Coconut is actually a fruit and not a nut, as some may believe. It comes from the cocus nucifera palm tree which grows in tropical areas.
Highly nutritious, coconuts are packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein, fats and water. Coconut is a wonderful source of saturated fat with multiple health benefits. Unlike animal based fat which is composed of long chain fatty acids, coconut has the unusual composition of medium chain fatty acids. Medium fatty acids differ from other fats, as once consumed they are transported directly from the intestinal tract to the liver and immediately converted to a quick source of energy. Coconut has been found to help support our metabolic rate and improve our energy levels. Coconut being metabolised in this way, causes less of the fat to be circulating in the body and be accumulated into our tissues. Coconut has also shown to help increase the levels of the good cholesterol and lower that of the bad cholesterol. Other properties coconut possesses: it is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and shown to be blood sugar balancing.
With its high content of potassium, coconut water is a healthy and refreshing drink to have, especially after an intense session of exercise. Coconut oil in particular, has become incredibly popular in western countries in the recent years, but it can also be found as coconut water, milk, chips, cream, butter, sugar, flour amongst other forms. Products derived from coconuts, have a lightly sweet but nutty flavour. Coconut oil is so versatile and can be used in daily cooking, bakes and as a moisturiser.