All the parts of the coconut can be used for the benefits of human and there are numerous health benefits of coconut milk alone. Coconut water, sugar, flour, husks, leaves and oils are also used for medicinal, cosmetic or decorative purposes. It is found in Southeast Asia and Malaysia. Coconut milk is extracted from mature coconuts and is the product of blended meat of the coconut and water. It is high in saturated fatty acids and calories and is considered among the world’s healthiest foods.
Preparing Coconut Milk
First shred the 2.5 ounces coconut meat and place it in a heat proof bowl. Then heat 1 ½ cups of water and allow it to simmer. Add this hot water to the shredded meat and mix it. Then allow it to cool to room temperature. Take a sieve or strainer over a bowl and cover it with cheesecloth. Then pour the mixture of the soaked coconut over the cheesecloth. Then squeeze the cheesecloth to remove the excess left over coconut milk. The milk left in the bowl should be refrigerated and then can be used for various purposes. The water and coconut content in the coconut milk is in 4:1 ratio.
Health Benefits Of Coconut Milk
1. Coconut Milk Nutrition
Coconut milk is high in calories and about 93% of its content in fat. The fat consists of medium chain fatty acids. One cup or 240g of coconut milk contains 552 calories, 5g proteins, 57g fats, 5g fiber, 13g carbohydrates, 11% vitamin C, 10% folate, 22% iron, 22% magnesium, 18% potassium, 32% copper, 110% manganese, 21% selenium.
2. Strengthens Bones
Coconut milk has good amount of phosphorous present in it that helps in promoting bone strength. It comparatively has a lower amount of calcium present as compared to milk.
3. Aids In Weight Loss
Coconut milk contains healthy fats like medium chain fatty acids that provide the body with immediate energy. Unlike long chain fatty acids, they do not accumulate fats in the organs. Medium chain fatty acids are easily digested and boost the metabolism and thus, aids in losing weight.
4. Promotes Muscle Build Up
During work out muscles tend to break and repair to grow back stronger. To do so, they require essential nutrients in order to build back muscles. The essential nutrients like magnesium, phosphorous and electrolytes are needed to repair the tissue and grow them stronger are found in coconut milk. Studies have shown that the medium chain fatty acids enhance physical performance by increasing energy expenditure.
5. Improves Digestion
One of the health benefits of coconut milk is that promoting digestive tract health. This is done so as the coconut milk provides nutrition like electrolytes and healthy fats to the digestive lining and thus improving the overall gut health.
6. Relives Constipation
One of the coconut milk benefits is that they can improve bowel health. Constipation is caused dehydration and coconut milk can hydrate the digestive tract as well nourish it to prevent inflammatory bowel syndrome.
7. Treats Anemia
Iron deficiency leads to anemia, although, coconut milk does not have very high amounts of iron but can provide enough that it can treat or prevent anemia.
8. Maintains Blood Sugar Levels
One of the health benefits of coconut milk is that it can help slow down the release of sugars into the blood stream and prevents the condition called hyperglycemia.
9. Prevents Ulcers
A study had shown that when coconut milk was given to rats with ulcers, the ulcers were reduced up to 56 percent. The researchers discovered that the milk provides protection against ulcerated gastric mucus which can cause painful ulcers.
10. Prevents Arthritis
Coconut milk benefits the body by providing it with selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant and helps in fighting free radicals which in turn reduces the symptoms of arthritis. It also further helps to reduce inflammation in arthritis.
11. Lowers Cholesterol
Coconut milk contains medium chain fatty acids like lauric acid. Lauric acid helps to increase the HDL cholesterol levels in the body. It also provides healthy fats that can be easily digested and broken down by the body and boosts the metabolism.
12. Prevents Joint Inflammation
The health benefits of coconut milk are many and one such benefit is that it provides the body with minerals that can help reduce inflammation. The inflammation in joint and muscles is caused by arthritis or auto-immune problems.
13. Controls Diabetes
The medium chain fatty acids present in coconut milk can help in slowing down the release of sugars into the bloodstream. This also helps in increasing insulin sensitivity and thereby, controlling diabetes.
14. Immunity Booster
Coconut milk contains lauric acid and capric acid which have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. The lauric acid in the body is converted into monolaurin which in turn is believed to fight against viruses causing herpes, HIV and influenza.
15. Nourishes The Hair
Coconut milk is a good scalp moisturizer as it can hydrate the scalp as well as boost hair follicle growth. Organic coconut milk can be massaged into the scalp and the leave it in for 20 minutes. After that, you can shampoo your hair. By doing this, your hair will feel smooth and soft as well it can be protected against hair damage.
16. Prevents Hair Loss
Coconut milk for the hair can benefit the scalp by boosting hair follicle growth and also reduce hair breakage or hair fall. Add an equal mixture of water and coconut milk and add a camphor mixture to it. Apply it to the scalp and leave it on for a few hours and rinse your hair with warm water.
17. Natural Conditioner
Coconut milk can act as a conditioner as it can help nourish the hair. Just add coconut milk to your shampoo and wash your hair with it. After doing that, you can apply a dab of coconut milk to palm and work it through your hair from the scalp to the hair roots.
18. Treats Sun Damaged Skin
Coconut oil can help repair skin damaged by the harmful UV rays of the sun. The fats and oils present in the coconut milk has a potential to reduce the redness and repair the skins in the sunburnt area.
19. Make Up Remover
Canned coconut milk as well as coconut oil can be mixed in the 1:2 ratios and used to remove make-up on the skin. It can also be applied around the eye area as it is sensitive and should be moisturized.
20. Treats Skin Problems
One of the health benefits of coconut milk is that it can moisturize and soothe inflamed skin caused due to skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties; that can help fight with infections on the skin.
21. Natural Moisturizer
Coconut milk can replenish moisture to the dehydrated skin as well as stimulate the formation of new skin cells. Thus, you can add coconut milk to warm water and soak in it for a few minutes. It will soothe and benefit your skin. Further, you can use coconut milk as a lotion or use commercial lotions that contain coconut milk to moisturize your skin.
22. Detangles Hair
If you are always bothered with tangled hair, then you add very little amount of coconut milk to your hair and com through it. It will not only moisturize you hair but help it to look silky smooth.
23. Prevents Acne
Some researchers believe that coconut milk is a great way to get rid of acne. It can be used as a natural cleanser due to the antibacterial properties it possesses.
24. Facial Scrub
It can be used as a natural facial scrub as it can deep cleanse the skin and remove dead skin cells. It is also very gentle on the skin and not likely to cause any reactions.
25. Can Be Used Instead Of Milk
Coconut fruit is grinded to extract milk. This coconut milk is used by many people instead of regular milk. Especially this is famous in vegans who avoid regular milk.
Best Coconut Milk To Buy
It is best to search for coconut milk that is cold pressed which means it has undergone very little treatment. It has only been treated to remove a certain type of bacteria. Try not to buy coconut milk that has artificial sweeteners added to it, you can enhance the taste at home if you desire. This is due to the fact that you get the most health benefits of coconut milk only from natural ones.
If you choose to get canned coconut milk, and then make sure it does not contain BPA as it has a potential to cause certain health risks. In this way, you can know which is the best coconut milk for your health. Consuming coconut milk is very healthy and is in fact compared to regular milk and used instead of cow milk by vegans.