Diana Nelson

Coconut: Vitamin, Food, and Water Storage In One Bowl

If you find yourself on a desert island, coconut will provide you with everything your body needs and even take care of your teeth!


Coconuts are known as the ‘tree of life’ because they provide a range of essential products, including food, water, and oil. In fact, coconut is so versatile that it has been used to make everything from furniture and utensils to ropes and baskets. Some cultures even believe that coconut has medicinal properties and can be used to treat several illnesses. The health benefits of coconut are well-known to Hawaiians, who nicknamed it ‘heavenly dew’.

Despite being a seemingly simple fruit, coconut has had a major impact on human civilization and continues to be an important source of many nutrients for people all over the world.

Coconut – Nutrition facts

Coconut has a high energy value and is high in fat. Other properties of coconut include not a big amount of proteins, a medium amount of carbs, and low sugar. It also has a good amount of fibre and a low glycemic index which is good for your blood glucose level.


Coconut – Good and tasty news

Today, coconuts are grown all over the world and are becoming increasingly popular for their taste and numerous health benefits.

1Can help control blood sugar levels

Coconuts are low in carbohydrates, have a good amount of fibre and are high in fat, which can be good for controlling blood sugar levels. The fibre content of coconut pulp also helps to slow down digestion and can potentially improve insulin resistance, which can also help regulate blood sugar levels.

2Contains effective antioxidants

Coconut pulp contains phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants that help protect cells from oxidative damage. The main phenolic compounds identified include gallic acid, caffeic acid, salicylic acid, and p-coumaric acid. Coconut pulp can neutralise harmful compounds called free radicals, which contribute to the development of chronic diseases.

3Has great nutritious content

Compared to many other high-carbohydrate fruits, coconuts contain mostly fat. They also have protein, several important minerals and a small number of B vitamins. However, they are not a significant source of most other vitamins.

The minerals found in coconut are involved in many body functions. Coconuts are particularly medium in manganese, which is essential for bone health and the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and cholesterol.

They are also rich in copper 44% and iron 14% per 100 g, which promotes the formation of red blood cells, as well as selenium 18% per 100 g, an important antioxidant that protects your cells.

4Helps you lose weight

Coconuts are rich in medium-chain fatty acids that are healthy and also help increase your body’s metabolism—which means the body will burn calories faster, and target the fat reserves. Also, instead of being stored as fat deposits, digested coconut gets converted into energy and helps the body to burn more calories. Medium-chain fatty acids do not undergo degradation and re-esterification processes and are directly used in the body to produce energy.

5Improves oral health

Coconut pulp also contains antimicrobial properties. These can be helpful in preventing root canal infections and other dental problems. Eating coconut pulp can help kill some unwanted bacteria in your mouth and protect your gums and teeth from infection or cavities.

6Won’t let constipation ruin your life

Constipation is the result of a diet low in fibre. Eating coconut can help to prevent this unpleasant problem because coconut consists of 61% fibre. It is mostly insoluble fibre, which can help to promote regular bowel movements and intestinal health remains under control.

7Easy to add to your diet

Coconut in the form of flakes or shavings gives a nice flavour to savoury dishes. Its texture and taste go well with curries, fish stews, rice dishes and even breaded prawns.

Shredded coconut is great for baking and gives biscuits and muffins a natural sweetness and moistness. Coconut sprinkles give an oatmeal texture and a tropical flavour.

8Keeps your skin and hair in good condition

If your skin is dry and your hair is frizzy, you should give coconut a try. The fats in coconut oil nourish your skin and keep it hydrated and supple, so you won’t have early wrinkles because of dry skin. It is also a rich source of monolaurin and lauric acid, making it antibacterial and antifungal in nature.

9An affordable source of healthy fats

A pack of Coconut chunks costs around £1.20-£1.50. In comparison with healthy fats, for example, avocado costs around £1.10-£1.40. Almonds are also a source of healthy fats costing around £2.00-£3.30.

As you can see, there is more than one source of healthy fats and you always can choose a product to get good fats from depending on your personal preferences.

Coconut – Pay attention to these facts

Despite their natural properties, coconuts have a few things to be cautious of.

Leads to a high-calorie intake, so do not overdo

Coconuts contain a high amount of calories, which can contribute to weight gain if you do not properly manage your calorie intake. If you are trying to maintain or lose weight, it is important to be aware of this fact and not eat too much in one go.

Possible allergic reactions

Coconut allergy is quite rare, but it does exist. It will be better for you to avoid eating coconuts and coconut-based products if you have a diagnosed allergy or notice some strange symptoms after the consumption.

Coconut. Experiment by Healthypedia

Anna is Healthypedia’s helper and diligent glucose monitoring volunteer. She has a family history of metabolic issues, diabetes specifically, and she decided to find out what foods and dishes are bad and good for her. Anna uses continuous glucose monitor and the app which shows how the food affects her blood glucose, and displays it in the meal score from 1 (bad) to 10 (good).
Coconut Blood Glucose Test Result Nutrition
Blood glucose

Coconut was, perhaps, my favorite food which I had to test for Healthypedia. Although it is very filling, it doesn’t make me feel ‘heavy’. The meal score result is wonderful, and I think I will incorporate coconut in my diet as a healthy snack.

Healthypedia - Anna
Anna Healthypedia’s tester

Fun & curious facts about coconut

  • Coconuts get their name from the Portuguese word coco, which means ‘head’ or ‘skull’, due to the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.

  • Its ability to fight the sweltering heat makes it a remedy for ordinary people. Ayurvedic doctors advise drinking coconut water to improve digestion and cleanse the urinary tract.

  • Coconuts, along with bananas, are the only fruits that are considered ‘sacred fruit’. All other fruits are tainted fruit (partially eaten by insects, birds and animals). The reason is that these two do not grow after throwing away the rest.

Coconut in The Blue Zones

Coconut is a popular component in the Blue Zones diet, especially in Nicoya, Costa Rica. This is because coconut is a great source of healthy saturated fats that boosts fat burning and helps to control blood sugar levels which are linked to a long and healthy life.

Let’s summarise

Besides being full of fibre, vitamins, and minerals, this amazing fruit also tastes great. It is a good source of healthy fats, plus it helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels and control weight. In addition to its nutritional properties, coconut has antibacterial properties, making it an excellent natural remedy for many skin conditions.

Not enough? Here are some more from our colleagues!

According to Dr. Steven Gundry, a renowned cardiologist, surgeon, inventor, and author, every human deserves to live a long and healthy life. With this video, you can learn about the benefits of coconuts and coconut products.

There are lots of coconut products in grocery stores. In this video, Bobby Parrish, a YouTuber with millions of subscribers, explains to you how to choose coconut products. Enjoy watching!

Healthypedia FAQ

100 grams of fresh coconut a day few times a week will be enough.

The colour of the husks: they should be green with no grey spots or streaks. Avoid coconuts with grey, yellow-green or brown spots as they are likely to be ripe or stale and contain more coconut pulp than water. Too many grey spots on the surface indicate that the coconut is overripe.

Coconut milk and cream can be used to make many dishes: delicate soups, healthy desserts, spicy curries, cocktails and even cheese. Coconut pulp or shredded coconut can be added to oatmeal and coconut milk can be used to add flavour to coffee.

Fresh unopened coconut can be stored at room temperature for up to four months, depending on its original freshness at purchase. The shredded fresh coconut should be placed in a tightly sealed container or plastic bag. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to four days or frozen for up to six months.

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