1) The age of the coconut – young or mature
2) What part of the coconut you are consuming – the flesh or the natural water found inside. The coconut water is also commonly known as coconut juice.
Young Coconut Nutrition vs Mature Coconut Nutrition:
The energy values of young coconut flesh is notably less than the mature flesh. In 100 grams of the flesh, the young coconut contains 77 Kcal of energy, while the mature flesh leaps up to 389 Kcal. The young coconut flesh is higher in sugar but much lower in fat/oil content and somewhat lower in its protein content. The surprising increase in oil content as the coconut matures is the main reason the coconut’s energy profile increases. The coconut water undergoes a similar but much less dramatic change as it ripens. The vitamin and mineral levels also change with age.
It is good to note that although the mature coconut nutrition is more dense, people usually eat less of it because of its richness. You are more likely to eat more of the young coconut flesh in one sitting, which in practical terms may make it more nutritious, depending on how much you eat!
Coconut Oil Nutrition Benefits
The oil found in coconut is primarily saturated fats called lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid and myristic acid, with lower levels of palmitic acid. Palmitic acid is the saturated fat found in beef and other animals that raise ‘bad’ cholesterol and increase our risk of developing heart disease. Although the saturated fat profile in coconut was originally considered to raise overall cholesterol levels, new evidence is proving otherwise. People native to coconut growing countries, who eat coconut along with a healthy diet of fish and vegetables, are considered very healthy with little incidence of heart problems. In fact, coconuts overall nutrition profile is considered a health benefit and only seen as a positive aspect of their diet. So what makes coconut oil healthy? Mainly its lauric acid content, which makes up 50% of coconut fat. Human breast milk is the only other known source that supplies an abundance of lauric acid. Combined with capric acid and caprylic acid, coconut oil nutrition benefits include the overall improvement of cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, antimicrobial properties, anti-fungal properties, antibacterial properties, improving immunity and improving digestion.
Darren and Veronica Haynes