Backyard remedies: coconut

Even if you don’t have a coconut palm in your backyard, you’re never more than a stone’s throw from one in Cayman. The fruits of these tropical trees are brimming with goodness, so whether you drink, eat or cook with coconut products, it’s almost impossible to have too much of this particular good thing. 

 

Coconut Water  

Coconut water has exploded in popularity in recent years, and bottled and canned versions line supermarket shelves around the world. But when it’s readily available, for free, right off the tree here, why would you purchase it? Billed as a natural alternative to sugar-rich sports drinks, coconut water is rich in electrolytes and potassium, so it is great for replacing minerals lost through sweat. It’s also cholesterol-free, low in fat and sugar and high in zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur, and manganese.  

 

Coconut Oil 

Not so long ago, it was widely accepted that coconut oil and milk were high in saturated fat and should be consumed only in moderation. It has since been discovered that coconut contains medium chain triglycerides, which increase “good” cholesterol and lowers “bad” cholesterol levels, helping to protect against heart disease and aiding in weight loss by improving metabolism.  

Coconut oil also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, stimulate the thyroid and increase energy levels. Further, it has antibiotic, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties and can destroy harmful microbes in the body.  

Not only can you use coconut oil for frying foods, it’s also good for baking.  

In addition, that same coconut oil is also great for hair and skin. Excellent for keeping skin and connective tissue supple and strong, it helps protect against the effects of aging and is a good moisturizer for the hair and scalp. Great as a deep, leave in conditioner, it can also be applied just to the ends to tame flyaway hair and can also enhance texture and color of highlighted hair.  

Coconut oil also works well as a make-up remover and face moisturizer. It’s a little greasy at first, but your skin quickly absorbs it.  

Although the women of Asia and the South Pacific have been combing coconut oil through their hair to keep it lustrous and shiny for centuries, it’s only now catching on in the West.  

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