Coconut guide: Benefits & nutrition facts
Coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut yoghurt, coconut water, coconut Purition. As versatile as it is nutritious, it’s fair to say that the humble coconut is a wonder food.
That’s why, in some cultures, the coconut tree is known as ‘Kalpa–Vriksha’: the tree that has everything to sustain life.
Rich in digestion-boosting fibre, nourishing MCT fats and essential vitamins with a deliciously creamy flavour texture to boot, it was a no-brainer to make this tropical nourisher one of our 7 core ingredients.
Coconut is often referred to as a nut – but technically speaking, it’s a fruit. It falls under the category of ‘drupes’; fruits that have an inner flesh and seed surrounded by a hard outer shell.
Fresh coconut meat tastes tropical and slightly sweet, with a naturally creamy taste and texture.
While the exact origin of the coconut is unclear, historians believe that they were first grown in Malaysia and Indonesia over 3,000 years ago.
Since then, coconuts have provided nutrition, hydration and shelter around the world, hence being dubbed ‘the tree of life’.
In fact, according to Megan Rosevelt in her book ‘Superfoods for life: Coconut’, over a third of the planet’s population still relies on coconut for food and economic prosperity.
1 cup (around 80g) of dried coconut contains approximately 483 calories, 49.5g fat (of which 42.5g is saturated), 4.5g protein and 11g dietary fibre. They’re low in carbohydrates (just 5g per cup), making them a great option for low-carb or keto diets.
That same cup provides 1.44 mg manganese (72% NRV), 0.44g copper (44% NRV), 528 mg potassium (26% NRV), 2.9mg iron (21% NRV), 72 mg magnesium (19% NRV) and 1mg vitamin E (8% NRV).
Coconut is the world’s richest source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs), which, unlike other types of saturated fat, digest quickly and are easily used for energy.
NRV = Nutrient Reference Value (EU guidance on the daily amount of a vitamin or mineral that the average healthy person needs to prevent deficiency)
Coconut health benefits
Creamy texture, tropical taste and some impressive health benefits too!
1. May support heart health
High cholesterol levels can block arteries and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
The high dietary fibre content of coconut has a hypocholesterolemic effect (it lowers cholesterol).
Findings also show that coconut, specifically coconut oil, can help to give ‘good’ HDL cholesterol a boost. This may be because coconut’s medium-chain fatty acids are less likely to contribute to build-up in the arteries, due to their energy-promoting behaviour.
However, as some studies have demonstrated that coconut oil can also increase LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol levels, the net impact of coconut oil on cholesterol requires further research.
The good news? Coconut-packed Purition is a fantastic source of the unsaturated fat alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), which can positively influence cholesterol levels. Purition contains an average of 1.85g of heart-healthy ALA per serving – over 90% of your daily ALA requirement.
2. May reduce the risk of disease
High free radical levels can increase the risk of chronic disease, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Coconut is rich in antioxidant phenolic compounds and manganese, both of which help to fight free radicals. The main phenolic compounds in coconut are gallic acid, caffeic acid, salicylic acid and p-coumaric acid.
In fact, lab studies prove that coconut meat has both potent antioxidant and free-radical-scavenging power.
Plus, a study on coconut oil found that the antioxidants in coconut can aid in protecting cells from damage and, in turn, reduce the risk of chronic disease.
3. Can support healthy digestion
Fibre helps to keep the digestive tract flowing and promotes a healthy gut microbiome. It also helps to keep you fuller for longer, which can make it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
Coconut is high in fibre, making it a digestion-boosting and hunger-crunching food. In fact, thanks to coconut and other fibre-packed nuts and seeds, Purition contains around 7g fibre per serving.
In addition, coconut is rich in MCT oils, which studies suggest can boost the good bacteria in the gut.
Good gut bacteria not only supports healthy digestion but also boosts immune function and helps to control inflammation.
4. Provides energy & may improve endurance
Coconut oil is one of the richest natural sources of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fat that is more rapidly metabolised than other fats.
It gets directly absorbed into the bloodstream, so is easier to digest than other types of fat and provides a quicker source of energy. For this reason, studies have shown that they may improve endurance in athletes.
If you’re looking for nutrition to support your workouts, Purition is the perfect fit. It’s rich in unrefined healthy fats from whole foods like coconuts, which provide energy and are packed with naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals.
Plus, it’s a quality source of protein – including all essential and non-essential amino acids – to support your recovery.
5. May provide antibacterial and antiviral benefits
The main fatty acid (FA) in coconut, lauric acid (LA), has recently been recognised for its antibacterial, antiviral and antiprotozoal properties.
Capric acid (CA), another of coconut’s fatty acids, has also been added to the list of coconut’s antimicrobial components.
LA and CA are formed into monolaurin and monocaprin in the human body. Monolaurin is the antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human body to destroy certain viruses (flu, herpes) and certain bacteria (listeria, H. Pylori).
Enjoy coconut in Purition
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, improve your energy levels, support healthy digestion or just feel better in yourself, it all starts with eating more healthy whole foods. And that’s exactly where Purition can help.
Made with 7 seeds and nuts (whole ground golden linseed (flax), sunflower kernels, almonds, coconut, pumpkin seeds, whole chia seeds and sesame seeds) plus extra protein and fibre, it’s a quick and convenient way to get nourishing whole foods into your day.
Purition will fill you up for 4+ hours, provide a sustained release of energy and improve your gut health by helping you to increase your fibre intake. Enjoy it for breakfast or lunch daily to change your diet for the better – and boost your long-term health and immunity – with very little effort.
How we source our coconuts
We only partner with BRC-approved coconut suppliers, who carry out regular inspections and work exclusively with coconut farmers and producers that treat their labour force with respect.
Recent reports have revealed that, in some instances, coconuts are picked by trained monkeys. But we’re against this, which is why we only work with coconut farmers who harvest manually using a bamboo pole.
Our coconut flour has a higher fat content than most – and that’s a good thing! To make coconut flour, the flesh of the coconut is pressed to remove the milk. This leaves only the coconut ‘meat’ behind, with most of the fats and goodness gone. These coconut flours are fairly nutritionless, which isn’t what we’re after.
We use coconut flour that’s made from coconuts that aren’t pressed to the extreme. Only some of the coconut milk is extracted and the rest is left in. For you, this means way more nutrition and way more coco-nutty flavour. Our coconuts are also sulphur-free.
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