Not everyone is convinced that coconut milk is a good alternative to dairy milk. For vegans, however, this can become the perfect alternative. This is because coconut milk has the same texture and creaminess of milk derived from animals, while being completely vegan. This is what they use as a substitute for the milk required in many recipes.
Aside from being a vegan substitute, coconut milk actually has quite a few other qualities that make it better than dairy milk. Here are some that you may not know about:
Lactose-free – lactose intolerant individuals should rejoice since there is a dairy milk substitute that is just as creamy and rich, but without the indigestible lactose that causes stomach cramps and other problems that regular milk does.
Lower carbohydrate content – for those who are trying to lose weight, with a low-carbohydrate diet, but are still craving the creamy texture of milk, you can substitute this with coconut milk. Just don’t use too much since coconut milk is still pretty high in cholesterol, just like regular milk.
High niacin content – vitamin B-3 is essential for the proper digestion and to metabolize nutrients effectively. Also called niacin, this vitamin has been found to be pretty abundant in coconut milk as compared with dairy milk. Each cup of this plant-based creamy goodness has 1.8 milligrams of niacin while animal-derived milk has a mere .23 milligrams per cup.
Higher iron content – iron is also essential to the human body, and it has been found that milk from coconuts actually contains more of this mineral than dairy milk. One cup of coconut milk provides you with 3.9 milligrams of iron. For men, this is already half of the required daily intake, and for women, around 22 percent.
Higher vitamin D content – another vitamin that coconut milk has more of when compared with dairy milk is vitamin D. Every cup of dairy milk gives you around 25% of your required daily intake, while the coconut counterpart gives you 45% of your required daily intake.
Healthier saturated fat content – when you hear the term “saturated fat”, and are trying to live a healthy lifestyle, you might think that any type of milk is bad for you. This is not the case with coconut milk and its saturated fat content. This is because what it has is medium chain fatty acids, which are saturated fatty acids that metabolized faster by the liver than its long-chained brothers, which are found in regular dairy milk. Medium chain fatty acids are more likely to be used as energy by the body and less likely to be stored as body fat. This also indicates that coconut milk is healthier because these medium chain fatty acids don’t contribute to heart disease, unlike long-chain fatty acids do.
These are just a few of the things that make coconut milk better than its dairy counterpart. Aside from these, you will also find that these are environmentally friendly. Studies have shown that raising livestock for dairy and meat production actually contribute to the deterioration of the ozone due to the production cycle that these go through. The coconut trees where these coconuts grow however help the environment since trees do absorb carbon dioxide, and produce oxygen in return, making these a better source of milk than animals.