Coconut Milk Benefits For Health
Coconut is a sweet nut that can be found in all tropical islands, North and South America, Asia, Australia and lots more places. In fact almost everywhere you turn you can find a coconut or the canned coconut milk.
Coconut is a nut and the kernel is white with a brown outer layer. Of all the nuts you can find coconut is probably the largest and the sweetest. Cashews are a close second when it comes to the sweet flavor.
The coconut has many uses and is widely used throughout the world in many cuisines. There are thousands of dishes which include coconut whether it be the flaked coconut, toasted coconut or the coconut milk.
Some uses for coconut are:
- To drink as milk
- Rice and peas Jamaican style
- Sauces and stews - stewed peas Jamaican style, garlic coconut sauce
- Entres like Lobster in coconut stew, clams in coconut
- Deserts such as ice-cream, pies, cakes and more
A little about the coconut
There have been quite a lot of debate as to where the coconut originated but based on early documentation it is believed that the coco nucifera was originally from some part of Asia such as Southern Asia and Malaysia.
The nut was also found in the Caribbean and thrives well in the tropics. It seems that the debate as to the origin of the plant can be proved in the use of the plant. The Asians including Indians, Chinese and others were some of the first to use this nut in their food. In the Caribbean it is widely used in many ways for many things.
Every part of the coconut can be used:
- The husk which is the outer skin with all the hair is used to make coir. Coir is used to twine the inner spring of mattresses before they are wrapped with sponge. The use of coir is less today as inner spring mattresses become less popular. The coir can also be used to make rope and it is used in making mulch for gardening. If you use a saw to cut the tip of the husk off the coconut when dry you get a floor brush which people in the Caribbean used to shine their floors.
- The hard shell of the coconut is not edible but can be used to eat from if cut properly. This is done by cutting the coconut with a saw before removing the edible part. You then leave the shell to dry then polish with a piece of sandpaper. The shell of the coconut makes great bowls or cups. The shell also make great ornaments or jewelry.
- The nut of the coconut can be used to make many dishes including appetizers, entres and desserts.
- The water in the coconut can be had in two ways, either when the coconut is fully ripe or before the nut forms. The water before the nut is fully formed is known as jelly water and this is the best way to have it as all the nutrients and flavor is in the water.
Health benefits of coconut milk
Ulcers: In a study, rats with gastric ulceration (of course they were drug induced) were given coconut milk and coconut water. The set that was given the coconut milk saw a 54% reduction in ulcer while the set given the coconut water saw a 39% reduction.
Cardiovascular health: Can saturate fat be really good for your heart? The saturated fat found in coconut is called Lauric acid and this has been found to have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system.
Promote Good Cholesterol: The lauric acid found in coconut milk is found to increase high density lipoprotein which is the good cholesterol. This definitely will help to promote a better cholesterol balance by reducing the bad cholesterol.
Weight Maintenance: Coconut contains what are known as medium chain fatty acids which the body processes quite differently than other saturated fats. These fatty acids are essential to help maintaining a healthy body weight by not increasing bad cholesterol levels. This is only suggested when you already have the weight you require. This is not conclusive.
Calcium - 4% of the required daily value
Vitamin C - 11%
Iron - 22%
It is not recommended to have coconut milk in high quantities and the calories in one serving makes it a full meal. Have coconut milk in diluted quantities. To reduce the weight gain effects of coconut milk you should use it in meals instead of having it just so.