Coconut may boast a wide range of healing
and restorative benefits but is still regarded
by many an unhealthy source
of saturated fat.
Coconuts form part of the daily diet of many people and serve many purposes - not only for our diet, but in medicine, cosmetics, even furnishings.
Unique from any other fruits, coconuts contain a large quantity of "water” and can be harvested for drinking. It can also be used as seednuts, or processed to give oil from the kernel. Both the oil and milk derived from coconuts are commonly used in cooking and frying.
It’s believed the humble, hairy coconut contains properties that can prevent a wide range of ailments from heart disease to Alzeimer’s, while some health experts believe coconut oil to be an unhealthy saturated fat and to generally be avoided. Retired CSIRO scientist and honorary research fellow at the University of Queensland, Mike Foale, has been studying the coconut palm for more than four decades and believes coconut is a superfood.
"There is both scientific and abundant anecdotal evidence of great health benefits, including increased energy, weight loss, natural antibiotic activity, cholesterol reduction and insulin stabilisation," Foale says. “While the popularity of bottled coconut water could be described as a fad, Foale is a devotee of the oil. "Coconut oil is a staple for millions of tropical coastal people worldwide and those people do not suffer from heart disease while on their traditional diet," he says.