Just about every part of the coconut tree yields something valuable, which includes both food products and beverages. One of these is coconut milk, typically processed from the fruit’s flesh. This is a great alternative if you’re lactose intolerant and need a vegan alternative to the dairy counterpart. But aside from this, it also has great health benefits. For one thing, this beverage is high in nutrients. Second, it’s also a great base ingredient for dishes like curry and desserts. Those who are allergic to milk proteins can also take this as another option if they want, since it also has iron and vitamin D.
Let’s take a look at what makes this one of the best natural health drinks available.
The nutritional facts
Coconut milk is a prominent source of fiber, potassium and lauric acid. This makes it one of the healthiest beverages out there. According to the US Department of Agriculture‘s nutrition chart, coconut milk provides the following per 100 grams:
- 6g of carbohydrates
- 3.3g of sugar
- 263mg of potassium
- 2.2g of dietary fiber
- 2.3g of protein
In addition to these, coconut milk also has higher saturated fat content. Despite this, the fatty acids are the medium-chain variety, as opposed to the longer-chain variants. These are metabolized faster by the liver and don’t end up accumulated in the body. This means that you can take this drink if you want something that can give you a quick burst of energy and speed up your metabolism.
Health Benefits as Food
Coconut milk has fewer calories and fat compared to regular dairy milk. And while it does have fatty acids as mentioned above, the body can metabolize them faster because they’re sent directly to the liver. If you’re looking to lose weight, it’s advisable to take this drink. Additionally, it also contains the necessary B-vitamins needed to properly digest nutrients. One of these is niacin, or B-3 which coconut milk has higher amounts of compared to regular milk.
One other thing that makes coconut milk a healthy go-to beverage is the lauric acid content. Aside from being a medium-chain fatty acid that’s easily digestible, it also has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. While not a complete medicinal substitute, this makes it a vital dietary supplement for those who need it. These features can help give your immune system that needed boost to stay in tip-top condition.
Health Benefits as a Beauty Product
Aside from being ingested, coconut milk has several uses as a topical agent. Since the lauric acid found in the substance is good against bacteria, it can be mixed with liquid castile soaps for a cleansing body wash. It can also be used as a natural skin moisturizer when blended with honey and other natural oils. Instead of spending money on expensive treatments, you can have your own natural skin care products right in your own backyard.
With all these benefits, it’s no doubt that coconut milk is both a highly versatile ingredient and a nutritious beverage. Try taking it with your next meal and see just how much you can benefit from this great coconut product.