Coconut is one of the most exotic and well-known tropical fruits in the world, with multiple uses due to its great aroma , flavor and even its nutritional contributions to the body.
However, in this article we will learn about a direct product of this fruit, which is coconut milk , where we will also explain some of its 10 powerful health benefits.
What is coconut milk?
It is a mostly homemade product, which is made by scratching or crushing the white meat of the ripe coconut ( Cocos nucifera L ) to boil and filter with water and thus obtain the texture of “milk”.
The popularity of the product is such that it has spread to be industrialized, so it can be found in bottles or tetra brik (cardboard packages) , the latter being a very viable option for people who are lactose intolerant (but does not contain sugar).
Note: A university thesis highlights the following: “The idea of industrializing coconut milk stems from the need to facilitate its extraction and use , as well as making a good quality and low-cost product available to consumers . ” (1)
What benefits does coconut milk have for health?
As we know, this tropical fruit is widely consumed for its compounds and benefits . What are they specifically? those that we will present to you below:
1. Boosts the immune system
Coconut milk is a nutritious drink and highly recommended for strengthening our immune system, controlling the passage of parasites , bacteria or certainly infectious viruses.
To highlight: This is achieved through the antioxidant effects of vitamins C and E specifically, but also by the various vitamins of the B complex, which have direct actions on cellular health and energy.
2. Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
Coconut milk is also a great option for cardiovascular health , since the potassium in the coconut is responsible for reducing the harsh tensions in the blood vessels (controlling blood pressure) , on the other hand, coconut has lauric acid, a component Effective for increasing good cholesterol.
3. Regulates blood sugar levels
Coconut milk has magnesium in its composition , an effective mineral that regulates sugar levels in hemoglobin, which makes it an ideal drink for diabetic patients.
The potential of the previously mentioned mineral is to act as glucose metabolism, but directly into the blood. You have to always be vigilant, since this is possible with coconut milk that is not processed in containers, which contain sugar.
Note: One study mentions that: “The magnesium ion from coconut milk has a key role in regulating the effects of insulin and insulin-mediated cellular glucose uptake” . (two)
4. Reduces joint pain and inflammation
Coconut milk is a very important antioxidant drink, since it can control muscle pain, but more importantly, relieve symptoms of arthritis inflammation with the help of selenium, a mineral that controls free radicals and the joint inflammation it causes. .
5. Promotes digestive functions
Fortunately, this drink has a considerable number of fiber which is ideal for the intestinal flora and prevents constipation, adding that coconut has electrolytes (such as potassium ) that favors the lining of the digestive system and, lastly, prevents diseases in the digestive system. colon and intestine.
6. Fights anemia
Coconut milk is a good way to combat the decrease in red blood cells (anemia), because its composition contains essential nutrients such as iron and vitamin C, which complement each other for absorption and provide energy in states of anemia.
7. Strengthens bones and muscles
Coconut milk is a great option for strengthening muscle tissue and its nerves, mainly due to magnesium, a nutrient that prevents calcium overstimulation , a cause of cramps and excess muscle contractions.
Highlights: Coconut milk is a great means for strengthening bones with the help of phosphorus, although this drink is merely low in calcium , it rewards you with the aforementioned mineral, added to a healthy diet.
8. Increases physical energy
It was previously mentioned that coconut milk can prevent anemic states, these are also related to fatigue and lack of energy. Therefore, coconut milk favors vitality as it increases iron, the absorption of carbohydrates and the transport of oxygen to the body, providing a higher level of physical energy.
9. Contributes to weight loss
Coconut milk contributes to weight loss due to a relevant and confirmed component, fiber, the same one that was previously mentioned as a means of strength for the gastrointestinal system.
You should know: Beyond this, indirectly with weight loss, fiber helps reduce the accumulation or retention of liquids and gases, further favoring the expulsion of stool and providing a flatter stomach, as well as providing a feeling of satiety.
10. Improves skin and hair health
Beyond being a drink, coconut milk can also serve as a cream in the cosmetic realm , which can be applied to the skin where the coconut water and saturated fats (in smaller portions) begin to hydrate or soften the cells . of the epidermis.
Another important point, which is even different from coconut oil , is that coconut milk provides proteins to the structures of the hair strands , something essential to prevent excessive hair loss and promote its growth and hydration.
Nutritional properties of coconut milk
Having known the great part of its benefits, it is of great necessity to review the nutritional information of coconut milk:
At the level of vitamins, we get those from the group of antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, but apart from that, it nourishes our body with vitamins from the B complex (such as B1, B3, B5 and B6), which are closely related to the increase of cellular energy.
Apart from the mentioned vitamins, there are minerals within this product, highlighting magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and sodium, many of these are essential for cardiovascular health , fighting free radicals and providing healthy bone tissue.
3. Other compounds
Among other elements of great relevance are dietary fiber, healthy fats, a large percentage of coconut water, proteins and carbohydrates, also taking into account that it is rich in lauric acid, a type of essential fatty acid for the immune system.
Note: A brief medical analysis mentions that: “Lauric oils are the main source of MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), which are more easily absorbed and transported in the body . ” (3)
How do you drink coconut milk?
Coconut milk can be consumed at any time of the day , accompanying it with any type of salty or even sweet food.
To highlight: It is usually recommended to consume no more than 4 glasses a day in the form of fruit shakes.
Taking all of the above, there are certain exceptions to take this product, the most important is when it comes in cardboard packages which contain higher levels of glucose , apart from that, the natural drink should be consumed in moderation.
How to make homemade coconut milk?
This is a purely homemade drink and, above all, quite easy to prepare. Next, we present the most common process for it:
- grated coconut
- Hot water
- In a saucepan or pot, bring the water to a boil without bringing it to a boil.
- Then pour the hot water into a bowl with the grated coconut (it can be the amount you want) and start mixing until you have a homogeneous paste texture.
- Let it rest and then pass the mixture through a strainer, then let it cool in the fridge.
- After a few minutes or several hours have passed, you can consume it to your personal taste and even sweeten it with honey if you wish.
- Coconut milk is a drink made with the grated pulp of ” Cocos nucifera L” .
- It is essential for boosting the immune system , hair health, and skin hydration and exfoliation.
- It provides a high level of fiber , lauric acids and proteins, including antioxidant vitamins.
- It is recommended to take 4 glasses a day in the form of a shake and accompany it with fruits and other foods.