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Coconuts have caught on as a superfood in the nutrition world and it’s no wonder why. Their deliciousness makes it easy to go coconut crazy, especially when they’re growing all around you. Besides the fresh coconuts growing on trees, health food stores are lining their shelves with them as well. Here’s a look at three of the most popular coconut products, how to use them and if they live up to the hype.

Coconut Water

I’m all about fresh local foods and you can’t beat drinking the water of a coconut that was just dangling above your head. Of course you can find it in a health food store, but nothing beats fresh. Coconut water serves up plenty of electrolytes and minerals, twice as much potassium as a banana and healthy levels of sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. It makes a great quick refreshing drink on the beach but is especially beneficial after an intense workout to help replenish lost electrolytes. It also makes a great base for tropical inspired smoothies! [Coconut water is available fresh at Minitas Beach! And it’s FREE! Just ask one of the beach boys and they’ll be happy to bring you one freshly cut with a straw, just make sure to give them a tip.]

Coconut Milk

This delicious coconut by-product is what you get when you grate the meat of the coconut and mix it with the water. This thick, creamy decadent milk is high in saturated fats, which scares many people off. Fortunately recent studies have shown that saturated fat isn’t as bad as once believed. Coconut milk also contains medium chain fatty acids, which can help promote weight maintenance as well as boost HDL cholesterol that can help lower blood pressure. It makes a fabulous creamer for coffee and is much healthier than processed creamers, it also tastes wonderful mixed in with some oatmeal or quinoa with berries. Since it is so decadent don’t overdo it, a little bit goes a long way.

Coconut Oil

By far my favorite of the coconut products; there are so many nutritional and beauty benefits of coconut oil. The oil is extracted from the meat and pressed (a block of coconut oil can last up to two years without spoiling). It contains lauric acid, which is an amazing immune booster and virus and fungus fighter. It can also positively affect hormones for thyroid and blood sugar. Thanks to its high smoke point is a great option for sautéing and pan-frying. I also highly recommend keeping a jar in your bathroom to replace your regular body lotion!

Coconut Oil & Cholesterol

It’s a common misconception that coconut oil raises your cholesterol and is therefore bad for you. The truth is, coconut oil raises HDL, that’s the good cholesterol, and at the same time it lowers LDL, bad cholesterol.

Don’t believe us? Click here to watch a video of the famous Doctor Oz explaining exactly that!

jacqueline silvestri banks

Jacqueline Banks, who grew up in Casa de Campo, is a certified holistic health counselor and busy mother. Her focus is on helping other busy moms in all stages of motherhood keep themselves and families healthy and happy.

She uses natural and organic solutions to solve individual health problems and promote clean living.

Check out her website at: