Is Coconut Milk Healthy?

This creamy and thick white liquid is derived from the flesh of mature coconuts. Whenever added as a cooking ingredient, it adds a creamy texture and imparts a delightful fragrance. In many countries, coconut milk is an important ingredient in recipes such as nasi lemakand curries. However, many are questioning the nutritional content and potential health effects. So let us answer the big question looming on everyone’s mind – is coconut milk healthy?

  1. Improved cardiovascular healthThe main concern for many is that coconut milk has high amounts of saturated fat. However, many studies have been done that actually contradicts this. Coconut milk fat has been proven to actually increase the “good” HDL cholesterol. HDL functions to protect the heart and higher levels will definitely mean better cardiovascular health.
  2. Great energy sourceThe opposite of coconut water, coconut milk is full of calories. As a matter of fact, coconut milk can contain up to 445 calories in just one cup! While this might sound like a bad thing, it is actually great news for those that are trying to build muscle or those trying to gain weight. Adding in coconut milk to your diet is a much healthier alternative for effective weight gain.
  3. Rich in ironAnother benefit of coconut milk is that it is also particularly rich in iron. A cup of coconut milk supplies up to 7.5 grams of iron which is almost the recommended daily amount for you. Iron is an important mineral for the body as it helps in the effective transport of oxygen throughout the body. The main component that transports oxygen in blood cells – hemoglobin is an iron compound. Coconut milk is an excellent source for iron and it helps to prevent iron deficiency which could cause shortness of breath and light-headedness.
  4. Boost immune systemsAnother notable component found in coconut milk is lauric acid. Lauric acid has natural anti-microbial properties and it is often derived to develop monolaurin. It is commonly used to treat various viral and bacterial infections. Consumption of coconut milk can boost your immune systems in fighting against bacteria and other microbes. Besides, it also works to cleanse your digestive tracts especially if you ingested something nasty.
  5. Weight managementWhile it does not directly make you lose a few pounds, coconut milk works in another way. Coconut milk contains a lot of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which is easier to be digested and absorbed by the body. What this brings is that it will be more likely to be used up as fuel rather than getting stored as fatty tissue. This helps to avoid any major weight gain without having to significantly alter your diet choice.
  6. Allergen-freeCoconut milk is free of common allergens. This means that it is an excellent substitute for many recipes that require dairy products or nuts. Using coconut milk means that the lactose intolerant will still get to enjoy smooth creamy food.

So, is coconut milk healthy? Well it certainly is if you consume it in moderation. Similar to any food source, overconsumption is never a good thing. Incorporating moderate amounts of coconut milk to your diet is the best way of enjoying its thick creamy goodness.