10 Surprising Health Benefits of Coconut Milk
Aside from making foods creamier and tastier, coconut milk is a healthy addition to various food preparations. Here’s what you’ll get for every cup (240 grams) of what the Brazilians call leite de coco.
Coconut milk is produced by grating a mature coconut and squeezing it with the use of cheesecloth or both bare hands. The milky white liquid called gata in the Philippines and santan in Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei is used in various food recipes such as delicious curries, desserts and sauces. Aside from making foods creamier and tastier, coconut milk is a healthy addition to different food preparations.
1. Helps the body maintain blood sugar levels (Manganese – 110%)
Poor glucose tolerance may mean a deficiency of manganese in the body. Coconut milk is an excellent source of this essential mineral. Nuts, legumes and whole grains are some of the highest sources of manganese.
2. Keeps blood vessels and skin elastic and flexible (Copper – 32%)
The mineral copper is critically important for many bodily functions. Together with vitamin C, it helps keep blood vessels and skin elastic and flexible.
3. Helps build strong bones (Phosphorus – 24%)
No, coconut milk isn’t packed with calcium; it is rich in phosphorus, a nutrient which the body needs so little of but is just as important as the best-known bone mineral—calcium. Phosphorus often needs to be taken with calcium especially in the prevention of bone loss as it supplies the body with phosphate, the main element of the bone structure.
4. Helps prevent anemia (Iron – 22%)
Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies among individuals worldwide. Lack of iron in the body prevents it from creating enough hemoglobin to keep adequate levels of oxygen in the red blood cells which causes anemia. Every cup of coconut milk can supply the body with almost a quarter of the daily value of iron.
5. Relaxes nerves and muscles (Magnesium – 22%)
Every time you feel muscle soreness or muscle cramps, have some food with coconut milk. Its rich magnesium content might help relieve the problem. One of the functions of magnesium is being a chemical gate blocker in many nerve cells. Without magnesium in the body, nerve cells can become over active as a result of calcium which activates the nerves. Over active nerve cells can cause over contraction of muscles.
6. Helps in weight control (Fiber – 21%)
Good news to people who are trying to lose weight. Coconut milk helps you feel fuller faster with the help of its rich fiber content.
7. Reduces risk of joint inflammation (Selenium – 21%)
Selenium is one of the antioxidants. By controlling free radicals, it helps relieve symptoms of arthritis. Low selenium levels in the body were also found to people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
8. Helps lower high blood pressure levels (Potassium – 18%)
Individuals who are concerned with their blood pressure will have no problem reaching for foods enriched with coconut milk as it contains potassium, the blood pressure-lowering mineral.
9. Helps keep immune system healthy (Vitamin C – 11%)
Coconut milk can help ward off coughs and colds by helping the immune system stay in top shape by providing an additional supply of vitamin C in the body.
10. Promotes prostate health (Zinc – 11%)
The mineral zinc may play an important role in prostate health as preliminary studies have shown that it helps slow down the activation of cancer cells.
Nutrient data source: USDA