Found across the tropics and subtropics in many parts of the world, coconuts are a main source of sustenance for many cultures, and in Australia the coconut benefits are numerous.
Here they can be found in the country’s top end, where their milk, oil and skins are increasingly put to good use. However, all this information and more can be discovered on Australia’s only coconut tour, at Thala Beach Lodge in Port Douglas.
Named the ‘Coconut Odyssey Tour’, resident coconut enthusiast Carl Johanson takes you into the world of the coconut, where you are sure to come out amazed at the range of coconut benefits applicable to your daily life.
The abundance of native specimens at Thala Beach ensures guests can sample a variety of coconuts, from the young green to the rare apple coconut, each of which have their own distinguishing characteristics.
Carl reveals that coconuts reduce body fat, lower cholesterol and build the immune system. They also contain a succulent meat, juice, milk and oil, with the latter being put to a variety of uses.
Coconut oil can be used for cooking, a hair conditioner, and as a food dressing. However, remarkably, the fat in coconut oil is entirely unique, being made of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), or alternatively, medium chain triglycerides (MCT).
What does this mean? MCFA’s do not negatively affect cholesterol, and they even protect against heart disease. Coconut oil and palm kernel oil are by far the best dietary source of MCFA.
Coconut oil is also found not to deplete the body’s reserves of antioxidants (unlike other oils), and coconuts have been positively tested in the prevention of liver disease and osteoporosis.
In different cultures, coconut benefits have been exploited in traditional medicine for thousands of years. Some of the uses include: removing abscesses, burns, dysentery, scurvy, typhoid and ulcers.
In modern medicine, medical health journals have published the effectiveness of coconuts in treating ailments such as: skin fungi, throat bacteria, urinary tract and gum infections.
And as you’re sure to find out on the Coconut Odyssey Tour, coconut benefits also extend to the shell, as the husks are a source of charcoal and are used to buff floors in many countries. They are also used for eating, cooking utensils and musical instruments. The trunks can also be used for constructing bridges, houses and furniture.
Want to stay healthy and sustainable from a singular source that can substitute (and surpass) many different food types? The coconut, or “the tree of life” as it is called in many countries around the world, may just be the answer.