Coconut Milk: The Professed Superfood
Coconuts are celebrated from professions in the beauty, health and drink industry, so it’s only natural we are launching a clean coconut milk to add to our range of functional drinks. To cut through to the coconut facts we asked nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik to share the nutritional benefits of the supposed superfood.
It comes as no surprise to see this as the title of my latest post but behind that gorgeously luxurious and decadent taste (and now widely purported ‘super food’) you might still wonder how coconut milk can give you such bountiful health benefits.
Firstly, coconut milk isn’t actually ‘milk’ in the way that you think and neither is it a nut, but we’ll come back to that later. Coconut milk is generally taken from more mature coconuts, as opposed to younger ones that are better producers of coconut water. The milk itself is actually derived from a blend of the ‘meat’ and some of this water to create the thicker consistency. Rich in healthy saturated fats, one of the most unique nutritional properties in coconut milk is the high amount of lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that provides a readily available source of energy for the body as well as some of the other benefits listed below. Coconut is also a source of iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and copper. Despite its namesake, it is not a nut making it dairy and nut free so it works as a great option for those with allergies or following a plant-based diet.
Beside that it is one of the most delicious and perfectly satiating foods but let’s look more at its wondrous benefits.
The lauric acid in coconut acts as a natural antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal which helps to support the microbiome in the gut. This means that it allows for more beneficial bacteria to thrive and help reduce the growth of lesser friendly microorganisms. It also helps to nourish the intestinal barrier due to its healthy fats that in turn supports our immune system too.
Supports a Trimmer Physique
Whilst coconut is high in fat it is important to understand that this doesn’t mean that eating it will make you fat. Indeed the medium-chain triglycerides otherwise known as MCT’s found in coconut help to support energy processes and provide muscles with crucial nutrients that they need to help repair and regenerate. And more muscle means a faster metabolism. Furthermore because it is high in fats that are satiating it means you are less likely to overeat and indulge in too much snacking. Research has also shown that diets rich in MCTs can result in greater loss of fat tissue so whilst portion control is essential (as you can overdo it even with healthy fats) coconut can be an excellent choice.
Steady Energy For Body and Brain
Coconut milk can help maintain more consistent energy levels because the natural healthy fat content means that it can help to slow down the release of glucose into the blood stream and that also supports better insulin (blood sugar hormone) control. Essentially, we don’t get the same high and low crash effect as we would do from high sugar or carbohydrate foods. Our brain also loves these healthy fats and the MCTs help to support the grey matter firing on all cylinders too.
Coconut milk is naturally sweet which means it can be great for desserts, drinks or recipes without needing added sugar. This can help to manage cravings and reaching for the less than healthy sugar fixes. I think it works wonderfully as a replacement in coffee or added into porridge to give an extra boost in the morning. Blend it up with some cacao and avocado and you have a readymade pudding in no time at all.
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