Villa Quetzal

Villa Quetzal

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Natural Miracle Worker called “COCONUT”

     It might be a little eccentric to say that coconuts are miracles in a shell. However, the longer I think about it, the more I believe the miracles inside each coconut, are ready to deliver themselves to those willing to open the package.

Coconut water is also known as “agua pipa” here in Costa Rica. 
This refreshing water contains two outstanding healing
·         Potassium, which helps to prevent the occurrence of leg cramps, helps to reduce the risk of kidney stones.  It can help to control the high blood pressure by increasing the levels of potassium in the blood; people experiencing high blood pressure, often show low levels of potassium. 
·         Lauric acid, which helps to fight some intestinal viruses, and some track infections; it also helps to ease the digestion.

Agua pipa, with all its minerals and electrolytes is known to have health properties like the following ones:
o    It re-hydrates your body because it is a natural isotonic beverage.
o    It brings nutrients and oxygen to the blood cells.
o    It raises your metabolism.
o    It boosts your immune system.
o    Detoxify and fight viruses
o    It cleanses your digestive tract.
o    It boosts poor circulation.

There is a story that has its origins in World War II, when British and Japanese soldiers were given coconut water intravenously because saline solution was in a short supply.  It worked well, considering the specific situation.  In the current environment, and under normal circumstances, doctors would not be inclined to set up a coconut water IV for dehydrated patients.  However, they agree that coconut water is a good drink for hydration.  Those electrolytes we just mentioned are salts that play a major role in the biochemistry and physiological processes of the human body.  

The coconut milk is often made from the shredded meat of the mature coconut.  After crushing, shredding, and grinding the coconut meat, some people add boiling water, kneading the grated coconut to extract as much liquid as possible from the meat.  Since coconut milk does not come from mammals, it is not a dairy product, and does not contain lactose.  It has also great health value:
  • It is rich in antioxidants helping the body to fight ageing, sagging of the skin, poor vision, and low bone density.
  • It contains lauric acid, which provides anti fungal, anti bacterial and anti viral properties.
  • It is good for the heart; the lauric acid helps to unclog the arteries.
  • It can be effective as an anti-ulcer agent.
  • In spite of the fact that coconut milk contains saturated fats, it helps to control cholesterol levels.
In addition, of course, it is a common ingredient for cooking because it makes delightful dishes.

There are three main types.
  • Virgin coconut oil
  • Refined coconut oil
  • Skin care coconut oil         
The Virgin coconut oil is one of the best things you can give to your body, internally and externally.  In my experience, it is a “the miracle worker.”
The saturated fats in virgin coconut oil have anti-microbial properties that help your body fight bacteria, fungi, or parasites that often cause a variety of digestive problems, going from indigestion to severe pain.  Try it; the pain can disappear as magic, and using it regularly, might help you to heal the digestive system.

The virgin coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs, instead the long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) contained in the common oils.  That attribute makes it an easy fuel for the body, being able to burn it without turning it into fat.  By adding coconut oil into the regular diet, you might eat fewer calories because you may feel satisfied eating less. 
It is also known to help to ease the pancreatic function; therefore, increasing the metabolism.  These fatty acids assist with nutrient absorption and digestion. Moreover, it has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic properties.
It can help to kill the bacteria that cause throat infections, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia.
Still under investigation, researchers from Payap University in Thailand have reported in 2010 that virgin coconut oil can be used as an anti-inflammatory in certain conditions.

It can help to improve the cholesterol levels within the blood if it is consumed regularly.
The virgin coconut oil is obtained through the process called cold press, which preserves its nutrients and nutty flavor; maintaining a high content of Vitamin-E, proteins, antioxidants, and minerals in addition of the fatty acids and lauric acid mentioned above.
This kind of oil is used in the culinary world in many different ways.  It is used as a replacement for animal fats; it has a nutty sweet flavor, great for salads and sauteing vegetables.  It has an indefinite shelf life.

The Refined coconut oil is extracted from the copra, or dried coconut kernel. 
The first byproduct obtained from the copra is the coconut milk, then the milk is filtered or strained, to remove impurities; the next step within the process is boiling gently for a long time to evaporate all the liquid, living only the oil behind.  There is a second filtering, and sometimes a bleaching agent is added. 

Since the oil is obtained from the dried coconut meat, which is frequently dried in open air, and may grow bacteria, it only makes sense to eliminate all the impurities before it can be safely consumed. 
This type of oil is more suitable for cooking because it has a desirable smoke point of about 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  However, the way this oil is processed often disrupts the favorable balance of the fatty acids, diminishing some of its health benefits.  Nevertheless, coconut oil has been called “the healthiest dietary oil on earth.” 

If you can substitute regular oil with coconut oil in your daily cooking, this miracle worker will help you to:

  • Reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, and related illnesses.
  • Reduce the risk of cancer and other digestive conditions
  • Support your immune system functions.
  • Prevent osteoporosis.
  • Control diabetes
  • Support healthy metabolic function.
  • Obtain an immediate source of energy.
  • Improve the absorption of nutrients, vitamins, and mineral.

The coconut oil for skin care has in an incredible number of applications, and when used sparingly, it absorbs quickly, leaving the skin silky but not greasy.

·  Some people warm it slightly to rub their scalp to prevent dry, brittle hair, and dandruff.
·  It can be used as a moisturizer.
·  Because it absorbers easily, nourishes the skin’s underlying tissue, healing it, and repairing it, some people say it has anti-aging properties.  It also rejuvenates the skin by removing the outer layer of dead skin cells.
· It can be effective in the treatment of athlete’s foot, diaper rash, or any other skin infection.
· It can help to speed up the recovery from burn injuries.
· It can be used as massage oil, if it is applied to the forehead and temples with a gentle massage, helps to relief the mental fatigue.
· It can help to prevent skin cancer and other blemishes.
As you can see, it does not matter in what form you choose to consume and use the coconut.  It offers wonderful healing properties; they can reach whatever part of your body is in need of help.  No wonder many call it “the natural miracle worker.”

Living in Costa Rica, we became very attached to our friend the Coconut.  We were lucky, inheriting several already grown coconut trees; and we have been planting and nourishing many more during the eight years we have been in this country.  They are part of our lives, and we actively enjoy all the miracles they provide for us every day.

We hope you enjoy them too!


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