Loco for Coco
Why everyone is suddenly singing the praises of the Caribbean’s fruity nut.
While the coconut has garnered much attention in the trend reports lately, showing up in everything from beauty products to natural remedies, it has actually been a heralded source of nutrition for populations around the world for centuries. Rich in B-complex vitamins and lauric acid (great for immune-system support), chock-full of minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium, as well as electrolytes, the coconut is a complete food and generally indispensable in Caribbean cultures.
Before its current popularity surge in mainstream society, the oil from our fruity, nutty friend was an essential element in Indian Ayurvedic medicine thanks to its cooling properties, moisturizing potential, and effectiveness in treating skin conditions. The natural elixir was also used for dental health in a holistic practice known as oil pulling—a technique that became buzz-worthy in modern day after celebrities Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley gave their power nods of approval. The theory is that by swishing coconut oil in the mouth for ten to twenty minutes, it will bind with the plaque, bacteria, and toxins that live there, pulling them out of the body, leaving teeth whiter and stronger, gums healthier, and a mouth more purified.
So, why would you consider jumping on board the coco train? In addition to the many health benefits, coconut-based products are lining the beauty aisles and grocery store shelves. One jar of cold-pressed coconut oil can take the place of lotion, lip balm, hair conditioner, makeup remover, and even under-eye cream. Trade butter for coconut oil in your next batch of baked goods for a burst of flavor and a slash in calories. Savor sweet coconut milk in your next Indian or Thai meal instead of heavy cream. After a hard workout or sweltering day at the beach, rehydrate your body and replenish your electrolytes with a cold glass of coconut water (extracted from young, green coconuts), which has a much lower sugar content than your favorite sports drink.
While it’s too soon to tell if our obsession with the tropical superfood will last, the benefits for the body, both inside and out, will remain.
These days, the versatile coconut is an ingredient in everything from refreshing beverages to hair care products.
1. Bai Molokai Coconut
Infused with antioxidants via the coffee fruit (the fruit surrounding the bean in a coffee plant) and only five calories, the Bai Molokai Coconut drink is one of the best ways to replenish electrolytes without ruining your diet.
2. Dr. Bronner’s Fair Trade & Organic White Kernel Virgin Coconut Oil
Certified organic by the USDA, Dr. Bronner’s Coconut Oil is cold-pressed from dried coconuts and used for cooking, baking, and hair and body care.
3. Kiehl’s Amino Acid Hair Collection
Formulated with pure coconut oil, this hair collection deep cleans, boosts shine, and is still gentle enough to use daily.
4. VoCo Vodka Coconut Water
It’s vodka. It’s coconut water. It’s a ready-made cocktail. Served cold or over ice, the infused beverage in a sleek aluminum bottle has been a hit with celebrities like spokesperson Alessandra Ambrosia.
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