Coconut Milk Benefits

Edited by StephWrites, Sharingknowledge, Jen Moreau

Healthy trend

Healthy food habits have been trending for a few years now, and for a great reason. Eating healthy has a very positive impact on our body and overall health. Although mass production food makes a lot of products cheaper and available, in most cases, many of its nutrients are lost during the process. Numerous products that had always been a healthy option, now contain preservatives or artificial colors and flavors that end up making the product unhealthy. This is the reason why a lot of people are aiming to buy organic items, and in search of alternative products to get nourished. A great example is coconut milk which is one of the natural products that is being greatly accepted by healthy consumers.

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Where does it comes from?

Coconuts are fruits, even though they get usually confused for being a nut, they are a one-seeded drupe fruit. Tropical countries have been cultivating the plant for a long time and discovered that almost every part of it could be used: you can drink the water, eat the flesh, make milk out of it, and extract sugar and oil. Also, the husks can be used as construction material, the leaves to make hats or for cooking, and its fibers can be used to make clothing or paper, just to mention a few things.

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Coconut milk is entirely different from coconut water; they should not be confused. The water is found naturally inside green coconuts, and coconut milk is obtained after a process where the white flesh inside brown, mature coconuts, gets pressed and mixed with hot water. Depending on the process and final consistency, coconut milk will be either thick or thin.

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  • The process to obtain thick milk is by finely grating the flesh and boiling it in water, then straining it through a cheesecloth.
  • The process to get thin milk comes after producing thick milk and the remaining coconut in the cheesecloth is cooked in water, and strained again.
  • Most coconut milk on the market comes in cans, tetra pack or cases and are a mixture of thin and thick milk.

Nutrition Facts

Coconuts are high in nutrients and rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow's milk, coconut milk is lactose-free, so if you are lactose-intolerant or vegan, you can use it as a milk substitute. It makes a great base for smoothies, milkshakes or as a dairy alternative in baking. A quarter cup of full-fat coconut milk contains:

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  • 138 calories
  • 1.5 grams protein
  • 2 grams sugar
  • 14 grams fat
  • .55 milligrams manganese
  • .15 milligrams copper
  • 60 milligrams phosphorus
  • 22 milligrams magnesium
  • 3.9 milligrams iron
  • 157 milligrams potassium

Benefits of Coconut Milk

  1. 1
    Healthier immune system
    Coconut milk contains antimicrobial lipids, capric acid and lauric acid, which combined can kill bacteria and fungus. It also contains antiviral properties which help fight viruses and bacteria like herpes or influenza.
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  2. 2
    Heart disease prevention
    Coconut milk contains medium-chain saturated fatty acids which attack the three most significant types of atherogenic organisms which are the bacteria that cause deposits on arteries walls.
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  3. 3
    Prevents Fatigue
    Electrolytes are crucial to ensure that fluid levels inside and outside a cell are balanced. These balanced fluid levels are essential for hydration, maintaining blood ph levels, as for muscle and nerves function as well. Although coconut water contains more electrolytes than coconut milk, it is also an excellent source to obtain them. Staying hydrated is crucial, especially in hot temperatures or after a physically demanding activity. Hydration is more than drinking water; your drink must contain electrolytes and minerals too so you can:  
    1. Regulate heat
    2. Maintain blood volume
    3. Prevent exhaustion.
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  4. 4
    Medium Chain Triglycerides
    The brain relies on a continuous supply of fats to function. Coconut milk contains the types of MCTs that are easily used by your brain for energy. This variety of fat does not even need to be digested; its calories will provide a quick and efficient source of healthy calories.
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  5. 5
    Weight loss
    All fats help satiate the brain receptors that control appetite, but the medium-chain triglycerides fat in coconut milk may also increase your metabolism and help with your weight loss. Including more healthy fats in your diet will give you a satiation effect and prevent you from overeating, along with a balanced diet coconut milk is your ally on weight loss.
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  6. 6
    Healthy Skin
    Fatty acids in coconut milk are natural moisturizers, applying milk directly to your skin is a great way to promote a healthy, nourished skin. It will provide immediate relief in case of dry skin due to conditions like psoriasis or eczema. You could also mix it with rose petals and oatmeal and to use it as a nourishing mask to help repair wrinkles and sagging in aging skin.
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  7. 7
    Healthy hair
    The fatty acids in coconut milk will restore dry, damaged hair. It is a natural antiseptic and may also help treat dandruff or scalp dryness.
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  8. 8
    Blood Sugar and Diabetes control
    The fat in coconut milk can help slow the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream, so it is a way to control insulin levels and a great aid in conditions like diabetes. Including coconut milk on sweetened recipes, like desserts is a healthy suggestion. Coconut milk´s medium chain triglycerides are a preferred source of energy for the body rather than sugar.
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  9. 9
    Anemia Prevention
    A fundamental element for anemia prevention is iron, which can be found in coconut milk. Although it does not contain a vast amount, it is sufficient to contribute to anemia prevention.
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  10. 10
    Prevents Ulcers
    A study found that Coconut milk has protective effects on gastric mucus that can prevent and reduce ulcers even better than coconut water. It was determined after experimenting with rats with ulcers that the size of their ulcers diminished in about 56%.
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  11. 11
    Helping the planet
    The process of coconut milk uses 900 gallons less than cow milk process per day. By changing your intake to coconut milk, you would be contributing to a more sustainable planet.
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Interesting facts

  • Everything in a coconut can be used. In some places they even call coconuts the "Tree of Life" since it produces food, oil, beverages, fiber, and material to craft utensils, musical instruments or clothing, just to mention a few examples.
  • It would take eleven to twelve months for a coconut to reach maturity.
  • There are more than 80 species of coconut palms identified around the world.
  • Coconut grows in regions are as far north as Hawaii and as far south as Madagascar.

General Warnings

  • Even though coconut milk has a very low intake risk, anybody with a condition should pay attention to specific ingredients on every product they try for the first time. Real the label on the coconut milk you are purchasing carefully. Coconut milk contains several minerals that could interact with specific conditions, for example with kidney disease. If you happen to have this condition, do be careful about your daily potassium intake since coconut milk has a very high amount of it.
  • Although Coconut Milk is an amazing source of nutrients and healthy fats, it contains more calories than regular milk, so lower your portion to prevent weight gain.
  • Read the label on the coconut milk before buying it, some might contain added ingredients that are not healthy. Try buying organic coconut milk so you can be sure that your product is natural and you will get all the benefits from it.
  • You can also prepare your home-made coconut milk and make it as thick or thin as you prefer, this way you will be certain it is always fresh and kept most of its nutrients.

Referencing this Article

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Chicago / Turabian "Coconut Milk Benefits." Accessed Jun 4, 2023.

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Article Info

Categories : Biostatistics

Recent edits by: Sharingknowledge, StephWrites

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