Coconut milk: Benefits and uses for health


Coconut milk is a nutrient-dense beverage that is often substituted for cow's milk. This article will give us a detailed look at coconut milk and its benefits.

1. What is coconut milk?


Coconut milk comes from the white flesh of a mature coconut. Milk has a thick consistency and rich creamy texture. Thai and Southeast Asian cuisines often include this milk. It is also common in Hawaii, India, and some South American and Caribbean countries. Unlike coconut water, coconut milk must undergo processing with condensed coconut meat mixed with water to make, so the water content is about 50%. In contrast, coconut water is about 94% water. It contains less fat and fewer nutrients than coconut milk.
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2. How is coconut milk made?


Coconut milk is classified as thick or liquid based on its consistency and degree of processing. Condensed coconut milk is coconut meat that is finely ground and boiled or simmered in water. The mixture is then filtered through a cheesecloth to create a thick coconut milk. Thin coconut milk is after making condensed coconut milk, the grated coconut remaining in the thin cloth is simmered in water. The pressing process is then repeated to produce liquid milk.
In traditional dishes, condensed coconut milk is used in desserts and sauces. Thin coconut milk is used in soups and liquid sauces. Most canned coconut milk contains a combination of condensed and liquid milk.

3. Is coconut milk good?


The answer is yes. Since coconut milk is a calorie-dense food, about 93% of its calories come from fat, including saturated fats known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
Coconut milk is also a good source of several vitamins and minerals. One cup (240g) of coconut milk contains:
Calories: 552 Fat: 57 grams Protein: 5 grams Carbs: 13 grams Fiber: 5 grams Vitamin C: 11% RDI Folate: 10% RDI Iron: 22% RDI Magnesium: 22% RDI Potassium: 18% RDI Copper: 32% RDI Manganese: 110% RDI Selenium: 21% RDI In addition, some experts believe that coconut milk contains unique proteins that may offer health benefits.

4. The uses of coconut milk

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4.1 Does coconut milk have an impact on weight and metabolism? There is some evidence that the MCT fats in coconut water may help with weight loss, boosting metabolism between body composition. Unlike long-chain fats, MCTs travel from the digestive tract directly to the liver, where they are used to produce energy or ketones. They are less likely to be stored as fat. In one small study, overweight men who consumed 20 grams of MCT oil at breakfast ate 272 fewer calories at lunch than those who consumed corn oil. Furthermore, MCTs can increase calorie expenditure and fat burning. However, the small amounts of MCTs found in coconut milk do not appear to have any significant effect on body weight or metabolism. A few controlled studies in obese people and people with heart disease found that eating coconut oil reduced waist circumference. But coconut oil had no effect on body weight.
4.2 Coconut milk works for cholesterol and heart health Because coconut milk has a lot of saturated fat. One study found it may be beneficial for people with normal or high cholesterol levels. An 8-week study in 60 men found that coconut milk porridge lowers bad LDL cholesterol more than soy milk porridge. Coconut milk porridge also increased good HDL cholesterol by 18%, compared with just 3% for soy. Most studies on coconut oil also find improvements in “LDL cholesterol,” “good” HDL, or triglycerides.
4.3 Other health benefits of drinking coconut milk Coconut milk may also work as:
Reduce inflammation: Animal studies show that coconut extracts and coconut oil reduce inflammation and swelling in mice and injured rats. Reduces Stomach Ulcer Size: In one study, coconut milk reduced stomach ulcer size in rats by 54% Fights viruses and bacteria: Test-tube studies show that lauric acid can reduce stomach ulcers levels of viruses and bacteria causing the infection. This includes the bacteria that reside in your mouth. However, these studies are not all about the effects of coconut milk.

5. Risk of side effects


Allergy to coconut is quite rare compared to allergy to tree nuts and peanuts but it is quite possible. Some digestive disorders experts recommend that people with FODMAP intolerance limit coconut milk to 1/2 cup (120ml) per serving. Many canned coconut milks contain bisphenol A (BPA). BPA has been linked to fertility problems and cancer. Therefore, you should buy from certain brands that use BPA-free packaging if you choose to consume canned coconut water.

6. How to use coconut milk


Although coconut milk is very nutritious, it is also high in calories. Keep this in mind when adding it to foods or using it in recipes. Here are some ideas to add it to your diet:
You can add a few tablespoons in your coffee to have a latte with coconut milk. Add half a cup (120 ml) to a smoothie or protein shake. Pour a small amount over berries or sliced ​​papaya. Add a few tablespoons of coconut milk to oatmeal or other cooked cereal.
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7. How to choose the best coconut milk


Here are a few tips to choose the best coconut milk:
Read the labels carefully: Whenever you intend to buy, choose a product that contains only coconut and water. Choose BPA-free cans: Buy coconut milk from companies that use BPA-free cans. Use cartons: Unsweetened coconut milk in cartons typically contains less fat and fewer calories than canned options. Homemade Coconut Milk: For the freshest, healthiest coconut milk, make your own by mixing 1.5 cups (470ml) of unsweetened shredded coconut with 4 cups of hot water, then straining through a piece. cheesecloth. Coconut milk is a delicious, nutritious and versatile food that is widely used. It can also be made easily at home. Coconut milk is full of important nutrients like manganese and copper. Include moderate amounts in your diet to promote heart health and provide other benefits as well.

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Reference source: healthline.com
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