Coconut milk has the liquid consistency of cow’s milk and an excellent alternative for consumers who are dairy milk intolerant. The liquid is made from the flesh of mature coconuts. The milk is nutrients rich which is beneficial to your diet. Coconut milk contains vitamin C, iron, potassium and copper. Furthermore, coconut milk contains a decent amount of fibre that is important for you to consume. Coconut milk contains high levels of saturated fat, making it a very calorie-rich food.
Coconut milk can work as anti-inflammatory and analgesic. When you reduce inflammation in your body, it may allow the body functions to perform to its optimum. Therefore, there are certain medical conditions that could benefit when you drink coconut milk regularly.
Coconut milk has a connection to improving your heart health. Coconut oil present in coconut milk benefits lowering cholesterol, including the reduction of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and increasing high density lipoprotein cholesterol. Certain fatty acids contained in coconut milk have also been linked to reducing risk of heart disease. These fatty acids are also known to get rid of the three major bacteria that cause the formation of plaque on the arteries. However, more research is required to truly understand how much coconut milk is linked to heart health and cholesterol.
Fruit juice is one of the most common fruit products after fresh fruit. It can take many forms, including a nectar type juice with suspended solids, natural cloudy juice or a fully clarified juice, juice concentrate and fruit drinks.
Some studies have shown the fats in coconut milk can help with weight loss and increase the person’s metabolism. Coconut milk medium chain fatty acids, which go from the digestive tract to the liver and are immediately available for use for energy. They are less likely to be stored as fat. These fatty acids have also been shown to suppress appetite.
These facets of coconut milk may mean that the consumer take in fewer calories and burn more fat. Hence, they expend more energy, which can cause weight loss. While there are more of these fatty acids in coconut oil, there are still enough in coconut milk. So, even though the benefit will not be as great when consuming coconut milk compared to coconut oil, there is still a benefit.
Coconuts contain a lipid called lauric acid. Many medical researchers believe that lauric acid may support the immune system. Studies show that lauric acid has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. In these studies of the antimicrobial effects of lauric acid from coconuts, the researchers isolated various bacterial strains and exposed them to lauric acid. It was found that lauric acid effectively inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The findings also suggest that lauric acid inhibits cancer cell growth by stimulating certain receptor proteins that regulate the growth of cells.
There are plenty of opportunities to add coconut milk to meals and drinks. The milk is a staple ingredient in many Asian and Islander dishes. These are traditional dishes such as curries, baked meals, sweet dishes and savouries. However, thinking outside the square, try the following:
a) Coffee, tea and cereal – try replacing dairy milk with coconut milk.
b) Use coconut milk in oatmeal. Bring coconut milk to boil then add oatmeal. Cook until milk is absorbed. You may top up
with fresh fruits.
c) Substitute coconut milk as a base for any creamy soup.
d) Use coconut milk to make your favourite smoothies.
Healthy food stores and grocery outlets many types of coconut milk, cream and lite milk. All brands may have different fat and calorie contents. It depends on how much manufacturer blends the milk and how much water has been added.
Canned coconut milk usually has a thick, cream-like consistency and they are higher in fat. Whereas coconut milk beverages are thin, and consistency is much closer to dairy milk. These drinks are normally refrigerator product with some brands add sugar.
It is important to note that coconut milk beverages contain less protein than dairy milk. When making the switch to coconut milk drink, one should include protein from other sources into their diet. In general, it is best to buy coconut milk products that contain very few ingredients. Be sure to watch out for added sugars, preservatives, and artificial thickeners, such as gums.