Along with almond milk and whole, full fat, grass-fed cow’s milk, coconut milk is a favorite in our house. My husband will drink it by the glass, and I love using it in our bulletproof coffee and paleo desserts. Although it may taste sinfully sweet, the nutritional benefits of coconut milk are actually quite impressive!
Coconut Milk Nutrition Facts
Coconut milk is high in calories due to its saturated fat content. Of course, saturated fat is what also causes many of the benefits of coconut milk. Each 1 cup of coconut milk contains:
- Calories – 550
- Carbs- 13 g
- Fat – 57 g
- Fiber – 5 g
- Protein – 5 g
- Copper – 32% DV
- Folate – 10% DV
- Iron – 22% DV
- Magnesium – 22% DV
- Manganese – 110% DV
- Potassium – 18% DV
- Selenium – 21% DV
- Vitamin C – 11% DV
What Does Coconut Milk Taste Like?
Coconut milk comes from the white meat of coconuts. Coconut milk is thick and creamy in texture. It’s sweet and slightly nutty. Coconut milk shouldn’t be confused with coconut water. Coconut water occurs naturally in liquid form, whereas coconut milk is made from the flesh of the coconut in combination with water.
Health Benefits of Coconut Milk
Coconut milk’s vitamin and mineral content make it useful for a variety of issues. Here are the top 5 benefits of coconut milk:
Helps with Weight Loss
Coconut milk is high in MCTs, which when consumed regularly, help burn fat and increase energy. Coconut milk is also very filling, which makes it helpful for portion control and easing hunger when trying to lose weight. When paired with a good protein powder, coconut milk can help serve as a meal replacement.
Improves Heart Health
About half of the fat in coconut milk is lauric acid, a fatty acid shown to improved cholesterol levels and heart health. Studies have shown that people who regularly consume coconut milk see decreased levels of LDL (the “bad cholesterol”) and increased levels of HDL (the “good cholesterol”).
Additionally, the vitamins and minerals contained in coconut milk promote relaxation and promote healthy circulation.
Coconut milk is rich in electrolytes. A hydrated digestive system fights constipation and protects against IBS. The healthy fats in coconut milk also boost overall gut health.
The high content of electrolytes, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals in coconut milk work together to boost hydration, promote brain health, and reduce stress, all which contribute to a healthy energy and combat excess fatigue.
Fights Against Joint Inflammation
Since coconut milk is high in MCTs, it can be helpful in decreasing inflammation in the joints, which is the cause of problems like arthritis and other painful joint problems.
Where to Find Coconut Milk
When looking for coconut milk to purchase, you want to look for the purist option available. Ideally, you’ll be able to find coconut milk that contains only coconut milk. The next best option is coconut milk with a small amount of coconut water added.
I purchase canned coconut milk here.
Another option for obtaining coconut milk is by simply making it yourself! Homemade coconut milk involves the process of blending coconut flakes with hot (not boiling) water, then straining out the coconut pulp. Here’s another easy recipe for making coconut milk from coconut cream.
Alternative to Coconut Milk
While the nutritional benefits of coconut milk may leave you wanting it by the gallon, many people are not able to consume coconut milk due to allergies. In this case, camel milk might be a worthwhile, dairy-free alternative.
Coconut Milk Uses
Coconut milk can be used as a milk substitute in most uses and recipes. We enjoy it as a dairy-free alternative to coffee creamer and in a glass by itself aside warm grain free chocolate chip cookies. Here are some of our other favorite recipes using coconut milk:
- Cultured Coconut Mango Popsicles
- Coconut and Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
- Raspberry Lemon Semifreddo
- Double Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream
- Vanilla Chai Latte Panna Cotta
- Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”
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