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Coconut Meat Health Benefits And Potential Downsides

Coconut meat affords several health benefits such as boosting heart health, supporting faster weight loss, improving digestive health, stabilizing blood sugar, improving immunity and enhancing brain functions. Regular consumption, however, increases the risk of heart disease. It also causes weight gain when consumed in excess and is associated with other nut allergies.

What Is Coconut Meat?

As per Healthline, coconut meat is the white flesh found inside a coconut fruit. It is high in fat and calories and contains carbohydrates and protein as well. For every cup, there exists 283 calories, three grams of protein, 23 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbohydrates, five grams of sugar and seven grams of fiber. It also contains essential nutrients such as manganese, selenium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc.

Below are the different health benefits coconut meat provides the human body:

Boosts Heart Health

Coconut meat contains the fruit’s oil that promotes the generation of HDL (good) cholesterol and reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol. In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, participants were made to consume either extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, or unsalted butter daily for four weeks. The results showed that those who consumed coconut oil had significantly increased their HDL cholesterol compared to the other groups. This reduces the risk of heart disease.

Supports Weight Loss

Several studies suggest that medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) and fiber contents of coconut make you feel full sooner and prevent you from overeating. MCTs also burn calories and fats, which promotes faster weight loss. The daily recommended intake of coconut meat is 100 grams daily.

Improves Digestive Health

The high fiber content in coconut meat solidifies your stool and promotes bowel regularity, thus keeping your digestive system healthy. The fat content also supports the body’s absorption of fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K.

The MCTs in coconut meat also toughen your gut bacteria which then prevents inflammation and metabolic syndrome. Coconut oil also protects against Candida albicans which causes serious infections. Its positive effects on gut bacteria also regulate fasting blood sugar.

Improves Immunity

The manganese content of coconut serves as an antioxidant that boosts your immune system and reduces inflammation. The MCTs also act as antiviral, antifungal and anticancer agents.

Enhances Brain Health

The MCT content also serves as an alternative energy source to glucose. Those who are suffering from impaired memory or brain function such as Alzheimer’s disease will benefit from its brain-fueling properties.

Downsides

Since coconut is high in saturated fat, regular consumption thereof may increase your risk of heart disease. While the issue is still currently being debated by scientists, replacing saturated fat with unsaturated ones diminishes the risk. Some scientists in a study, however, claim that that coconut does not seem to damage heart health as seen in people who consume it through the Western diet.

Coconut meat is also high in calories. Excess consumption thereof leads to significant weight gain especially if you cannot restrict your calorie intake from other means.

Lastly, those who are allergic to nuts are likely to be allergic to coconut meat, as well. Although the same is not true for all cases, some give off an allergic reaction when consuming the fruit with similar symptoms to those allergic to nuts.

Coconut meal A plate of coconut meat dish. 41330/Pixabay

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