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World Coconut Day 2022 & 10 ways you can add this tropical fruit to your diet

World Coconut Day 2022: Coconut is a very popular tropical fruit that is widely used in various dishes in our kitchens, giving them a distinctive, slightly sweet taste. Rich in fiber, antioxidants, healthy fats and minerals, coconut also has cytokines that help prevent aging and hydrate your skin. Being high in fiber and fat and low in carbohydrates, coconut is also helpful in controlling blood sugar levels and also aids in weight loss. Coconut is very versatile and is available in different forms such as fresh coconut, coconut flakes, oil, milk or butter. From coconut water, milk to chutneys, laddoo and desserts, here are 10 ways you can add this tropical fruit to your diet.

1. Fresh coconut

You can simply eat fresh coconut slices, pieces or grated coconut as a snack. You can add it to a fruit salad, grate it on a green salad, top smoothie bowls or blend it to make coconut-flavored frozen yogurt, says Arooshi Garg, nutrition and lifestyle expert, GOQii.

2. Coconut chutney

This is another delicious way to add the goodness of coconut to your meals. It is made by grinding coconut, green chillies, ginger and chana dal along with water to form a fine paste. The tempering of mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves adds to its flavor. Eating this chutney regularly can help with constipation as it helps ease bowel movements, says Shruti Bharadwaj, Chief Clinical Dietitian, Narayana Hrudayalaya Multispeciality Hospital Ahmedabad.

3. Dried coconut flakes

Garg suggests that coconut flakes can be used in baking as toppings for cakes/pastries. You can add it to granola or smoothies for a nutty crunch.

4. Coconut water

It is a refreshing electrolyte drink. Works wonders for post-workout hydration. It can be added to cooler summer drinks to make them more nutritious, says Garg.

5. Coconut Ladoo

This festival season, coconut laddoo can be made with easily available ingredients like jaggery, cardamom and milk and will help you add to the festive spirit, says Bharadwaj.

6. Coconut oil

It is very rich in healthy MCT fats and can help with weight loss when taken in controlled portions. Use it in baking and frying, or add a dash to your bullet coffee to make it more effective, suggests Garg.

7. Coconut milk

Another option without lactose, it is also ideal for vegans. Coconut milk can be easily made at home and added to smoothies, shakes, soups and Indian juices to make them thick and creamy. Coconut milk can also be mixed with fruit and frozen to make delicious and healthy ice creams, says Garg.

8. Desserts and cocktails

Bharadwaj says grated coconut can be added to desserts like kheer or fruit pudding, or even to sooji halwa or besan halwa. Shredded coconut can also be added to milkshakes such as mango or banana shake.

9. Vegetables and curry

Shredded coconut can also be added to vegetables for garnish and curries to add flavor and thickness to the preparation. It can also enhance the taste of vegetable pulao, says Bharadwaj.

10. Coconut butter

A relatively new vegan product made from freshly grated coconut, it also has good healthy fat properties and no preservatives. It can be used on toast, grilled fish or chicken, or just on sweet corn or popcorn as a healthy snack, says Garg.

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