The Health Benefits of Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a creamy, rich liquid made from the meat of mature coconuts. It is a popular beverage in the Philippines, the Caribbean and anyplace where coconut trees are abundant. Coconut milk has the scent of a coconut and a slightly sweet taste. It is an excellent substitute for cow’s milk because it is easy to digest, simple to make and contains an abundance of nutrients. You can drink it plain, use it for cooking or blend it with smoothies to benefit from its nutritional value.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins C, E and many B vitamins are abundant in coconut milk. Vitamins C and E help to boost the immune system, and B vitamins are responsible for providing energy to the cells. Coconut milk is also rich in magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and iron. Magnesium is responsible for many biochemical functions in the body, including regulating the heart’s rhythm and supporting the function of nerve cells. Potassium maintains the tissues of the heart, kidneys, brain and muscles. Phosphorus keeps teeth and bones strong, and iron creates red blood cells and carries oxygen throughout your body. Add coconut milk to your cereal and baked goods, or drink a glass or two each day to receive these benefits.
"Ceylon Medical Journal" notes that coconut milk is rich in antioxidants, which prevents free radical damage. Free radicals are associated with the development of many diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and age-related dementia. Antioxidants can help reverse previous damage and delay the aging process. Drink a glass of coconut milk while eating other antioxidant-rich foods, such as pecans, raisins and cranberries. Energy-producing snacks that are rich in antioxidants will boost your immunity while rebuilding the damaged cells in your body.
Coconut milk is rich in lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that is abundant in mother’s milk. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, lauric acid has many germ-fighting, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties that are very effective at ridding the body of viruses, bacteria and countless illnesses. Lauric acid may also reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which lowers heart disease and stroke risks. There are only a few foods that are rich in lauric acid, so drink coconut milk regularly to benefit from this nutrient.
According to "Ceylon Medical Journal," coconut fats do not contain trans-fatty acids. The fats that are present in coconuts are less likely to clog arteries, which makes coconut milk a healthy alternative to cow’s milk when it comes to preserving your heart’s health. Coconut meat contains monoglycerides, which the body absorbs and uses as energy shortly after it is consumed. Because the body does not store coconut fats, there is less chance that your arteries or blood vessels will clog, which lowers your risk of heart disease.