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Is coconut milk healthy?

On by , Digestive Care Advisor

Is coconut milk healthy?

Despite the bad reputation of saturated fat, coconut milk is actually good for you. Anti-carcinogenic, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral, coconut milk offers many particular health benefits and it is worth including it in our diet. Let's see why coconut milk is so healthy.

Coconut milk contains healthy and good fats...

Coconut milk is high in saturated fat (87% fats, 10% carbs, 3% proteins), but it is much healthier than other saturated fat products. This milk is made up of short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids that the body quickly turns into energy instead of storing as fat. Therefore, although it is high in saturated fat, coconut can aid in loosing weight! The main saturated fat that it contains, lauric acid, is also found in mother's milk. In fact, coconut milk is close to human breast milk in its pH, and fat and nutrient content. Coconut water even measures the same pH as human blood. So this fat is easily metabolized by the body and has been shown to promote brain development and bone health. It also has important anti-carcinogenic and anti-pathogenic properties.

Coconut has not been shown to increase cholesterol levels or heart disease but rather to lower cholesterol and raise HDL in some people. It is only when the fats in coconut are hydrogenated and turned into trans fats that they become harmful. In fact, cultures where coconut is abundant in the diet have been found to be almost free of heart disease.

It is also rich in nutrients...

Coconut milk is a good source of manganese. Health benefits of manganese ensure healthy bone structure, bone metabolism, helping in building essential enzymes for building bones. There are other health benefits of manganese involved in forming connective tissues, absorption of calcium, proper functioning of thyroid, sex hormones, regulating blood sugar level, and metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.

Coconut milk also contains some amount of copper, selenium,  magnesium and iron. It is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium.

It is also known to improve digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Coconut Milk is healthy for your skin!

According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut milk:
  • helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection when Applied topically.
  • Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
  • Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
  • Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
  • Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
  • Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.
  • Provides protection form damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
  • Helps control dandruff.
However, keep in mind that products that mix coconut milk with additives or chemicals offer limited, if any, skincare value.

How to choose a good brand of healthy coconut milk?

Not all brands of canned coconut milk are good.

Good brands of coconut milk have thick cream floating on top of the can while the milk on the bottom is much more watery. It is best to avoid sweetened, light or diluted coconut milk because it contains less of the lauric acid. To get all the benefits from coconut milk, buying organic coconut milk is a better choice as organic growers tend to harvest their products from soils rich in nutritional value... or you can also make it yourself!

If you are still unsure of the health benefits of coconut milk, let's add it is also anti-inflammatory and is a healthy dairy-free alternative to those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to animal milk.

Resources and other articles on coconut

Is There Vitamin E in Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is known to be nourishing to the skin, but it doesn't mean coconut oil contains vitamin E. Read more...

Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil
Oil pulling is a healing method that involves swishing unrefined oil in the mouth for several minutes. Can it be done with coconut oil?

If you think this article may be useful for others and want to link to it, please use the following format: Beck, Josephine. "Is coconut milk healthy?" Dec 1, 2009.

Important: The information provided on this page about coconut is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified practitioner.

What's your experience with coconut milk? Feel free to leave a comment...

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Comments from the community (9)

"Budgey" on 2011-12-03 at 11:58:59
I love making porridge with coconut milk and a sprinkle of nutmeg - tasty!
"love coco milk" on 2011-11-16 at 01:11:19
I use coco milk for cooking mostly. it is good.
"fan of coconut milk" on 2011-11-16 at 01:08:46
coconut milk is good. is it good fat or bad fat?
"coconut fan" on 2011-08-14 at 20:36:26
Tai Kitchen is the best brand, it seems to be the creamiest. So delicious makes coconut milk but it is very watered down and processed.
"Coconut fan" on 2011-08-14 at 20:33:45
We use coconut milk for everything. Coffee, cereal, smoothies, basically anywhere you'd use dairy milk. It's absolutely amazing!!!
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