When I was little, my brother and I always sang a funny song called the Coconut Song. I linked it so that everyone can have a good laugh, but it essentially repeats “the coconut nut is a giant nut, if you eat to much you get very fat”.
While coconut is a very energy dense food- think coconut oil, cream, dried coconut, etc- it is a great addition to a fat fueled life since it’s full of healthy fats including mitochondria boosting MCT and super stable saturated fats. In fact, Coconut is an ancestral fat that deserves a place on our plate!
Half of the saturated fat is lauric acid which boosts HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and is a potent antiviral, anti fungal and antibacterial (monolaurin) 🦠
Because of the high saturated fat content, you don’t have to worry that coconut products will go rancid and products like coconut oil and cream are fabulous to cook with.
The MCTs in coconut oil are a special kind of triglyceride that go straight to the liver where they are converted into ketones, which can be easily and quickly burned by the brain (and other tissues if your fat adapted) for energy 💪🏻
The high quality fats in coconuts are very beneficial for our brains, which thrive on high quality dietary fats. Consumption of coconut oil has been linked to help Alzheimer’s patients like Mary Newport’s husband. Dr Newport fed her husband, who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s) about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil a day and observed as his symptoms began to disappear.
She recorded his progress in the classic clock drawing test:
She also noted that his gait and speech improved and that he began to laugh again! Now if that isn’t a reason to include some good coconut fat!
Dr. Newport contributes her husbands success to the MCTs in the coconut oil, so if you’d like to supplement with MCT oil, I recommend the Brain Octane version from Bulletproof. Brain Octane contains only C8 MCT (caprylic acid) which is said to be the most ketogenic and potent MCT. Just be careful to not have too much at once, and slowly work yourself up to 1-3 tablespoons since it can cause some digestive upset 😠
The healthy fats are also hormone balancing and can help with PMS in some women!
Coconuts are also full of antioxidants which protect the skin and contains compounds that help detoxify and balance the gut!
Including coconut will also help you absorb nutrients from other foods, which is important since we are only as healthy as what we absorb!
It’s also a good source of zinc and selenium which are both critical for thyroid function!
Coconut meat is rich in fiber and minerals like magnesium, copper, manganese and zinc. I love to snack on dried coconut chips, Rind makes a super yummy product that’s just coconut and no added sugar or oil 💪🏻
I like to the throw them into homemade trail-mix or into my coconut yogurt ice cream bars 🍨
You can also buy shredded coconut to bake with!
The Good Chocolate also makes a super yummy chocolate-dried coconut snack called CocoJungles and have a coconut-turmeric bar (3 superfoods yay) 🍫
Coconut Yogurt is one of the only plant based yogurts that I use. Cocoyo makes a super fabulous product that’s fermented and only a few ingredients (no added stabilizers or sugars)! It’a a great probiotic and works well as a base of ice cream bars (recipe coming) or as a fat fueled snack with some grain-free granola!
Coconut Flour is a great fat fueled friendly baking flour. I really like coconut flour bread and am working on some more treats in the future! It’s extremely absorbent so the balance with eggs/liquid is a bit tricky! Like with dried coconut, it’s very high in fiber!
Coconut Milk and Cream work well for shakes, desert, coffee and cooking 😋
They are so nourishing and create delicious comfort foods!
We love to use coconut cream as a base for Thai Curry or to make a cream based sauce for chicken “Geschnetzeltes” which is a family favorite 👨👩👧👦
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is a super high quality cooking and baking fat and can be used in place of butter for baking (it’s more heat stable) and tastes super good on roasted veggies or fish 🐟
Coconut Butter also called Coconut Manna is a great alternative to nut butters and tastes heavenly spread on chocolate 🙃 (my guilty pleasure) or a bread swap 🙌🏻
It’s also part of the base for our keto vegan white chocolate bark
Although coconut water is said to be extremely hydrating, I would choose better ways to get in my electrolytes since coconut water is also full of coconut sugar, which also spikes blood sugar and insulin!