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7 Health Benefits Of Coconuts

Last updated June 6, 2018

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD MPH

The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family). To learn more, watch this video on the 7 Health Benefits Of Coconuts.


The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family). This drupe tree can be found throughout the tropic and subtropic area, the coconut is known for its great flexibility for cooking. The coconut oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking and frying. Coconut oil is also used in soaps and cosmetics. In some cultures, the husks and leaves are used to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating.

Here are seven health benefits of coconuts.

1.     Coconuts can fight constipation and aid your colon's health.

Coconut meat contains a substantial amount of dietary fiber with 7 grams per cup. The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for men and women are 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively. Fiber aids to constipation by adding bulk to the stool and helps food move through the digestive tract. Also, fiber helps prevent digestive problems like fecal impaction, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and leaky gut syndrome.

2.     Coconuts can assist in energy production and antioxidant defense.

One cup of coconut meat contains 60 percent of the mineral manganese, which is an essential cofactor in some enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. For example, some enzymes disarm free radicals produced within the mitochondria, the energy production factories within our cells, which require manganese. Also, manganese helps you metabolize both fat and protein.

3.     Coconuts can help your body produce more red blood cells for oxygen.

Copper and iron are essential for the new blood cell formation. One cup of coconut meat contains 11 percent of the recommended value for iron and 17 percent for copper.  A deficiency of iron can lead to anemia.

4.     Coconuts have a high selenium content.

Selenium is an underrated but critical mineral. It is found in large quantities in coconut meat and can improve bone health by adding strength and durability. The mineral also strengthens the teeth, hair, and nails. Also, this essential nutrient is an important antioxidant, which rids the body of free radicals. One cup of coconut meat contains 12 percent of daily recommended selenium.

5.     Coconuts can help you sleep better at night.

Coconut meat has been known to help an individual sleep with its high content of magnesium, which is a mineral that is directly linked to improving the quality, duration, and tranquility of sleep. Coconuts also help regulate the metabolism, to help reduce sleep disorders and the occurrence of insomnia

6.     Coconut oil can help fight infections.

Research from the Coconut Research Center suggests that coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, and other serious health risks. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea.

7.     Coconut oil can prevent and even cure Candida.

Systemic Candidiasis is a disease caused by the extreme and uncontrolled growth of yeast called Candida albicans in the stomach. The symptoms of Candida include an infection in the genitals, urinary tract and bladder, stomach & intestines, ear, and nose and throat. Coconut has been shown to prevent and even cure Candida. It provides relief from the inflammation caused by Candida, both externally and internally.

References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Sept. 2, 2014
Last updated: June 6, 2018