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Coconut: Healthy Survival

February 25, 2012, by Ken Jorgustin

Reader Question:

Wondering what you think, re: coconut bars ( right from grocery store, etc), as inclusion in survival food?

It seems coconut is very good for you, they are high calorie, easy to eat/carry. Have never seen them listed (regular reader), but wondered, if they would be a good inclusion?

Answer:

Absolutely, coconut can be good for you! (in moderation – like anything else) I can tell you that from first hand experience. In fact, I wrote about it awhile ago titled, Home Remedy for Upset Stomach. Having gone through some terrible stomach ‘episodes’, I went to a specialist and had several in depth tests done. After being diagnosed, I was given some medications to take during my next stomach attack. When the next attack happened, the magic pills did not help. I was immensely disappointed, but decided it was time to seek out my own natural remedy. There were two natural remedies that worked liked charms, ginger tea and coconut water.

One thing I can tell you is that I have never looked for coconut bars in the market myself. I’ve always just purchased a real coconut. My suggestion would be for you to simply read the label.  As long as the first few ingredients listed are coconut, coconut oil or coconut water or milk, it should be fine. Just make sure it’s not ‘junk’ being promoted as ‘health’ food. 🙂

I’ve recently come across small containers of 100% coconut water. Thank God they are something new my grocery store started to carry. The last time my stomach acted up, our grocery store had no real coconuts. I told Ken we should check the natural foods section of the store. That’s when we found the containers of coconut water. We bought one and I felt wonderful in about 20 minutes! So, for both short term and long term storage, coconut is a plus!

To go a little further in depth, the studies that have been done on the benefits of coconuts are producing phenomenal results. Coconut Water has a good source of B vitamins and potassium. It contains electrolytes, various plant hormones and amino acids. One small study found that coconut water significantly lowered systolic blood pressure in 71% of people with hypertension. Just knowing the magic this stuff has done on my tummy makes me a believer!

Coconut oil also has numerous health benefits. Hair care, skin care, maintaining cholesterol levels, increased immunity, proper digestion, bone strength, kidney problems, heart diseases to name a few. For centuries it has been used in India for hair nutrition. Most people in India apply some coconut oil in their hair after a bath. Regular massage of your scalp with coconut oil will keep your scalp free of dandruff and lice.

It’s also an effective moisturizer for skin. It prevents dryness and flaking of skin, delays wrinkles and also helps in treating psoriasis, eczema and other skin infections.

Most of the benefits of coconut oil comes from the presence of lauric acid. Our bodies convert the lauric acid into monolaurin. Studies have shown that monolaurin helps in dealing with high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Monolaurin has also been claimed to strengthen the immune system in humans. Lauric acid has antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. It has been shown to help fight influenza, herpes, H-pylori (bacteria on the inner lining of the stomach), to name just a few.

Another nice survival use for coconut oil is by applying it on infections. The oil forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from the air and all of the dust, fungi and bacteria it can carry.

By the way, coconut oil will last a year to a year and a half. Fresh coconuts in the husk will last two to three months.

So, yes, coconut is a survival tool. Stock up on some coconut water and coconut oil (coconut oil, like other oils, contain fats – so use in moderation). Coconut flesh and coconut milk are good as well. But be careful if you are watching your sodium, coconut milk is high in sodium. Also, remember when stocking up to consider any special dietary needs of yourself and your family.

Coconut oil, like all saturated fats, should be limited to 7%-10% of calories. Unlike animal fats, tropical oils — palm, palm kernel, and coconut oils — are saturated fats that are called oils but depending on room temperature can be solid, semi-solid, or liquid, and do not contain cholesterol. “Because they [coconut blend of short and medium chain fatty acids] come from coconuts, they may contain beneficial plant chemicals that have yet to be discovered,” says Mozaffarian, researcher and co-director of the cardiovascular epidemiology program at Harvard. Mozaffarian agrees that coconut oil is better than partially hydrogenated trans fats and possibly animal fats. “But even though coconut oil is cholesterol-free, it is still a saturated fat that needs to be limited in the diet.”

Source: WebMD

Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

 

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