The coconut has grown in popularity in recent years after it was discovered that the easily-grown fruit has several nutritional and cosmetic benefits. Lauded widely as the “Tree of Life”, everything from the fruit’s water, flesh, and oil have been proven to have a positive effect on one’s health. Here are a few reasons why adding more coconut to your diet can be the healthiest thing you do.

Coconut water is an excellent source of hydration, long before advertisers all over the world made it cool to start drinking more of it. It’s more hydrating than regular water due to its isotonic nature: meaning, it has the same amount of electrolytes as our blood. During exercise, your body loses a lot of electrolytes that coconut water can replace more efficiently, so you feel less thirsty. So hydrating, in fact, that during World War II it was used as an intravenous fluid to replace blood when nothing else was available to troops at the time and is still in use today in remote areas where IV fluid is less readily found.

It’s also chock-full of vitamins and minerals. It has more potassium content than bananas, which is great for healthy muscle function. Coconut water also contains the minerals calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium, and vitamins B1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. All naturally occurring and organic!

Coconut oil is a well-known metabolic stimulator. In plain terms, it increases your metabolism to burn fat faster and it can help you lose weight if applied with proper diet and exercise. Combining coconut water and flesh in a healthy fruit smoothie is one of the best and most delicious ways you can incorporate this superfood into your diet. Consuming coconut oil in baking or cooking may also help decrease your sugar cravings, making you want less of the sweet stuff and on your way to a leaner waist much sooner.

Coconut meat contains plenty of fiber, which aids in digestion and maintaining your intestinal health. It has also been found to fight a lot of the bad stuff: it can be a natural antihistamine, antiviral and anti-microbial food, keeping your gastrointestinal tract clean and in top shape.

Antioxidants help rid your body of toxins and maintain its pH balance – coconut water contains plenty of it. A pH imbalance can result in a weakened system where sickness and disease can develop. So keeping your body’s pH level at a healthy number – about 6.0 to 7.5 – is a sensible choice.

For a healthier lifestyle, it’s always a good idea to cut out excess fat. But with so many dishes in need of it, one might wonder how they’re supposed to have their favorite dishes without oil. Coconut oil is the answer: it’s a diverse medium that can be used as a healthier alternative to butter in baking as well as light frying. Coconut oil has a high smoke point that is ideal for use in fried dishes and doesn’t burn as easily. The best part is that it doesn’t produce free radicals, which are cells that kill living, working cells just by coming into contact with them. It keeps for a long time on your shelf and doesn’t go rancid as quickly as other light oils.

There have been studies that the consumption of more coconut products can aid in protecting against cancer, fighting degenerative diseases, relieve fatigue, strengthen the thyroid and liver functions, and boost your immunity. But don’t take our word for it – try it for yourself.

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