Coconuts provide a nutritious source of food, juice, milk, and oil that has fed and nourished people around the world for generations. On many islands, coconuts are a staple in the diet and provides the majority of the food. Nearly one-third of the world’s population depends on coconuts to some degree for their food and their economy. Among these cultures, coconuts have a long and respected history. Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Coconuts are classified as a “functional food” because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Wherever the coconut palm grows, the people have learned of its importance as an effective medicine.
Coconuts are the fruit of the coconut palm, botanically known as cocos nucifera, with nucifera meaning “nut-bearing.” Nearly all parts of the tree can be used in some manner or another. The coconut itself has many culinary uses, including providing milk, meat, sugar and oil as well as functioning as its own dish and cup. The husk is used as fuel, as well as using its seed fibre called coir. It is taken from the husk and is used to make brushes, mats, fishnets, and rope. Coconut oil, a saturated fat made from dried coconut meat, is used for commercial frying and in candies and margarines, as well as in non-edible products such as soaps and cosmetics.
Although it takes up to a year for coconuts to mature, the trees bloom up to thirteen times a year, so fruit is constantly forming yielding a continuous harvest year-round. An average harvest from one tree runs about 60 coconuts, with some trees yielding three times that amount. The coconut’s name is a bit of a misnomer, since it is botanically classified as a drupe and not a nut. It is the largest seed known.
The nutritional composition and related health benefits of coconut changes as it grows. This change in composition is being studied by scientists in many places. But scholars knew many centuries ago that coconut has different properties at different stages of its life.
Coconut Water: The Fluid content of the green coloured fruit is often mistaken as cocnut milk, where in fact it is "coconut water". It is a natural thirst-quencher, containing the same amount of electrolytic balance as we have in our blood. It is biologically pure; full of natural sugar, salts and vitamins and minerals. It is more substantial than whole milk because it is cholesterol free and contains less fat. It also contains lauric acid which is found in mother's milk. Because it is naturalyy sterile within the shell, it was a life saver during the Pacific War of 1941-45 and in 3rd world countries today where it has been used to replace human plasma via transfusions.
Coconut water is a healthier option to commercial sports drinks, because it is 100% natural, it contains more potassium, has high levels of chloride and has less sodium and sugar. It is rich in calicum, potassium and magnesium. The natural elements do vary during the growth stage of a coconut but as a whole is guaranteed a better alternative to processed sports drinks. It should be stored in an airtight container and will last refrigerated for up to one month and frozen for up to one year.
Coconut Milk/Cream: To make coconut milk the juice inside the coconut is combined with the white flesh of the coconut. The result is a wonderful white milk that is full of super-healthy nutrients. Best of all, coconut milk is delicious and is non-fattening compared to cow’s milk. Making coconut milk at home is quick and easy once you know how, and no special apparatus is required. When you experience the cool, luxurious, super-delicious taste of coconut milk you will always want to have it.
Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO): Coconut oil is of special interest because it possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil and is extensively used in traditional medicine among Fijian and Pacific populations. It is used as a vital source for food, health and general well-being. Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure for all illness. The coconut palm is so highly valued by them as both a source of food and medicine that it is called “The Tree of Life.” Only recently has modern medical science unlocked the secrets to coconut’s amazing healing powers. New research is verifying these traditional beliefs has the potential to cure many of the ailments that have manifested in our bodies through the highly refined diet of our modern society.
While coconut possesses many health benefits due to its fiber and nutritional content, it’s the oil that makes it a truly remarkable food and medicine. Once mistakenly believed to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content, it is now known that the fat in coconut oil is a unique and different from most all other fats and possesses many health giving properties. Coconut oil does not contain the trans fats that produce insulin-resistance, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. Tavulomo Virgin coconut oil has not been refined, bleached, or deodorized. Although none of that processing is necessary, some manufacturers do it anyway, which produces the same problems as those associated with hydrogenated oils. Past research into coconut oil was usually based on hydrogenated coconut oil, rather than on the pure coconut oil squeezed from the white flesh. This gave the mistaken impression that coconut oil is saturated and is therefore bad for your health, but in fact this is not so. It is now gaining long overdue recognition as a nutritious health food.
Raw virgin coconut oil is cold-pressed immediately upon opening of the coconut. The oil is extracted before the fermentation process sets in. It is normally bottled or packed within 8 hours from the time the nut is opened. This is not bleached nor deodorized, maintaining the freshness and the sweet coconut scent It will also be clear as water in liquid form because no high heat was used in it’s processing. Coconut oil becomes a liquid at 24-degrees celsius 76-degrees Fahrenheit. So on a warm day, it’s liquid in the jar. On cool days, however, it’s a white solid. Going from cool/white-solid to warm/clear-liquid does not adversely affect the oil. When it’s solid, it looks like one of those fats that might clog up your arteries and end up around your middle-section. But the difference becomes apparent when you pick up a little and rub it between your fingers. The fat “solid” turns into an oily liquid almost immediately. That reaction hints at how quickly it metabolizes and how quickly it breaks down to produce energy in your even warmer interior.
Not all Virgin coconut Oil are alike. Just like not all Coconuts are Organic. Not being subjected to heat (even if it is, it is subjected to very low heat), sunlight, being extracted from fresh (non-dried) coconuts with different process of extraction, it is certainly more beneficial than ordinary coconut oil. It is higher in vitamin content, anti-oxidants (which is nothing or negligible in ordinary coconut oil), minerals, medium chain fatty acids, taste, fragrance and even protein. The shelf life of virgin coconut oil is very long, much longer than any other edible oil and its own variant, the RBD (Refined Bleached Deodorized) coconut oil. It does not go rancid easily. Tavulomo Virgin Coconut Oil extracted by cold compression method is considered better than that extracted by the fermentation method, since the oil extracted by fermentation has higher moisture content and goes rancid earlier. If you ever need to melt it during winter, do not put it to direct heat. Instead, put it in a little cup and put the cup in warm water.
What makes coconut oil so good? What makes it different from all other oils, especially other saturated fats? The difference is in the fat molecule. All fats and oils are composed of molecules called fatty acids.
There are two methods of classifying fatty acid, which is based on saturation. You have saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Another system of classification is based on molecular size or length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. In this system you have short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA).
*Disclaimer: Although we stand by all our VCO products and support that they can assist in the prevention of acute and chronic health problems, we do recommend that medical/health practitioner advice be sought for any questions about your health problems.
The Tree Of Life
There are three basic types of coconuts:
Tender Coconut: is 90 to 95 percent water. The liquid from this coconut is the purest and most healing. It is considered the best for its cooling properties. Tender coconut water hydrates the body and it repairs the gastrointestinal tract
Middle Aged Coconut: In addition to water, the coconut at this stage has some soft pulp. Middle aged coconuts have less water than tender ones, but more water than mature coconuts. The water is slightly milky at this age. The middle-aged coconut is said to be best because it has more carbohydrate, protein, minerals, phosphorus, vitamins A,B, C than the other two forms.
Mature Coconut: is coconut with a hard pulp, and very little water. When a coconut becomes mature, it becomes heavy to digest, and it can cause metabolic issues. Mature coconuts can also interfere with digestion. If large quantities of this variety are consumed daily, then a person can suffer hyperacidity, and worse still, elevated cholesterol levels. Therefore, people who have low digestive power are not advised to eat mature coconut, unless it is combined with ingredients that balance its negative properties.