Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Health Benefits of Coconut Milk

Hi my health conscious friends!

I just recently purchased a carton of coconut milk from the local health foods store and I'm thinking about making this a permanent milk choice. As many of you may already know, there are a number if alternatives to dairy out there. Rice, soy, and almond to name a few. But what makes coconut milk special relative to those? First of all, those are not viable options as well for many due to allergies.  Second of all, personally, I find it difficult to incorporate coconut into my diet while it's very easy to incorporate soy, rice, and almonds.  So two easy ways for me  to take advantage of the nutrition from coconut is via its milk and oil.  I used this milk in my coffee in the mornings (along with stevia), in my curry, in my buckwheat pancakes, and even in a smoothie.  As you can see, this milk has proved to be very versatile just like any other milk/dairy substitute.  I chose the unsweetened kind and drank it with some Oreos (I know, tsk tsk) and it was just the right balance of sugary sweetness! (Of course, I don't recommend indulgence in sugary sweetness often.)

The Health Benefits of Coconut Milk

Coconut [milk] can aid in weight loss. It is high in saturated fat which consists of short-chained and medium-chained fatty acids that metabolize into energy as opposed to being stored as fat or posing any heart health problems so it is believed that consuming coconut can aid in weight loss.  

Coconut [milk] is high in nutrients such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, selenium, iron, and B vitamins.

Coconut [milk] supports a healthy immune system.  It contains lauric acid which is characteristic of anti-viral, anti-fungal properties. 

Coconut [milk] has the ability to support a healthy cardiovascular system.  Despite past misconceptions about saturated fat, coconut, which is high in saturated fat, has proven to help lower the risk of heart disease in the Asian populations that have consumed coconut in high amounts for many years.  This type of saturated fat is ideal as opposed to the fat found in animals which, when consumed in large enough quantities, can cause serious heart health problems.

Coconut [milk] makes an ideal hair and skin conditioner.  Applying it directly to your hair will supply hair with conditioning that will encourage healthy hair growth. Not only is it good for your hair and health, but this also makes it ideal for the environment and your bank account.  Need to moisturize dry, winter skin? How about a coconut milk bath? Milk baths are great and used in spas.  Using coconut milk instead will help repair wrinkles and sagging and provide some ultra moisturizing (and save you from having to buy different kinds of milks unless you just want to do so). 

I am transitioning to "green" and "holistically healthy"  hair and skin products myself and love the idea of coconut milk as an easy way to care for my external health as well as my internal health. 

What I Use

The brand I purchased is called "So Delicious" Unsweetened Coconut Milk, certified organic and non-GMO.  Good stuff!  I have purchased canned coconut milk in the past to use strictly for cooking and it never occurred to me at that time that I could use coconut milk in so many other ways.  I'm not a fan of the canned stuff anymore. I'm not a fan of canned anything anymore if I can help it.  I'm really loving this organic brand and even if I don't stay loyal to it, I think I will stay loyal to organic coconut milk in general.  

Please share your thoughts, stories, and experiences regarding coconut milk. I'd love to read them as I'm sure the readers would as well.  

Word to the wise: Consume in moderation as it does contain additives.  And make sure to detox regularly by drinking ample amounts of water and green tea, etc. 

Healthy is Happy and Happy is Healthy! xoxo!

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