Are you as crazy about coconuts as I am? I spent lot of time this past year absorbing information about coconuts, and though I never knew much about them before, I feel that I am now officially a coconut expert! Prior to my coconut hunts in Key West and Costa Rica over the last couple of years, all I ever knew was that I'd seen the Thai variety in the store (which are also called “young coconuts”), and that their water is delicious! I also knew that I'd seen the well-known brown “hairy” ones in the store, and that the only way I'd ever be able to get the meat out is to smash them with a hammer. During my stay in Costa Rica, I consulted a Tico (or native), and I learned that Pipas (coconuts) and their oil are great for us, both inside and out!
The Basics of Coconuts
During my investigation, I learned that you can find young coconuts from nearly any tropical location, not just from Thailand, like I had previously assumed! Those “young” Thai coconuts I'm so crazy about? Leave them on the tree just a while longer and they harden and look much like the brown and “hairy” coconuts we're used to seeing on Gilligan's Island reruns. All this time, I thought Thai coconuts were an entirely different variety, when in fact these young coconuts and their harder counterparts actually come from the same tree.
Coconut Water and Your Body
Coconut water is full of excellent nutrition- essentially, it's mother nature's very own Gatorade! Loaded with vital nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and calcium, it also contains large quantities of electrolytes. In fact, these tropical nuts are able to provide better hydration than water! It's amazing to think that while my husband Kevin and I were in a tropical climate, with the hot sun and warm ocean breezes causing us to sweat away all our electrolytes, there were coconuts right there with the replenishment that we needed! Mother Nature at her best! One serving of coconut water can elevate your mood, two servings can hydrate the body after a long workout and (experts say that) three can annihilate even the most persistent of hangovers!
The water from this exceptional nut has long been prescribed as a holistic treatment for headaches, fevers, obesity, kidney stones, and even the pains of pregnancy. In fact, the sterile substance is so metabolically complete that it can be infused directly into the human bloodstream instead of saline, which is a practice that was often utilized in emergency situations during the Vietnam War.*
Coconut Oil – Great For You, Both Inside and Out
Do you know how amazing coconut oil is? First, it is one of the only oils that is truly safe for cooking as it does not become rancid at high temperatures, much like olive oil or vegetable oil can (for those of you who enjoy cooking with other oils, please be very, very careful). Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, so I don't recommend eating it by the spoonful, however enjoying a little bit daily won't cause you to have high cholesterol. Having a lot of coconut oil on your skin, however, can work wonders!
The compact molecular structure of coconut oil allows it to be absorbed easily through the skin, helping to give it a soft, smooth texture. It makes an ideal ointment for the relief of dry, rough skin. Coconut oil also is rich in lauric acid, which is known for its cleansing properties. Give coconut oil a chance and see what it can do for you- try my Coconut Honey Mask or my Coconut Body Oil and tell me what you think!
So much goodness in one nut! I hope you find this information as helpful as I have!