A lot of us will suffer with some sort of digestive issues at some point in our lives. The digestive system is one of the most important ones in our bodies and because of that, when it’s not functioning properly, it can wreck havoc with our health.
The Digestive System
The digestive system not only is just stomach and intestine but, it consists of the digestive tract and organs which secrete/store and release digestive juices. Organs which make up our digestion tract include mouth, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, gallbladder and pancreas.
Our bodies are home to trillions of bacteria and while most of them are good for us, there are some that are not. Most of these bacteria live in our digestive tract and when the good ones keep the bad ones in check, everything is fine.
How Coconut Helps The Digestive System
However, if you are having problems with your digestion, coconut will be your new best friend.
Coconut oil has anti-microbial and anti-parasitic properties promoting good gut health and is anti-inflammatory that can help with IBD (irritable bowel disease).
Coconut meat is an excellent fibre source while the water promotes hydration and digestion. The milk has anti-ulcer properties and protein from the coconut helps develop an immunity to digestive diseases.
The body’s immune system is our natural defence mechanism and it initiates the immune response to fight any pathogens that can cause damage to our cells. Coconut protein increases the number of immune cells such as: neutrophils, monocytes, eosinophils, B-lymphocytes, T-lymphocytes and haemoglobin. The increase in these cells results in a more effective immune system to fight digestive disorders.
The pancreas, liver and gallbladder can also be affected by digestive disorders and, as a result, interfere with digestion. Regular consumption of coconut oil can help prevent or treat gallbladder stones and diseases. It can also help protect the liver by preserving antioxidant enzymes. As well, coconut oil improves the pancreatic and liver functions.
Coconut meat has good fibre content helping with the smooth transit of food in the intestine and the absorption of nutrients. This helps prevent diarrhea and/or constipation.
Because coconut water contains sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus it helps with the electrolyte imbalance and fluid loss that digestive disorders can create.
Ulcers of the mouth, stomach and intestines can cause great discomfort and pain within the digestive system. These occur in chronic cases of digestive diseases. Coconut milk can reduce the size of the ulcers and help treat them.
Finally, the lauric acid and palmitic acid in coconut oil are anti-cancer properties that can help prevent colon cancer.
You can add more coconut to the foods and drinks you consume, detox your body, and help with proper digestive health as well. This will make you feel much better and even give you some more energy as well.
Start Replacing Regular Milk
Diary is one of the leading causes of digestive issues, especially in people with a sensitivity or intolerance to dairy products, or who have conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t have any type of milk at all. A better alternative is to start replacing regular milk with coconut milk. This is flavourful, has the same creamy consistency, and is simply a sweeter version of milk. It more closely resembled almond milk, so if you like vanilla almond milk, you will probably enjoy coconut milk as well.
Stick to Bland Diets With Coconut
If you are suffering a lot from digestive problems, then you should use coconut in its different forms, but also eat a blander diet. Try boiled chicken, white rice made with a little bit of coconut oil. When you have coffee, use coconut sugar and coconut milk.
Drink Coconut Water
Drinking more water is a great way to start improving your digestion and help your bowel move more regularly, but you can also do this with coconut. If you find that you don’t drink a lot of regular water, it can be really helpful to have coconut water on hand. This adds a little bit of flavour to your water, making it more enticing and you actually enjoy drinking the water. It is also good with replacing other drinks like juice and soda, since it feels like you are drinking a flavoured beverage and not just water.
Use Coconut Palm Sugar
Whenever you are planning on adding sugar to something you eat or drink, whether you are adding sugar to your coffee or making baked goods, try adding some coconut palm sugar to it. This is more nutritious for you and can be a lot easier on your stomach. A lot of people with digestive problems find that it is the sugar content in their foods, not the dairy, that upsets their stomach. This is when the benefits of coconut really come in since you can get coconut palm sugar.
What To Look For
Always buy organic Due to the popularity of coconut products, the source may not always be reliable and some companies use pesticides or chemicals, or may be processed in a way that damages the nutritional value. Look for the USDA certified seal, not just the word organic.
For coconut oil, coconut flour or coconut butter (manna, spread), only buy extra-virgin. cold pressed and/or raw. This ensures the coconut was processed at low heat and that you’re purchasing the freshest, most quality form of coconut possible.
If you buy coconut shreds, always buy unsweetened and raw if you can (not the flaked coconut you may have had when you were growing up).
Optional, but beneficial: choose GMO-free brands. Most that are organic are today, however, not all brands are. Though this is optional, it’s an added security that you know you’re paying for the best possible.
Coconut and it’s various components offer multiple uses and benefits in both preventing digestive diseases and in the treatment of them. Every part of the coconut has the ability to fight inflammation, cancer, ulcers, microbes and parasites.
They also help with our immune system, hydration, fibre content and improve the function of the liver, pancreas and gallbladder.
We now know that the gut microbiome is considered the second brain and that most diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimers, autism, asthma, and even depression can start in the gut.
As you can see coconut offers many, many health benefits and really should be a part of everyone’s diet. What’s your favourite way to use it? Let us know!