Benefits of Coconuts: Why It’ll Make You Go Nuts!

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Did you know that there is a lot of misinformation out there about coconuts?

First of all, they’re not even nuts, nor are they fruit. They’re actually seeds! Second, contrary to popular belief, coconuts are not at all bad for your health. They are actually so nutritious that I consider them a super-nutrient food – one that nourishes your brain and body, satiating hunger with healthy fats, protein and fiber.

The coconut got its name from early Spanish explorers who used the word “coco” (which means “monkey face”) to describe it because the three indentations (eyes) on the hairy nut resembles the head and face of a monkey. Once it made its way to Europe, the word “nut” was added to its name. Today, coconuts grow in tropical climates that are frost free, such as those in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific region.

Coconuts contain ample water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for people to live on. The shell and its fiber can be used for rope, cooking fires, currency, and flotation devices—talk about an all-purpose food!

So why has coconut gotten such a bad rap? When food manufacturers get their hands on coconut oil, they commonly put it through a process called hydrogenation—which basically turns it into highly toxic trans fats. Hydrogenated coconut oil is used in all kinds of poor-quality junk food. It is hydrogenated coconut oil that is bad for you – NOT coconut in its natural, unprocessed form.

In addition, coconut and the products derived from it have been for years wrongly deemed as an unhealthy type of food because of its long known high saturated fat content. Although we know that the saturated fat in animal foods is dangerous for the cardiovascular system, the saturated fat in coconut is different than that in animal-based foods.

Saturated animal fat links together in chains called long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). However, the saturated fat in coconut oil forms medium-chain fatty acids. The length of the chain makes a big difference in how fat is metabolized. Fats joined in medium chains (also known as medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs) have a different impact on the body than fats joined in long chains.

MCTs are digested and absorbed immediately through the liver, and are available for quick energy. This makes them less likely to contribute to obesity and high cholesterol. Additionally, the MCTs in coconut speed up metabolism and are helpful to the brain; they are quickly converted by the liver to ketones, which serve as backup fuel for our brains and our bodies.

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Thanks to all of its health benefits, BrainMD Health is proud to include coconut and coconut oil as main ingredients in Brain On Joy – a chocolate bar that is actually GOOD for your brain and body! Each bar contains two mounds of rich, satisfying coconut covered in decadent dark chocolate—all without dairy or gluten. This is one treat that you will NOT regret eating.

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