A member of the palm family, the coconut tree grows in a wide range of locations along the Equator. Researchers believe that this tree first grew in Southeast Asia, where coconuts were described by Marco Polo as the “Indian Nuts” of Sumatra and India.
Because the coconut is so valuable and versatile, it is thought that man himself transported it to many equatorial regions of the world to share its goodness. The coconut is actually a seed – one of the largest seeds in the whole plant world. When it is ripe, the coconut falls from the tree and sprouting begins.
Lucky for us, we can enjoy all of the life-promoting goodness found inside of this seed, including the water, meat, milk and oil.
On its own, the properties of the coconut are outstanding, but when combined with other ingredients, the potency is off the chart. Here are nine such combinations that are well worth considering.
Known endearingly as the “fluid of life,” coconut water is the nutrient and mineral rich sap that is found within a coconut. The water is protected by the tough outer shell of the nut and is kept sterile and free from fungus, parasites and bacteria.
Rich in natural vitamins, especially the B vitamins, coconut water also contains minerals and trace elements including selenium, iodine, sulfur, zinc, manganese, organic acids, enzymes, phytonutrients and amino acids. It is low in calories and sugar, yet sweet.
Fact: During WWII, the Vietnam War and the Nigerian Civil War, when intravenous solutions ran in short supply, injured soldiers were given coconut water. A person can safely be given up to one-quarter to one-third of their body weight in coconut water intravenously (Recio, P. M. “The Intravenous Use of Coconut Water.” Phillip J Pediatric: 1974; 30 (30).) Because of its sterility and composition, coconut water can safely be injected directly into the bloodstream without fear of damaging blood cells or inciting an allergic reaction.
Powerful coconut water combinations
Coconut water, orange juice and melon drink: One of the best benefits of coconut water is that it is extremely high in potassium. As your body sweats during exercise or vigorous physical activity, your level of potassium drops. According to Nutrition-and-You, coconut water has approximately 250mg of potassium and 105mg of sodium in every 100ml of water. According to Liz Applegate, Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of California, Davis, coconut water is great for replacing potassium if you are doing short workouts.
To superboost this workout drink to include mega amounts of vitamin C, combine pure coconut water with the juice of fresh oranges and muskmelon:
- 2 cups frozen cubed muskmelon
- Juice from 2 organic oranges
- 2 cups organic coconut water
- 2 teaspoons coconut crystals
- Pinch of black salt
Coconut water and tea tree oil face wash: The cytokines in coconut water have an anti-aging impact on human cells and tissues. Human cells, as they age, go through progressive and irreversible changes until they finally die.
Compared to young, plump, smooth and round young cells, old cells are irregular in shape, flat and full of debris. With age, the division of cells slows down and eventually stops.
Cytokines cause cells to act younger than their age so less degeneration occurs (Rattan, S.I.S. and Clark, B.F.C. “Kinetin delays the onset of ageing characteristics in human fibroblasts.” Biochem Biophys Res 1994;201:665-672).
Tea tree oil is known for its bacteria-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties. To make an age defying, bacteria-busting facial cleanser, simply mix a half cup of organic coconut water with a two drops of tea tree essential oil. Dab the solution on your face and neck using a clean cotton pad, rinse with cool water and pat dry.
Coconut water and kefir: Coconut kefir made with water kefir grains eliminates the often-problematic ingredients of dairy and is easier on the digestive tract than certain teas, while providing all the same and more nutritional benefits. Coconut kefir is soothing to the digestive system, supports healthy liver function and feeds your immune system.
The fermented water encourages hydration while re-colonizing the gut and mucous membranes with healthy strains of beneficial bacteria. Kefir is also rich in beneficial yeasts that search out and attack pathogenic yeasts such as candida.
These yeasts help to strengthen the walls of the intestines and build up resistance to other dangerous pathogens such as E. coli, intestinal parasites and salmonella.
Making your own coconut kefir water
You will pay quite a bit at a whole food store for a container of coconut kefir water. Save money by making your own – it’s simple. This kefir water is berry-flavored and tastes great on its own or as a smoothie base.
- Glass mason jar with lid
- Piece of cheesecloth
- Plastic strainer
- Plastic measuring spoons
- 1 quart organic coconut water
- 3 tablespoons water kefir grains
- 1 cup fresh berries
- Place the water kefir grains in the coconut water.
- Cover the jar with cheesecloth so that grains can breathe – allow the kefir grains to culture the coconut water for 24 to 48 hours, out of direct sunlight.
- Once the culturing process is complete, remove the kefir grains using a strainer.
- Puree the fresh fruit and coconut water to add fabulous flavor.
- To refresh kefir grains, add them to a quart of water with a ¼ cup of coconut sugar. Let this sit for about 48 hours so that the sugar water has time to feed the grains.
Coconut meat is the super-rich lining found inside the shell of a coconut. This juicy meat contains vitamins A and E, as well as polyphenols and phytosterols which work together to lower dangerous levels of LDL cholesterol. Interestingly, coconut meat is a staple food of the the Kitavans of Papua New Guinea and the Tokelaus of New Zealand – populations that have no incidence of stroke and heart disease.
In addition, coconut meat contains high amounts of potassium, copper and manganese. In fact, one cup of coconut meat provides almost 70 percent of the daily recommended amount of manganese for women, and 52 percent for men.
Manganese helps to break down proteins and fats and is essential in supporting a healthy immune and nervous system. It is also important for blood sugar regulation.
Powerful coconut meat combinations
Brown rice and coconut meat: Brown rice is the natural form of white rice, before the bleaching and refinement process that white rice undergoes, which strips away all of its nutrients. The side and hull of the rice grain is intact in brown rice, making it easier to digest than its refined counterpart.
Along with being easier on the gut, brown rice is a good source of protein, calcium, fiber, magnesium, thiamine and potassium. It also contains selenium, which has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, arthritis and cancer, as well as manganese.
Brown rice also boasts antioxidants, and naturally-occurring oils, which help to regulate cholesterol levels. Simply combining one cup of organic brown rice with ¼ cup organic coconut meat is a delicious anytime treat that is loaded with health-promoting properties.
Add a cup of mixed veggies and you have a wholesome meal that will provide plenty of energy for your body while keeping you full.
Beans and coconut meat: Whether you choose navy, pinto, lima or turtle beans (to name just a few), these little legumes pack a huge nutritional punch to start your day. Not only are beans high in both protein and fiber, giving your body optimal fuel to get through the busiest of days, they are also rich in B-vitamins, as well as important minerals including copper, iron, folate, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.
The fiber found in beans is important to keeping blood sugar levels stable. This is one reason that a diet rich in beans has been linked to a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Beans are also extremely heart-healthy, and have been associated with a lowered risk of heart disease, along with a lower risk of having a heart attack. Beans can do great things for the digestive system, and regular consumption is linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
As they keep you feeling full and fueled with energy, they can also both help to prevent excess weight from piling on, and help you lose extra weight when combined with other whole, nutritious foods. For a health-promoting meal, simply cook up a serving of your favorite beans and top with a generous amount of fresh, organic coconut meat.
Coconut milk, like coconut oil, is high in saturated fat; however, it is a healthy saturated fat that the body easily breaks down and uses for energy and other bodily functions. This lactose-free, creamy milk contains antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties that boost the immune system.
Recent research also shows that populations that consume coconut milk have low rates of heart disease. The milk, which is extracted from the coconut flesh, contains iron, selenium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, protein, potassium and vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6.
Making your own coconut milk
Making your own coconut milk is a great way to ensure that you get all the goodness with none of the dangers of commercially processed milk. The very first rule of making great homemade coconut milk is to select a ripe coconut. You can tell if the coconut is ripe by holding it up to your ear and shaking it very gently. If you hear a swishing sound, the coconut is just ripe enough.
