Who has not eaten coconut occasionally? It basically consists of the fruit of the coconut tree, which is known by the name of Cocos nucifera and belonging to the family of palm trees (Aracaceae). It is commonly grown in South Asia, in Polynesia and in Malaysia. On its consumption, in Sanskrit the coconut tree is known as "Kalpa vriksha" precisely because all its parts can be used. In fact, translated means "The tree that gives everything necessary to live" .
Its curious name was chosen by Spanish and Portuguese explorers who came to America, and who observed the beards and eyes that appear on the walnut shell when it dries, as it reminded them of the popular character that scares children.
It is a delicious and tremendously nutritious fruit, from which it is possible to take advantage of all its meat and its fleshy layer for the preparation of three popular and well-known recipes: coconut oil (very interesting when applied to the skin), the coconut water and the coconut milk .
However, we should not confuse coconut milk with coconut water. The first consists of the liquid found in the interior of mature coconuts, already formed the pulp and accumulated fats; while coconut water is found inside the immature coconuts. Moreover, we must distinguish coconut milk from coconut oil itself.
What is coconut milk?
Coconut milk consists of the crushing of mature coconut meat , that accumulates in its interior an oily and tremendously aromatic white pulp, which can also be consumed whole (or solid).
This delicious liquid can be consumed fresh from the same fresh coconut used as a container, or purchased as a packaged beverage in many supermarkets, herbalists and specialty stores.
Benefits of the most important coconut milk
Coconut milk is a drink very rich in benefits and properties , not only nutritional or nutritious, but also curative and preventive.
Incredible nutritional wealth
Coconut milk is a balanced drink with a high content of essential nutrients, among which we can mention:
- Carbohydrates : 100 grams of coconut milk provide 5 grams of carbohydrates.
- Proteins : 100 grams provide 2.30 gr. of proteins, a content greater than that of other fruits.
- Fat : it is a drink especially rich in Saturated fats , hence its consumption should always be moderate. 100 grams of coconut milk provide almost 24 gr. of fat, of which 21 gr. They are saturated fat.
Very rich in vitamins and minerals
In addition to carbohydrates, proteins and fats, coconut milk is an interesting beverage in terms of its content in other essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamins : especially its contribution in group B vitamins, which exert important nutritional and energy functions of our nervous system. Among these vitamins we can mention B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6. It also provides vitamin C.
- Minerals : it is extremely rich in minerals and trace elements, among which we can mention potassium, phosphorus, selenium and chromium.
Its sugar content is low
Because of its sweet taste we tend to think that both coconut water and coconut milk have a very high content of sugars. Nevertheless, It does not contain glucose or fructose , despite its sweet taste. In fact, it only has 2% sugar.
Does not contain lactose
As you surely know, the number of people suffering from lactose intolerance , an intolerance to milk sugar that prevents proper and proper digestion, so the consumption of dairy products rich in this compound tends to cause digestive and stomach problems.
Coconut milk is a good substitute for cow's milk , Mainly because it does not contain any lactose . For this reason it has become an excellent choice for vegans, as it is not only useful for making milkshakes, but can be used as an alternative to bake delicious cakes and breads.
Protects the body from infections and viruses
Coconut milk is rich in lauric acid , a saturated fatty acid of medium chain that becomes a compound known as monolaurin, which stands out as a antibacterial and antiviral , acting as protector of our body against infections and viruses.
It does not get as fat as you think
It is often thought that coconut milk and coconut in general get very fat due mainly to its high content of saturated fats. However, being richer in medium chain saturated fatty acids, your fats are metabolized more quickly as energy in our liver , so they are less likely to be stored.
In fact, they tend to be rapidly metabolized in our body, converted into energy and therefore never converted into body fat (as, for example, vegetable unsaturated fats in oilseeds would do).
Always your consumption should be moderate
Precisely because of its content in saturated fats its consumption should be moderate and never daily , although there is no doubt that it becomes a very nutritious natural option.