Coconut milk is an extremely nutritious and delicious byproduct that is obtained from coconut. Its consistency is an opaque white thick liquid that resembles milk.
It is extracted by shredding the white fleshy coat of a mature coconut. It is rich in nutrients that are beneficial for our health.
Coconut milk is available in three varieties:
Thick coconut milk: Has a rich content of fat and is used for the preparation of desserts and thick sauces.
Thin coconut milk: Contains lesser fat content as compared to the thick one. It has 20% fat consistency and is used to make thin sauces and soup.
Skimmed coconut milk: The fat molecules are removed almost completely so that it contains less than 20% of fat.
It is very popular in Southeast Asia mostly in Singapore and Malaysia and South Asia mainly in South India and Sri Lanka, where there is abundant availability of coconut trees.
Benefits of coconut milk for health
Coconut milk is very beneficial as it contains nutrients like fats, calcium, vitamins, proteins, magnesium. Daily intake of coconut milk in our routine helps to boost our immunity, prevents obesity and heart problems.
Weight loss: Coconut milk is very helpful for people who are suffering from obesity. It is a good substitute for cow’s milk.The MCT’s (Medium Chain Triglycerides) fats present in coconut milk helps to reduce belly fat. Skimmed coconut milk which contains less than 3.75% of fats and is preferred the most by obese people.
Heart problems: There are two types of cholesterols that affect the heart. The Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) is bad cholesterol and is harmful. High-density Lipoprotein (HDL) is the good cholesterol that leads to the proper functioning of the heart. The fats present in coconut milk increase the HDL and reduces the bad cholesterol and this significantly reduces the chances of getting a heart attack.
Boost immune system: Coconut milk contains lauric acid which helps to enhance the immune system of our body. It is also found that lauric acid contains anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is good for cancer patients as it also stimulates the growth of healthy cells.
Prevents ulcers: Coconut milk contains lauric acid which helps to prevent the formation of ulcers in the stomach. Due to its anti-ulcer and antibacterial properties, the consumption of coconut milk is very beneficial for people suffering from this disease. Drinking of this milk twice in a week helps to recover faster.
Benefits of coconut milk for hair
There are multiple benefits of coconut milk for hair. It contains fatty acids, proteins and calcium which help in nourishing hair. People are very conscious about their hair and keep looking for the right natural treatment to combat the various hair related issues faced.
Dry and damaged hair: Coconut milk is a blessing for the people who are worried about their dry and damaged hair, dry scalp, split-ends and frizzy rough hair. The fatty acid present in the coconut milk makes it a wonderful moisturizer. Applying home-made coconut milk and massaging for 5 minutes followed by a hot towel wrap is the best way to nourish your hair.
Hair growth: As coconut milk is rich in nutrients like minerals and proteins, it helps in nourishing the hair follicles and strengthening the hair. This promotes the growth of long and healthy hair, enhancing the volume of hair by preventing hair loss.
The best way to use coconut milk for hair growth:
- Take some amount of coconut milk and warm it slightly.
- Massage it from the calp to the tips for 15 minutes, leave it for 45 minutes.
- Rinse and wash it with shampoo.
Premature greying of hair: Greying of hair is caused when the hair cells stop producing the pigment which gives color to the hair. The follicles require Vitamin B12, C, E to produce this pigment. Post 30, the ability of cells to produce the pigment reduces. Coconut milk is rich in these vitamins so it is beneficial to use it to stop premature greying of hair.
It can be used as follows:
- Mix coconut milk with Amla oil in equal proportion and leave it for an hour.
- Apply the mixture on the scalp and have a massage and again leave it for an hour
- Rinse it with warm water.
Coconut milk benefits for face and skin
People are always concerned about the health of their skin. Acne can give sleepless nights to youngsters. We are always seeking ways to have healthy and glowing skin. Coconut milk contains all the ingredients required to rejuvenate the skin.
Prevents acne: Acne mostly occurs to those who have oily skin. Due to hormonal changes, oily skin is common in adolescent age. Coconut milk contains antimicrobial properties that act as a cleanser for the skin.
Moisturizing the skin: Coconut milk acts as a moisturizer for the skin. People facing problems of dryness, itchiness, redness, swelling on the face can use it as a moisturizer to make the skin healthy and supple.
The best way to apply coconut milk on the skin:
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- ½ cup of rose water
- 1 cup of rose petals
Mix these three in warm water and take a bath with it.
Prevents premature aging: Due to the presence of a high level of vitamin C and copper, it helps to maintain the flexibility and elasticity of the skin. Those who are tensed about wrinkles and age spots, applying coconut milk once in a week can be helpful.
- Soak overnight 6-7 almonds, peel off
- Coconut milk
Grind the almonds into a smooth paste and mix it with 5-6 drops of coconut milk. Apply it on the face for 15 minutes and wash it.
Prevents sunburn: Fatty acids present in the coconut milk help to prevent redness and itchiness on the sunburnt area. The moisturizing properties moisturize the area and give relief to the skin. It is applied to the skin as a sunscreen while going out in the sun.
Side effects of coconut milk
If something has benefits, it can have side effects too. There is no doubt that coconut milk has many health benefits but too much consumption of milk can be problematic. Due to the presence of high levels of fats and calories, excess intake of milk may result in gaining weight.
It is harmful to people having irritable bowel syndrome because coconut milk contains fermentable carbohydrates. This can cause trouble in the digestive system like diarrhea and constipation.
Due to the presence of carbohydrates, it may increase the sugar level in our body. So limit your intake to an acceptable amount and enjoy this marvelous drink.
Homemade coconut milk
Coconut milk can easily be extracted in our homes and the procedure is very simple. homemade coconut milk is free from additives that might often be found in sore and bought ones.
- Take freshly grated coconut.
- Put it in the grinder and add 1 cup of water and grind it.
- Place the paste in the muslin cloth and squeeze all the milk in a bowl
- Repeat this process again for one more time.