Coconut may not be a complete source of protein, but it’s still packed with amino acids. Containing 17 amino acids out of the 20 amino acids needed for optimal protein formation, it’s particularly high in threonine amino acid needed to protect the liver, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and to support the formation of collagen in the body. For your muscles, it builds connective tissues and maintains elasticity in the body, even in the heart. Threonine also supports healthy tooth enamel, and it speeds up healing from wounds or injuries throughout the whole body. Coconut contains almost 97 milligrams of threonine in 1/2 cup of fresh coconut creame . that’s still pretty impressive for a fruit! In terms of overall protein content, there are 3.5 grams of protein in 2 tablespoons of coconut flour, 8 grams of protein in 1/2 cup fresh meat, and 2 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons of coconut butter. Coconut oil contains virtually no amino acids and 0 grams of protein.
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An Unknown Source of Dietary Iron
Coconut is also a great source of iron, especially for a fruit. Two tablespoons of raw coconut butter contain 6 percent of your iron needs, while 1/2 cup of fresh meat contains 11 percent . Iron is needed to ensure optimal blood flow to the muscles and for optimal energy needed for exercise. It’s completely possible to eat a vegan diet and get enough iron; the important thing is to eat a variety of sources.
Fights Abdominal Weight Gain
Coconut may not help you drop a significant amount of pounds, but it has been shown to reduce body fat in the abdominal region. This pertains to raw unsweetened coconut, not sweetened varieties or other highly refined sources of coconut (like the ice cream or flavored milks). Coconut’s fats are used by the liver for energy, and they help reduce insulin surges in the body, unlike sugary processed foods or refined grains. This can lead to a reduce amount of fat stored in stomach, which often happens due to erratic insulin levels.
The fiber and medium chain tryglyceride fats in coconut also help boost the metabolism due to the way they are used during digestion. Not only does this give you energy, but also creates a thermogenic effect in the body where your calorie burn is increased naturally. Keep in mind, this doesn’t apply for eating coconut in excessive amounts, but instead to using it in small to moderate servings in place of sugary foods, refined grains, processed foods, fast food, etc., so use a few tablespoons a day to see how you benefit.
Folate is a B vitamin we need for healthy metabolism and red blood cell function. It’s also essential for healthy brain development in infants. Coconut meat contains 20 percent of your daily folate needs in a 1/2 cup of fresh meat. avocado, asparagus, bananas, spinach, and beans are also great sources of folate too.
Potassium is an incredibly important mineral for our health. It reduce high blood pressure and aids in water balance in the body to counteract too much sodium (bye-bye bloat!). We need 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best source, and coconut is a great option. The tropical fruit contains 285 milligrams of potassium in 1/2 cup of fresh meat. Coconut water is even higher, while coconut flour and butter are a bit lower.
To add to the list of benefits, coconut is even a fantastic source of dietary fiber. Fiber keeps you regular which improves your energy, takes care of your heart. Coconut meat contains more fiber than wheat bran or any other grain per serving! In 2 tablespoons of coconut butter, you’ll get 5 grams of fiber, while 2 tablespoons of coconut flour will give you 7 grams, and the meat of the coconut contains around 10 grams per 1/2 cup. Coconut oil contains no fiber.
Easy to Digest
Best of all, due to the way your body processes coconut, it is very easy to digest compared to meat, eggs, and even some nuts, seeds, and beans that may not be as tolerable. What you digest from food is just as important as what you eat, so always choose foods that are easy to digest while supplying you with nutrients at the same time.