- 2 brown coconuts
- 4 cups of filtered hot water
- Use a sharp knife to pierce the eyes of the coconut and drain the water into a bowl.
- Split the coconuts using a rolling pin or a hammer.
- Pry the coconut flesh from the husk using a sharp knife. Peel off brown bits of skin that may stick to the meat.
- Place the coconut flesh and the water into a blender.
- Add 4 cups of water.
- Blend until the milk is smooth.
- Strain the mixture through a nut bag or muslin cloth into a mason jar.
- Squeeze out as much liquid as you can and store the milk in the fridge.
Berries and coconut milk: There is a growing body of research supporting the benefits of consuming berry fruits to longevity and health. Well-known for their powerful antioxidant capabilities, berries have been found to have direct impacts on the brain. Eating berries may help to prevent age-related neurodegeneration and motor function, according to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Both animal studies and human trials demonstrate a strong link between berry consumption, reduced inflammation and improved cognitive function. Here is a delicious coconut berry smoothie recipe that the whole family will enjoy.
Strawberry Coconut Smoothie
- 1 cup of fresh coconut milk
- 1/2 cup frozen organic strawberries
- 1/2 cup organic 100% orange juice
- 1 organic banana, sliced
Coconut milk and raw honey: Honey is a natural humectant, which means that it keeps things moist, and also attracts moisture. It is also loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.
The recipe below is for a raw honey and coconut milk hair rinse that will leave your hair follicles happy and your hair luxuriously soft. The coconut milk acts as a medium to help spread the honey, and adds its own healthy natural oils and healing properties to your hair.
Coconut Milk Hair Rinse
- ¼ cup of organic raw honey
- Enough coconut milk to mix it together
Volumes of research continue to stack up in favor of the astounding health benefits of coconut oil. Although coconut oil is about 90 percent saturated fat, it is good for the body. It contains about 50 percent lauric acid, which helps to prevent high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
The short and medium-chain fatty acids regulate thyroid and enzyme function and help with weight reduction. Coconut oil improves metabolism and takes stress off of the pancreas. This tropical wonder improves digestion and increases the absorption of vitamins, amino acids and minerals.
Just the shortlist of the health-promoting benefits of coconut oil includes its potent antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral properties. It has also been found that this tropical wonder can help to stabilize blood sugar levels, prevent heart disease and protect the brain from neurological disorders.
Powerful coconut oil combinations
Coconut crystals and coconut oil: Nature has provided the perfect alternative for healthy and vital skin: pure, extra virgin coconut oil. Organic coconut oil has been used for thousands of years medicinally, and is clearly a better option than any petroleum-based commercial product.
Coconut oil helps to clear away dead skin cells and can also be combined with coconut crystals, sea salt or other natural exfoliating substances to make a very useful facial scrub that leaves the skin feeling soft and clean.
No need to spend money on special products when you can use coconut oil. A simple scrub can be made by mixing one cup of coconut crystals with 1/2 cup of organic coconut oil. Rub in a light circular motion over your face, rinse and pat dry with a clean cotton cloth. The healing properties of coconut oil will leave your skin smooth, refreshed and healthy.
Organic coffee and coconut oil: Replacing processed coffee creamers with organic coconut oil is a smart move. Although it may sound strange, the result is actually quite delicious and highly nutritious. The combination of caffeine and saturated fat gives the body a great and lasting energy boost.
The best way to prepare a tropical twisted coffee drink is to brew a high quality organic cup of coffee and place it in a blender. Add in one tablespoon of organic coconut oil, blend and enjoy. The resulting coffee drink is frothy and rich, with a wonderfully smooth taste that is very satisfying. If you like your coffee sweetened, add one teaspoon of organic coconut crystals.
Adding coconut oil to your coffee is a great way to supercharge and give your body a burst of energy to make it through the day.
And… it gets better. Coconut oil has also been proven to kill stubborn belly fat! To learn more about the 3 very important studies that prove how coconut oil can erase this very dangerous abdominal fat, click here.