Storage and Preservation
In traditional medicine, coconut has been widely used to treat a variety of health problems including the following: abscesses, asthma, baldness, bronchitis, bruises, burns, cold, constipation, cough, dropsy, dysentery, earache, fever, flu, gingivitis, jaundice, gonorrhea, irregular or painful menstruation, kidney stones, lice, malnutrition, nausea, rash, scabies, scurvy, skin infections,swelling,sore throat, tuberculosis, tumors, typhoid, ulcers, stomach upset, weakness and wounds.
Also modern medical science is now confirming the use of coconut in treating many of the above conditions. Published studies in medical journals show that coconut in one form or the other may provide a wide range of health benefits, some of these are summarized below.
- Coconut kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS and other illnesses.
- Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia gonorrhea and other diseases.
- Kills fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
- Coconut expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia and other parasites.
- Provides a nutritional source of quick energy, boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
- Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
- Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
- Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.
- Helps relieve symptoms associated with gall bladder disease.
- Helps reduce symptoms and reduces health risk associated with diabetes.
- Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
- Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.
- Helps protect against osteoporosis.
- Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and stomach ulcer.
- Improves digestion and bowel function.
- Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
- Supports and aids immune system function.
- Helps protect the body from breast, colon and other cancers.
- Coconut is heart healthy, improves cholesterol ratio thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Protects arteries from injury that cause atherosclerosis and this protects against heart disease.
- Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.
- Functions as a protective antioxidant.
- Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that result in premature aging and degenerative diseases.
- Coconut does not deplete the body’s antioxidant reserves like other oils do.
- Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
- Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatique syndrome.
- Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
- Reduces Epileptic Seizures.
- Help protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.
- Dissolves kidney stones.
- Helps prevent liver disease.
- Coconut is lower in calories than all other fats.
- Supports thyroid function.
- Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
- Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.
- Coconut is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.
- Coconut prevents wrinkles, sagging skin and age spots.
- Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
- Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
- Coconut applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward off infection.
- Reduces symptoms associated with psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis.
- Promotes healthy looking hair complexion.
- Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
- Helps control dandruff.
- Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do.
- Coconut has no harmful or discomforting side effects.
- Coconut is completely non-toxic to humans.
Coconut is a very rich and delicious staple food. Being rich in dietary fiber, coconut flesh is good for those suffering from constipation.
Coconut can be consumed in a number of forms: raw (flesh) meat, milk, water and oil.
It consists of different nutrients such as dietary fiber, protein, carbohydrates, saturated fat,mono-saturated fat,poly-saturated fat, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, vitamin, niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2) and energy.
Nuts, Coconut Meat, Raw
Serving size: 1 cup, shredded (80g)
Serving size: 80g
Amount per serving
Calories 283 - Calories from Fat
224, % daily value
Total Fat 27g - 41%
Saturated Fat 24g - 119%
Cholesterol 0mg - 0%
Sodium 16mg - 1%
Total Carbohydrate 12g - 4%
Dietary Fiber 7g -29%
Vitamin A - 0%
Vitamin C - 4%
Calcium - 1%
Iron - 11%
Note: Percentage daily values are based on a 2,000 calories diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your Calorie needs.
- Table ware: The shell of coconut can be used to make tableware such as bowels, serving trays, spoons or ladle.
- Fashion accessories: The coconut shell can also be carved out to make fashion accessories like necklaces, bangles, pendants, earrings and so on. In fact, the Hawaiians use coconut shell to make the buttons for their Hawaiian shirts.
- Coconut is a good source of fuel.
- Musical instruments: Halved coconut shells are knocked together to make up rhythms and beats. It is also used to make the base of musical instruments such as the Chinese “ban-hu” and “yea-hu”.
- Hair oil: Coconut oil is regularly used as natural hair oil by people in some parts of the world like India and south East Asia. It is believed that coconut oil can promote healthy hair growth and also used to treat hair infected by lice.
- Soap: Coconut oil is used as a basic ingredient in some of the cosmetic soap products.
- Toothpaste: Coconut oil is also used as a basic ingredient to make toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
- Relieve minor skin irritations: Coconut oil can also be applied to skin to treat minor irritations like insect bites and sunburn.
- Used in confectionery to make candy, cakes and biscuits.
- Medical benefit of virgin coconut oil: Virgin coconut oil is believed to be beneficiary as it proves to have many medicinal values such as an important dietary supplement to boost immune system, assist constipation or digestive problem, weight control, anti-cancer agent, anti-aging properties and many more.
Storage and Preservation
There are many methods for preserving coconut. They are spray drying, dehydrating, desiccation, freezing, canning, controlled temperature package, etc.
Controlled Temperature Package: This method involves storing the coconut at a controlled temperature of 12 oC using a polyethylene package type for a duration of four (4) weeks. The Brix, total acidity, PH and weight of the coconut is preserved.
Canning: This is the best way to preserve coconut milk and keep them fresh.
Refrigeration and Freezing: Coconut water could be refrigerated for a day or two only and will most probably retain the flavor only for one day or even following refrigeration. There is no point freezing the coconut water, as this does not help to keep them fresh as inside the coconut shell.
Broken coconut in shell can be refrigerated for a month, while the broken coconut meat intact in shell or removed and peeled into air-tight containers are some of the best ways to keep the coconut fresh for a week or two (2) only, provided you do not allow moist surface to get in touch like your moist knife with which you are using to shell out meat.
It is not a good idea to keep the coconut inside the freezer, though it preserves, the coconut does not keep fresh. Instead, a better idea for freezing is to grate the coconut meat and freeze them, this way you can keep them fresh for months.
Coconut Milk: Can be kept fresh for a few days by both refrigeration and freezing only.