Coconuts used to be exclusive to the hot and humid tropics. Enjoying the beverage under the cool shade of a coconut palm was the well-deserved reward for climbing up the tree, opening the hard shell. and pouring out the fresh water.
Fast-forward to today. Like me, you're probably more likely to be in an office than a tropical paradise. But fortunately, everything coconut is now within our reach. It's suddenly sold everywhere, in every form.
You've probably heard coconut water hailed as Mother Nature's own sports drink, thanks to its potassium, vitamins, and antioxidants. But if you're familiar with this tropical fruit, you know that it can also do more than just refresh you. The jelly-like “meat” in young coconuts and the hardened white kernel from which coconut oil is pressed are also very delicious. Plus, coconut oil has emerged over the years as a shining example of the food as medicine concept, with its unique combination of fatty acids, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Scientists around the world are now revealing more and more health benefits of the coconut — including its shell, fruit, oil, and water. Here's what the research shows: