The year has started and this year you really mean it, you are going to eat more fruit and veggies, keep in touch with nature and take more time out to look after yourself. Sound familiar? When you mention the idea of a cleansing start to the year to the locals in Fiji they often look back at you in confusion. They don’t really understand why you would have to practice this? Especially when you live in the Savusavu region of Fiji, still maintaining a relatively island lifestyle. A place where you can catch your lunch in the ocean and wash it down by a fresh coconut plucked from one of trees lining the sandy shores.
Alas, when you’re a city slicker, escaping back to nature, with nothing on the horizon but a distant isle and a cool breeze is quite a nice place to take action on that new year cleanse. The Koro Sun Resort and Rainforest Spa have combined all the natural wonders of Fiji with resort comfort and local style. The landscape maximises the very best of island life, capturing magnificence vistas from rainforest to reef. On the food front, it’s natural and organic all the way, with much of the produced used meals grown right on the property.
Many of the ‘new found’ super foods have been commonly used throughout the islands for centuries. It’s only now that the rest of the world is acknowledging how our bodies and minds benefit when we integrate them into our own lives.
The one tropical food that is taking centre stage at the moment is the iconic staple of island life – the coconut. It’s made a huge comeback, now considered one of the new ‘miracle foods’. In the past coconuts got a bad rap; considered an artery clogging, cholesterol packed food contributed to heart disease. Science has proved this theory wrong. It has been acknowledged that coconuts are highly nutritious, rich in fibre, and bursting with essential vitamins and minerals. Their inherent organic properties allow see them integrated into areas ranging from the kitchen to beauty potions.
The coconut industry is one of the main employment industries on the island of Vanua Levu. One step on the island and it’s easy to see why. Coconut trees sprout up everywhere. The list of properties deeming coconuts the new super food is long. Here’s just a few, but it’s easy to see why we can’t get enough of them:
- They are anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasite which helps keep your immune system healthy.
- They improve digestion and absorption of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
- They improve insulin secretion and symptoms associated with diabetes
- They help protect the body from cancers due to insulin reduction, removal of free radicals that cause premature aging and degenerative disease
- They help protect against kidney disease and bladder infection
- They reduce risk of heart health and can improve good cholesterol levels
- They restores and supports thyroid function
- They assist the body in weight loss
- They help keep hair and skin healthy and youthful looking, by moisturising the skin
The coconut provides a variety of products, here’s a just a few to get you started:
Low in calories, carbohydrates, and sugars, and almost completely fat-free. It’s also is high in ascorbic acid, B vitamins, and proteins. Every guest will get the chance to taste real coconut water when you receive you welcome drink upon arrival at the resort.
Coconut milk or cream
Coconut milk is made by mixing shredded, fresh coconut meat with water, then squeezing it through a sieve or cheesecloth. It is used in many Fijian dishes. Coconut cream thicker and pastier and made with less or none of the coconut water.
Coconut oil is a saturated fat. It differs greatly to other high calorie, cholesterol-soaked, saturated fats. It is rich in a medium-chain fatty acid that can actually help boost metabolism and aid in fat loss. It is metabolized quickly and instead of fat sticking to your belly, it gets burned off as energy. It also helps detoxify your body and balances your digestive tract. In cooking it is one of the most stable oils when cooking with high heat, and does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperatures like the other vegetable oils do.
It is also great for skin, scalp and hair. A simple organic product that can nourish and moisturise. It is the perfect moisturiser for dry and sensitive skins. It’s used in many of the treatments available at the Koro Sun Rainforest Spa. You also get to experience this first hand, when you receive your free coconut foot rub upon arrival at the resort.
This is the dried, ground up coconut meat. Gluten-free, low in carbohydrates, high in fibre, and ideal for baking.
Derived from the coconut sap, the sweet juice extracted when the budding flower is just about to grow. This process offers a delicious, sweet taste similar to brown sugar with a hint of caramel, with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Considered a low glycemic food and is diabetic friendly.
CHECK OUT THE COCONUT DEMONSTRATIONS
Beyond the coconut there are a wide range of products made from other parts of the coconut tree, from brooms to baskets, roofing to medicine, you will be amazed how resourceful the locals are with nature. Koro Sun Resort offers free weekly coconut demonstrations as part of their activities program to show you the process.
The resort also offers some cooking classes that incorporate coconut milk into the dish. And this stuff doesn’t come from a can. You’ll get to see how you really get the milk straight from the nut!
GET YOUR COCONUT FIX AT KORO
The tropics offer a myriad of exotic fruits and vegetables that up until now, was a mysterious secret. Incorporated into tropic elixirs that make for the perfect cleanse, detox and revitalisation for your body. Lucky for us we are catching on. Stay tuned in the next blog where we delve into other medicinal plants slowly integrating into the mainstream markets.
For now, you have a great excuse to book that trip… You need to taste that ‘real coconut juice’ plucked straight from the tree! It’s vitally important if you want to live longer, look better and boost your body’s immune system.