Is coconut really good for you?

No, I am not looking for “nutritional facts” here. From that point of view I could give you a whole list of arguments why it is a superfood. In fact, it’s been one of my “holy cows” ever since I got trained in Real Food Nutrition and Metabolic Typing (2012). While I often put people on an elimination of dairy or gluten, coconut has never been one of the usual suspects. To the contrary, I often encourage increased consumption because of its antibacterial properties. The only caveat being that it is an exotic product, which clashes with my emphasis on local foods.

What I am looking for though is TRUE science. And that means daring to question and challenge even our deepest convictions – to put them up against the test. In nutrition, that is a personal, individual journey, since we are all different and what is good for one person might be bad for another person.

I personally feel we should never get so rigid that we cannot drop anything temporarily – foods and anything else in our lives: hobbies, habits, substances, relationships… Sometimes it’s the very thing we consume a lot and really like that might actually be causing us problems. However, while we are doing so, we might not be able to feel it, because we developed a certain “pain” tolerance. It’s only when we eliminate that food, drink, supplement, medication, habit, thing, person… for some time, that we can actually feel what its effect is on us.

If you cannot drop something for a day, a week, a month, you are dependent on it. I feel we should never be dependent on anything. We should always remain the ones in power to CHOOSE. Only if I know that I can be without coffee can I choose to have it for my pleasure. I do not NEED it, but I can choose to enjoy it. And I can just as easily drop it again.

This is easy with certain foods, substances, people… usually the ones that do not matter THAT much to us. But it’s actually MOST interesting to look at the holy cows we all have.

For me, on a nutritional level (and there is always a correspondent on other levels, too) one of them is coconut. I have known for years that coconut is not good for my skin, especially on my face. In Chinese Medicine the skin and the gut are closely linked, so I need to allow for the possibility that coconut might actually NOT be good for my inner skin either. Another factor is that being an exotic food, coconut is quite “cold” on the body, just like exotic fruits (bananas, mango etc.), citrus fruits and also avocado. I know that from a constitutional perspective I should avoid “cold” foods and have been doing so with anything – except coconut…

So even though I LOVE it, have been constantly consuming it since 2012, promoting it heavily, and even selling/distributing it (oh my beloved coconut butter… and now there is also the even more delicious almond-coconut mix 🙁 ), I decided to eliminate it to see what the effect will be. Because in spite of having been gluten-, dairy-, soy-, legumes-, raw food and sugar/processed food free, I still experienced issues with my skin and digestion…

After two months I can say that I really feel a difference… Especially after I stopped applying ANY oil to my skin it has improved tremendously. But also from an internal, dietary perspective, I feel that eliminating coconut has been positive for me, for my digestion, for my cycle… I even saw bigger connections: relationships I was kind of addicted to because they were “delicious” turned out to be harmful for me eventually… and just like I have cut out the coconut, I have ended them…

So for the moment being I continue to avoid it.

Update 2020: I am eating again some amount of coconut (without exaggerating) and my body seems to tolerate it well…


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