The Mayas have been doing many things right for centuries, but their use of coconuts as a staple in their diets is more than just delicious it is down right healthy! If you look at where Mayan communities have settled throughout Mexico, Guatemala, and South America, they are surrounded by coconut trees. Was this by design or was this just an accident? I don’t know if anyone can answer that question but coconuts, both the water and the meat are an excellent food both nutritionally and medicinally.
Health benefits of coconuts
Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is said to be a “functional food” because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional qualities. The Coconut can be divided into four parts, each part delivering different nutritional and medicinal benefits. The four parts are the coconut water, the oil, the meat and the milk. The water and meat are obtained without any processing where as the oil and milk do require a process to produce these healthy options.
Coconut water is a hydration liquid that is a 4 times more rehydrating than regular water. The coconut water is found when you open the coconut straight from the tree. The water is rich in potassium, providing double the amount of this nutrient than a banana. It is low in calories and when taken in its natural state is not high in sugar like sports drinks and juice.
Coconut oil is great internally and externally, nurturing the body and your skin. The oil itself can help to lower cholesterol, by creating more of the good HDL cholesterol that will destroy the bad LDL cholesterol. The body also metabolizes coconut oil faster and easier. If you use coconut oil on your skin and in your hair, the oil does moisturizer better and deeper.
Coconut milk is not only delicious, adding flavor to your foods and cooking, but it has high level of omega 3, 6 and 9 fats along with high amounts of amino acids. The milk is digested better by the body as it lacks enzymes that animal milk products have to make animal milk difficult to digest and the milk aids the digestive system, it does not hinder it. As a dairy free product coconut milk is a great option for vegans, vegetarians and those who are lactose intolerant.
Coconut meat is a great source of fiber, potassium, manganese, copper and zinc. The fiber in the coconut meat is what really makes it rock, as it is a great plant source for fiber for those who are wheat or grain intolerant. Like coconut milk and oil, the meat is easily digested and aids in digestion, it does not hinder it.
Hang by a coconut tree at Casa de las Olas in Tulum, Mexico
Coconut trees thrive in Tulum, as the climate and location presents the ideal growing conditions for this palm tree. At Casa de las Olas, we continue to plant more and more coconut trees not only for the nuts nutritional value but the shade it produces from the sun and the birds it attracts throughout the year. It is not unusual for our staff to deliver a fresh coconut to you on the beach or on your balcony over breakfast as a health offering. We want you to return home relaxed and healthy and having a fresh coconut each day will do just that for you.
Coconut trees sustain the property in Tulum
Okay so there are lots of health benefits from coconuts, but the coconut trees themselves also help us to preserve the sand and dunes that make up the Casa de las Olas property. Palm trees are great at protecting the ever-changing ways of nature, the movement of the ocean, natural storms, and the preservation of our dune. Even if coconuts did not have a human health benefit, they have a land health benefit that we utilize in our sustainable practices.
Check out photos of Casa del las Olas in Tulum to see the amount of coconut trees, how the work with the climate and the ocean to preserve our little piece of paradise. we will continue to listen to the contemporary Mayan community that lives here as they continue to show us ways to preserve and protect the beaches of Tulum, their home for centuries and a place that they share with us.