Four Sigma Foods 101 – Coconut Palm
In the Philippines, the coconut tree is known as “the tree of life.” In Sanskrit, its name means “tree which provides all the necessities of life” (kalpa vriksha). Coconuts have been used as a food and medicinally for at least the last 4,000 years.
The coconut palm is said to have originated in southern Asia; it is now common in most tropical areas. It plays a crucial role in the daily lives of millions in these regions, and many consider it to be possessed of magical properties.
A few decades ago, particularly in the West, coconut oil came to be widely regarded as unhealthy, and its use has declined since the 1980s. Previously, it had been used very widely in the US food industry – in baking, desserts and even for popping popcorn. Coconut oil’s decline in popularity began when some organizations launched public “information” and lobbying campaigns against it, asserting that all saturated fats (including coconut oil) were health risks, and that only vegetable oils were healthy. Not surprisingly, the organizations behind these campaigns were closely affiliated with vegetable oil producers. More recent scientific studies have found coconut oil to be quite healthy indeed, and it is beginning to be more widely accepted and available.
The sterile water inside the coconut is perhaps the most electrolytic liquid on Earth, and its composition is nearly identical with human blood plasma. In fact, during World War II, coconut water was used as a blood plasma substitute in treating wounded soldiers.
They support the immune system, thyroid function, nervous system and health of the skin, and even offer rapidly-available energy.
Why to Use Coconut
Coconut is well known as a nourishing and strengthening plant, and coconut products have been used in folk medicine for millennia. Traditionally, it has been used to treat asthma, bronchitis, the common cold, tuberculosis, fever and a host of other ailments and conditions – even baldness. Coconut’s benefits in treating some of these have been confirmed by Western medical science.
Coconut oil is composed of more than 90% saturated, medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). These are very rare but crucial building blocks for each and every cell in the human body. They support the immune system, thyroid function, nervous system and health of the skin, and even offer rapidly-available energy. They also stimulate the metabolism (aiding in weight loss), support breast milk production and preserve semen. According to the principles of Ayurvedic medicine, it takes approximately 35 days and 7 transformational stages for most foods to be converted into semen; with coconut water, the process requires just one day.
There are scientific publications which have stated that some disease-causing organisms, including such viruses as HIV, SARS, HSV-1 and -2, leukemia virus, and hepatitis C, as well as a number of bacteria and parasites, are rendered inactive in the presence of coconut oil’s fatty acids.
Credit: Pepe Pont / Flickr
How to Use Coconut
Coconut oil can be used in cooking, just as you would use any other oil. It is stable at high temperatures, making it an excellent choice for many types of cooking.
Coconut water is perhaps the best sports drink available, since it is so readily absorbed, and because of its blood-plasma-like properties.
Coconut oil is also useful for skin care – applied directly, or in a wide range of skin-care products.
Coconut oil is available in capsules, though we don’t particularly recommend them – they are generally high in price, and of questionable quality. Besides – why take a capsule when it’s so easy to enjoy the healthy benefits and delicious flavor of coconut and coconut oil directly?
Remember that all coconut products are not the same. Take care to choose only high-quality products: non-hydrogenated, not caffeinated, and produced from fresh, raw, non-hybrid coconuts, processed at low temperatures.
Find more information about Coconut from our ebook Sovereign Superfoods.
Where to Buy Coconut
Coconut products may be found in almost any health or natural food store in the world. Coconuts themselves are commonly stocked in grocery stores. We recommend the following coconut products:
Garden of Life Extra Virgin Coconut Oil | High quality product in glass container
Amazon US (Affiliate*): Garden of Life Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Amazon US: Garden of Life Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Artisana Coconut Butter – Cacao Bliss | It’s just delicious
Amazon US (Affiliate*): Artisana Coconut Butter-Cacao Bliss
Amazon US: Artisana Coconut Butter-Cacao Bliss
*Affiliate program link: Product costs the same to you but FSF gets a percentage of the sales to bring more healthy products to you.