Coconut, which belongs to the palm family, is a very popular natural food that is available in abundant in India, Malaysia and Asian countries. Coconut, is often considered as fruit and sometimes as a nut, it is actually a drupe – one seeded. A mature coconut tree bears around 100 coconuts in a single harvest and it will be healthy up to 14 harvests. Coconut milk can be extracted from the coconuts, that are very nutritious for children and adults.
When you break open the coconut, the white edible part, is very nutritious, that you can just eat it raw. They are rich in fiber, Vitamin C, B1, B3, B5, B6 and C. They also contain essential minerals like Iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, phosphorous and magnesium.
100ml of coconut milk contains 150 calories, 1.5g protein, 3.4g carbohydrate and 13.2g fat (saturate).
How to extract coconut milk
There are two ways by which you can extract coconut milk from white coconut flesh.
- First, you need to break open the coconut.
- Grate the white part from the shell.
- Soak the grated coconut in hot water.
- The cream from grated coconut rises on the top and can be skimmed off.
- The remaining water/liquid, can be strained using a cheesecloth.
The thick milk is usually used in making desserts and creams. The strained liquid is used in making curries and gravies.
- Break open the coconut.
- Grated the white edible part.
- Add it to a blender.
- Add little water.
- Blend well.
- Use a cheesecloth to strain and collect the extract.
- If required, add little more water and blend again.
- Repeat the process twice.
This milk can be mixed in desserts, curries and also directly consumed like milk.
Health benefits of coconut milk
When some people are allergic to cow’s milk or soya milk, coconut milk can act as a supplement. Though, it can be consumed only thrice or four times in a week because of its fat content, it gives plenty of nutrition. If you would like to consume it every day, make a diluted coconut milk and consume it. It can benefit children in weight gain and vitamin supplementing. Lactose allergic children can consume coconut milk 4 times a week, either diluted or thick. Sweetener can be added for more taste.
Rich in Lauric acid
The fat in coconut milk, is in the form of Medium Chain Saturated Fatty Acids (MCFA). This conatines an essential acid called lauric acids, which is highly beneficial for a human body. When coconut milk is consumed, it is converted or broken down into a highly beneficial compound called Monolaurin. It is a natural anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent that eliminates and destroys harmful bacteria and viruses from the body.
MCFA is a type of fat that is quickly absorbed and used up by the body. So there are very less chances of the fat getting stored in your body. It also does not cause any heart related health issues. When coconut milk is consumed, it can give good amount of energy for children.
Improves blood circulation
Coconut milk, when consumed in moderation regularly, helps to reduce blood pressure and improves the blood circulation in the body. It also helps to reduce the bad cholesterol in the body and increase the good cholesterol (HDL).
The essential minerals in coconut milk, helps to combat stress and anxiety effectively. Magnesium is a mineral that helps to reduce stress and relaxes the strained muscles in the body. This boosts the activeness of the muscles and helps children to focus more on activities and reduces tiredness.
Prevents and treats diarrhea
The high amounts of electrolytes present in coconut milk, helps to prevent dehydration. They give instant energy and treats diarrhea in children. Diluted coconut milk can be administered to children in hot weather and before going out to play.
Helps weight loss
Coconut milk can be given regularly to children who are obese. The fat in coconut milk is absorbed quickly and used up quickly, so there is no worry of fat deposits in the body. It also gives a feeling of satisfaction when consumed with a little sweetener. It can keep the tummy full for long time and prevents the craving to eat more junk or snacks.
The essential fatty acids supply required fat content to the body and keeps the digestive system active. It helps to detoxify and improve metabolism. It improves the function of liver and kidney that help to break fat inside our body.
When children consumed milk extracted from coconuts, it can prevent constipation and difficulty in passing stools. It hydrates the intestines and the body. It also treats and prevents Irritable Bowel syndrome (IBS).
Apart from the coconut milk from the coconut, the coconut water which can be taken once the coconut is opened, contains high amounts of electrolytes that is an effective energy booster and coolant.