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If you haven’t noticed, coconuts are quite a big trend at the moment, be it the furry whole, fresh coconut, coconut water, coconut milk, cream, coconut oil, coconut flour or flakes! Of course, there are major health benefits to coconuts and it’s derivatives, but be careful as it still has plenty of saturated fat that is rich in calories. But let’s take a look at some of the pro’s that coconuts bring to our lives:

HEALTH BENEFITS:

Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Plus, it is lactose-free so it’s an amazing alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or avoiding dairy products.

Coconut Oil:

Coconut oil is a saturated fat, and while it increases the beneficial HDL cholesterol levels, and due to it’s high percentage of lauric acid which helps in actively preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.  Coconut oil can be used to substitute butter or another cooking oil. Keep in mind the high caloric intake and high fat, so as they say “everything in moderation.” You don’t necessarily have to eat coconut oil, as it in fact as great health benefits for your hair and your skin! It’s a natural moisturizer which is especially beneficial to those with dry skin, and next time you need a massage, try using some of this anti-oxidant oil. It helps the growth of your hair and gives your hair that shiny quality.

Coconut Milk and Cream:

These are simply delicious in many dishes and can be used in your smoothies, for your cereals and added to your coffee! Like coconut oil, coconut milk or cream improves heart health and helps to lower blood pressure. It has electrolytes like magnesium and potassium that help to repair broken down tissue and build muscle and also prevents fatigue. The efficient source of calories helps to give your body and your brain energy. It can also help in managing blood sugar levels by better controlling insulin levels.

Coconut Flour:

As you may know, people are loving coconut flour at the moment because of the gluten-free trend, and it has a large amount of fibre; about 5 grams of fibre per 2 tablespoons. No only is it high in fibre but it is also high in protein and healthy fats compared to other flours. Coconut flour is also great for those with diabetes, by adding coconut flour to baked goods it lowers the glycemic index. Give this healthy Coconut Dark Chocolate Truffles recipe a go.

Coconut Flakes:
It’s a better option to eat coconut meat (actual chunks of coconut) but flaked coconut is a lot easier to cook or bake with and it is more easily accessible. If you are willing to try and open a whole fresh coconut then this would be the best option as you get the water as well as the edible pieces, it’s seriously worth a try and ensures that you get all the amazing health benefits of the whole furry bundle of nutrients! Flaked coconut is delicious when toasted, lightly toast it in a dry pan on the stove, but be careful as it can burn easily! Coconut flakes have the same benefits of coconuts, being high in fibre and it offers plenty of zinc and iron.

Go on and get creative with all the rich and nutritious coconut forms on offer. Make healthy pancakes, baked goods, a coconut milk curry….get cooking! Some of our selected FreshStops have a health section stock the YouFirst range of health products, which includes coconut oil, coconut flour and much more.

Some of our selected FreshStops have a health section stock the YouFirst range of health products, which includes coconut oil, coconut flour and much more.