I cant say enough about coconuts. You have three amazing options in one complete package: coconut meat (think coconut flakes and macaroons), coconut water (the clear liquid inside a real coconut, coconut milk (created when you puree the meat with the water), and coconut oil.
This once-maligned seed (yes, seed not nut) was often passed over by fat- and calorie-counter due to concerns over saturated fat. Research has shown that the fat in coconut is actually a medium-chain triglyercide, which is a fancy way of saying that it doesnt clog your arteries and, in fact, is quickly metabolized, giving you a great source of energy.
The reason is that half of the fatty acids in coconut is lauric acid, which is also found in breast milk. Lauric acid has been shown to promote normal brain and bone development. Plus, it contains anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and anti-carcinogenic.
Plus, coconut water is the perfect sports drink. I use it instead of Gatorade when training for a triathlon and half marathon. Coconut water has the same balance of electrolyte as your blood. In fact, the balance is so perfect that, during World War II, both the Americans and Japanese used coconut water (pulled directly out of the coconut) to give emergency blood plasma transfusions to wounded soldiers.
Quick note about coconut milk: The milk should be rich and creamy, with a mild coconut taste. When you open the can, you should see the thick cream the consistency of jellied cranberries, with the thinner water at the bottom. Also, dont buy light coconut milk. Not only do you lose much of the flavor, so brands have added flour or other thickener to obtain the look and feel of regular coconut milk.
Crack open a coconut and drink the water with a straw, then indulge on the creamy meat inside. Add unsweetened coconut flakes to any cookies recipe. Use coconut oil instead of vegetable oils when saut?ing.
For even more great nutrition tips, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.