Wondering what makes coconut a superfood? As Megan Roosevelt, Registered Dietitian, Founder of HealthyGroceryGirl.com, and author of “Superfoods for Life, Coconut” explains, coconuts are extremely nutrient-dense and are high in Lauric Acid, a nutrient that helps boost the immune system, and is also anti-bacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. Read on to learn more from Megan about what makes your favorite coconut products great, and suggestions on how to incorporate this superfood into your diet.
Naturally gluten-free, coconut flour is high in fiber, protein and healthy fats. Megan cautions that baking with a gluten-free flour like coconut flour requires a bit of experimentation and advises that coconut flour can’t be substituted 1:1 for regular flour. She suggests beginning with 25% coconut flour and 75% traditional flour as you become accustomed to the taste and results coconut flour gives you.
Megan says that coconut sugar is a great alternative to traditional white sugar. Not only is coconut sugar lower on the glycemic index so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar as much, but it also contains vitamins and minerals white sugar doesn’t, including iron, calcium and magnesium. Coconut sugar can be used 1:1 for traditional sugar in a recipe, and you may even find that you’re able to reduce the amount of sugar used.
Coconut water contains B vitamins, vitamin C and potassium, as well as other vitamins and minerals. Because of this, Megan says that coconut water is great for boosting hydration and supporting healthy digestion.
Megan says that coconut oil is high in medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which digest more quickly that the fatty acids found in meat and dairy, which help provide you with energy. She also loves coconut oil because it helps boost the immune system, keeps you feeling satisfied and maintains blood sugar levels. Megan recommends looking for organic and unrefined or virgin coconut oil, and substituting it for vegetable oil or butter when baking, roasting or sauteeing.
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