Is coconut a superfood?
Can this humble, hairy fruit prevent heart disease and Alzheimer's?
A growing band of supporters - including scientists - are singing the healing and restorative praises of coconut. They cite research and evidence to back their arguments and claim this humble, hairy fruit contains properties that can prevent, or even cure, a wide range of ailments from heart disease to Alzheimer's. They haven't convinced everyone: the Heart Foundation strongly disputes their claims and says coconut oil in particular is an unhealthy saturated fat and should be avoided. But retired CSIRO scientist and honorary research fellow at the University of Queensland, Mike Foale, says the Heart Foundation has got it wrong. Foale has been studying the coconut palm for more than four decades and believes coconut is a superfood. "There is both scientific and abundant anecdotal evidence of great health benefits, including increased energy, weight loss, natural antibiotic activity, cholesterol reduction and insulin stabilisation," Foale says. While the popularity of bottled coconut water could be described as a fad, Foale is a devotee of the oil. "Coconut oil is a staple for millions of tropical coastal people worldwide and those people do not suffer from heart disease while on their traditional diet," he says. READ MORE