Coconut meat contains healthy long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) and medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) as well as fibers that may have a positive effect on our health, such as boosting heart health, improving digestion and brain function, and aiding in weight loss.
Medium-chain fatty acids are digested more quickly and converted into energy faster. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health explains that:
“The theory is that this quickly absorbed form promotes satiety and prevents fat storage.”
Moreover, coconut meat also has several important minerals, especially copper and manganese. Copper is the one that assists in bone formation and improving heart health while manganese supports enzyme function and fat metabolism.
Coconut And Boosting Heart Health
In a 1981 study, it was noted in some parts of the world like Tokelau, an island chain in the South Pacific, coconut is a dietary staple, and people obtained over 60% of their calories from it. Experts have found that people in that place have very low rates of heart disease. Also, some other populations like the Kitavan people in Papua New Guinea also eat a lot of coconuts and were found to have a little stroke or heart disease risks.
The coconut oil present in coconut meat may help boost our body’s level of HDL cholesterol and reduce LDL cholesterol.
HDL cholesterol helps rid our body of excess cholesterol so it’s less likely to end up in our arteries. Meanwhile, LDL cholesterol takes cholesterol to our arteries, where it may accumulate in artery walls. Too much cholesterol buildup may increase our risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. Improvements in these markers have been associated with a lowered risk of heart disease.
In a study, 91 people were given 50 ml of either extra virgin olive oil, unsalted butter, or extra virgin coconut oil daily. At the end of the 4-week study, results revealed that those who were given coconut oil had experienced a significant increase in HDL cholesterol levels as compared to those in the olive oil or butter group.
Likewise, another study also showed similar results. In this 8-week study, researchers found that taking 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of coconut oil twice a day led to a significant increase in HDL cholesterol, compared with the control group.
In a separate study, consumption of 7 ounces (200 grams) of porridge made with coconut milk has also been associated with a significant increase in HDL cholesterol and a reduction in LDL cholesterol.
Other Health Benefits Of Coconut Meat
- Rich in antioxidants
- Improves Beauty and Skin Health
- May improve immunity
- May stabilize blood sugar
- May support weight loss