Coconut Meat: Uses, Health Benefits and Disadvantages

Coconut is a fruit of the tropical climate that comes from the coconut palm. coconut nucifera. It has a brown shell and stringy inside white colored flesh or pulp that can be eaten in different ways. Learn about the uses, benefits and disadvantages of consuming coconut meat.

In general, its intake has increased in recent times due to the alleged bactericidal, antioxidant, antiparasitic and blood sugar regulating properties attributed to this fruit. But is it all true?

even if there is Scientific studies who claim that consuming coconut meat can be beneficial to health, we also know that eating it liberally or in excess can have drawbacks. Read more below.

What is the nutritional content of coconut meat?

Unlike other fruits, Coconuts contain fat as the main nutrient. These consist of 90% saturated fatty acids, in which short-chain and medium-chain ones predominate.

One of the main differences with other fat-rich foods is that they are absorbed from the small intestine without needing to be metabolized in the liver to be used as an energy source, as confirmed by research “The Role of Coconut and Palm Oil in Nutrition, Health, and National Development: A Review”.

Similarly, they also contain carbohydrates, proteins, fibers, vitamins and minerals such as manganese, copper and zinc. According to the data expressed in Food data centre, in 100 grams of fresh and grated coconut meat there is the following:

  • Calories: 354.
  • Protein: 3 grams.
  • Carbohydrates: 15 grams.
  • Fat: 33 grams.
  • Sugar: 5 grams.
  • Fiber: 9 grams.
  • Manganese: 60% of Daily Value (DV)
  • Selenium: 14% HD.
  • Copper: 22% of the DV.
  • Encounter: 11% of the DV.
  • Potassium: 10% of the DV.
  • Iron: 13% of the DV.
  • Zinc: 10% of the DV.
  • Soccer: 14% HD.
Coconut open.
Coconut contains fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, as well as fat.

What are the possible benefits of coconut meat?

It is due to its nutritional composition that coconut may be useful for treating or improving certain conditions. Let’s see what it can affect.

It can prevent cell damage and oxidation

In addition to the remarkable contribution of nutrients that this fruit has, phenolic compounds are also present in the coconut pulp. These have antioxidant functions and are protectors of cellular damage against toxic substances or free radicals. Those that predominate in this fruit are gallic acid, caffeic acid, salicylic acid and coumaric acid.

In particular, they prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce the likelihood of plaque formation in the arteries, thus helping to maintain cardiovascular health. Furthermore, animal studies have shown that these compounds protect cells from damage caused by chemotherapy.

May aid digestive health

Coconuts stand out for their fiber content. This component helps to increase the volume of stool and thanks to this it maintains intestinal health, avoiding constipation. For this reason he is considered an ally.

Furthermore, the scientific study “Gut microbiota and metabolic health: the possible beneficial effects of a diet based on medium-chain triglycerides in obese people” exposes it the medium-chain fatty acids it contains strengthen the bacteria that populate the intestineso they are also good for avoiding inflammation and conditions like metabolic syndrome.

It can maintain blood sugar control

Another of the advantages that coconut has, thanks to its fiber content, is that it can keep blood sugar levels stable. What this compound does is capture glucose from food and reduce its absorption rate.

It can help improve immunity

manganese, zinc and antioxidants stimulate the proper functioning of the immune system. This maintains the integrity of the body against inflammation. Also, as mentioned, fatty acids have antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Possible risks and contraindications of consuming coconut meat

Since this fruit has fat as its main component, it is also a high-calorie food. Let’s see what effects it can cause.

May induce weight gain

Consuming large amounts of any fat-dominated food is likely to cause weight gain. Obviously they have to do with other factors, such as the quality of the diet, the level of physical activity and the frequency with which they are consumed. But it is an aspect that must be considered.

Excess fat affects vascular health

There’s a lot of controversy at this point, as coconut provides fiber and antioxidant compounds that can reduce cholesterol, but it also contains significant amounts of saturated fat. In this regard, the study “Coconut Oil Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Humans” note that a high intake of the latter is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease.

To avoid this, it is recommended to replace them with oils, such as olive or seed oil. One must be careful and not fall into excessive consumption of this fruit or any food rich in fat.

May cause allergy

Finally, There are people who can react badly to coconut and this is not always associated with other cases of food allergy. In any case, according to the study “Coconut Allergy Review”the appearance of it is rare.

Cardiovascular health.
Cardiovascular health is argued against coconut. In any case, it is advisable to moderate its consumption due to the fat content.

Recommended amount and when to include it in the diet

Coconut meat can be eaten in a variety of ways, diced, grated, or flaked. You can even buy fruit and eat it fresh or choose to dry it.

In the latter case, you have to pierce one of its ends with a hammer and a nail, let the liquid it contains drain (it is not advisable to throw it away, as it is also nutritious) and finally break it to access its pulp.

Thus, coconut is often used in sweet dishes or pastries because it has a valued flavor, but that’s not the only way it can be used. It can be included in the following preparations:

  • Sweet biscuits: grated coconut is better.
  • Decoration of pancakes or dishes: flaked coconut is the most showy.
  • Add to fruit salads: using fresh or flaked coconut.
  • Coconut Plant Milk: for which grated coconut is used.
  • Incorporation in yoghurt, milk and infusions: either grated or flaked.

Advantages and disadvantages of coconut meat

as you will see, This food contains a significant amount of saturated fats, but also fibers and antioxidants. For all these reasons, if the pulp of the coconut were consumed, the nutrients necessary for the normal functioning of the organism would be incorporated. It should not be forgotten that excessive intake of it can lead to weight gain, although other factors also influence it.

The post Coconut Meat: Uses, Health Benefits and Disadvantages appeared first in research-school.

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