Coconuts – the source of the new low GI sweetener and more

October 25, 2010 by  
Filed under featured, Food & Nutrition, Health

As an all round health food coconuts are hard to beat – you try knocking them off their perch at the fair! We use their milk, oil and flesh in cooking and the milk straight from the shell is a refreshing health drink. A rich source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals it is classified as a “functional food” because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content.

Now coconut sugar is emerging as an environmental and nutritional champion of low glycaemic sweeteners. This is promising news for those concerned with health issues such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, and gallstones.

Low glycaemic foods are important to overall health since they do not create rapid spikes in blood glucose levels. Increased blood glucose triggers the pancreas to increase insulin and when this becomes excessive then you have the groundwork for diabetes, hypoglycaemia, and insulin resistance.

The benefit of low gycaemic foods is that they keep blood glucose levels more even, whereas when a high glycemic food is consumed, excess insulin is secreted and blood glucose levels drop lower over the next few hours. This is one of the reasons that eating high glycaemic foods contributes to weight gain and obesity as you get hungrier faster than someone which encourages over eating and snacking.

High glycaemic intake has also been linked with increased serum levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation that is an accurate predictor of heart disease as well as increased risk for breast cancer, colorectal cancer and gallbladder disease.

Coconut sugar is high in potassium, magnesium, iron, boron, zinc, sulphur, and copper and it also plays an important part in natural healing and has been used to treat a wide variety of health problems including abscesses, asthma, , bronchitis, bruises, burns, colds, constipation, cough, , dysentery, earache, fever, flu, gingivitis, kidney stones, nausea, rash, skin infections, sore throat, tuberculosis, ulcers, upset stomach, weakness, and wounds.

Nor is its use confined to traditional healing, modern medical science is never slow to latch on to a good thing and they now there are now published studies in medical journals showing the benefits of coconuts for a wide range of conditions. These include killing the viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses and the bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and other diseases as well as killing the fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.

I hope that shows you the health value of the humble coconut, and for anyone still using artificial sweeteners – really, haven’t you been reading my articles at all – then this might be the time – please – to give up them up for the natural, nutritious sweetener that coconut sugar provides.