Coconuts have been woven into Hawaiian culture since the very beginning. Found across the islands and other tropic and subtropic regions of the world, coconuts have been used for centuries for their versatility and health benefits. They grow on trees rooted in sandy soil that can grow up to 30 meters high and require an abundant amount of rainfall and sunshine, both of which can be found year round in Hana. The coconut itself is categorized as a drupe, meaning it possesses the properties of a fruit, a nut and a seed. It has three layers: the outside layer is known as the exocarp, the fibrous husk or mesocarp the inside, and the thin, woody layer surrounding the actual coconut “meat” is the endocarp.
Coconut is one of the few foods that classifies as a “superfood” and packs a powerful nutritional punch. Coconut oil, specifically, has been gaining popularity on the health food front in the past few years… and for good reason! From beating sugar cravings to aiding weight loss to reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, there are more benefits of coconut oil than most realize.
Coconut oil can…
- Boost thyroid function, increase metabolism, energy and endurance, helping you burn more fat
- Kill bacteria, viruses and fungi, helping to fight off infections in the human body
- Improve insulin use within the body, lower blood sugar levels and diminish cravings
- Increase digestion and help maintain regularity
- Improve blood cholesterol levels and may lower your risk of heart disease
- Boost brain function and improve memory
- Protect hair against damage and moisturize skin
Coconut oil can be found in most health food stores. One thing to keep in mind if you want to enjoy the health benefits outlined above, make sure to use organic, virgin coconut oil, not the refined hydrogenated kind.