Desiccated coconut is simply coconut meat that has been grated and dried. Available sweetened or unsweetened, it is commonly used as a topping for curries or other Asian dishes; as an ingredient in cooked cereal or granola, and in baked goods. It contains no cholesterol or trans fats while being rich in a number of essential nutrients, including dietary fiber, manganese, copper and selenium.
Be aware that a 1-ounce serving of Desiccated coconut is high in saturated fat, providing over 80 percent of the amount of saturated fat an adult should consume daily. If you’re concerned about your fat intake, you can safely include Desiccated coconut in occasional meals if your diet is primarily focused on lean proteins; whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.
A 1-ounce serving of Desiccated coconut contains 0.778 milligrams of manganese. This amount supplies nearly 34 percent of the Food and Nutrition Board’s recommended daily allowance of manganese for adult men and 43 percent of the RDA for women. Manganese plays a role in energy metabolism and is required for the synthesis of blood coagulation proteins, bone tissue, hormones and the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. It also promotes the absorption of calcium and helps regulate your blood sugar levels. If your diet doesn’t include enough manganese; you may be more likely to develop diabetes, arthritis or osteoporosis.
Adult men should consume about 38 grams of dietary fiber daily, while women require 25 grams each day. A 1-ounce serving of Desiccated coconut has 5 total grams of fiber, fulfilling 12 percent of a man’s requirement and 18 percent of a woman’s. A high intake of dietary fiber from foods like coconut could help prevent stroke; high blood pressure; heart disease; obesity; high blood cholesterol; diabetes and digestive disorders like hemorrhoids, constipation, duodenal ulcers and colon cancer.
Desiccated coconut contains 226 micrograms of copper in every 1-ounce serving, or 25 percent of the 900 micrograms that adult men and women should consume daily. Your body doesn’t require much copper; but copper does play a crucial role in the production of collagen and red blood cells and in promoting the absorption of iron.
Copper also aids in energy metabolism and acts as an antioxidant. Adequate copper intake may help you avoid osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and arthritis. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, you need to regularly consume foods rich in zinc and manganese for your body to properly use copper. A diet containing a wide variety of plant- and animal-based foods should meet this need.
Every 1-ounce serving of Desiccated coconut has 5.2 micrograms of selenium. Men and women over 19 years old need 55 micrograms of selenium each day; and a serving of dried coconut supplies 9.4 percent of this requirement.
The body uses the mineral selenium to produce selenoproteins; enzymes that support thyroid and immune system function and inhibit free radical compounds from damaging DNA and cellular tissue. A diet rich in high-selenium foods may help lower your risk of cancer; recurrent infections; heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. It may also prevent infertility in men.
Enjoying More Dried Coconut
Dried coconut is an easy way to add flavor to your face hot or cold cereal, and it also works well in smoothies. Use toasted coconut as an alternative to breadcrumbs when breading chicken or fish, or add it to frozen bananas and blend until smooth for coconut soft serve.
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