Fresh Coconut Oil.
  • Nutiva Virgin Coconut Oil.
  • Viva Naturals Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil.
  • Carrington Farms Organic Coconut Oil.




Therefore, we come to know that the superfood coconut is a nutrient powerhouse. This will be a handy inclusion in our list of healthy eating habits. Not only this, it may easily be a part of your daily skincare routine. Only, you need to know the right order of your skincare products.

I hope this article will help you in setting goals regarding its consumption. (Also read, goal).

We will try for its maximum use for its various benefits.

May read my following articles regarding our savings. 

About the author

Banani Chakraborty

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