Coconuts grow abundantly in Polynesia, Malaysia, and southern Asia. Though many people believe coconuts are a type of nut, coconuts are actually one-seeded drupes, a fruit that contains a hard outer skin and a pulpy center.
Coconut milk is made by mixing grated coconut meat with water. Coconuts are very nutritious; they contain vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, C, and E and the minerals phosphorus, iron, sodium, magnesium, calcium, and selenium.
Coconut milk has numerous benefits for your hair, skin, and health. Additionally, because coconut milk is lactose-free, it’s a good milk substitute for those who are allergic to dairy and nut and grain-based milk.
Promotes Heart Health
Coconuts are a great source of lauric acid, which can help decrease cholesterol levels. A 2013 study showed that those who consumed a coconut milk porridge five days a week for eight weeks saw a drop in their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and an increase in their HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Additionally, coconut milk can help lower blood pressure and free plaque buildup from blood vessels, which may lower your risk of heart attack. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Do you want to lose some weight? Incorporating coconut milk into your diet may help you achieve this goal. Coconut milk contains a lot of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) fatty acids.
Fats help you feel full and satisfied, which can help prevent overeating, food cravings, snacking, and weight gain. MCT’s are also known to burn fat. Additionally, the medium-chain triglycerides found in coconut milk may boost metabolism.
Boosts the Immune System
Coconut milk possesses antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, and capric acid, which have anti-fungal, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties. Lauric acid is converted into monolaurin in the body, which may help fight against the bacteria and viruses that cause influenza, herpes, and HIV.
A study led by Dr. Gilda Sapphire Erguiza, a pediatric pulmonologist at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center located in Quezon City, children with pneumonia who were treated with coconut oil and antibiotics improved more than children treated with antibiotics alone.
Coconut milk contains calcium and phosphorus, both of which are important for maintaining bone health. Coconut milk consumption has been associated with a lower risk of osteoporosis, bone fractures, and arthritis.
In addition, coconut contains selenium, which is thought to prevent free radical damage and calm the inflammation that’s seen with arthritis.
Improves Nervous System Functioning
The minerals coconut milk contains have a significant impact on the electrolyte levels in your body. The nervous system uses the electrolyte fluid in your body to send messages from one part of the body to another.
By optimizing your electrolyte levels, your nervous system will function more effectively.
Prevents Signs of Premature Aging
Many of us worry about looking older. Consuming coconut milk regularly can actually help prevent the early signs of aging. The vitamin C coconut milk contains helps maintain your skin’s elasticity.
Coconut milk also contains copper, which helps prevent age spots, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
Follow this process to help prevent signs of aging. Soak six or seven almonds in water overnight. In the morning, peel off their skins, and grind them into a smooth paste.
Add five or six drops of coconut milk to the paste, and mix well. Apply the paste to your face, and allow it to stay on for 15 minutes before you rinse it off with cool water.
A well-hydrated digestive tract is essential in preventing or treating constipation. The healthy fats and electrolytes found in coconut milk nourish the digestive tract.
This can help improve overall gut health and prevent conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Anemia occurs when your body is deficient in iron. It is the most common blood condition in the United States. One glass of coconut milk contains nearly one-fourth of your daily recommended dose of iron.
If you have anemia, coconut milk can help relieve the fatigue associated with the condition.
You have probably heard about milk baths. Milk baths are known for moisturizing your skin and making it softer and more supple. Coconut milk baths moisturize the skin and help combat itchiness, redness, swelling, and dryness.
If you have dry skin, you might want to try a coconut milk bath to relieve it. To make a coconut milk bath, add one cup of coconut milk to your bath water.
You can also add one-half cup rose water and one cup of rose petals to your bath for additional benefits and a pleasant fragrance. Soak in the tub for 15 minutes to moisturize your skin. You can also put coconut milk directly onto your skin to prevent dryness.
Sunburns are itchy and painful. You can ease the discomfort from a sunburn with coconut milk. The oil and fats coconut milk contains reduce redness and swelling, restore moisture to your skin, and relieve pain.
Put a thin layer of cool coconut milk onto the affected areas of your skin before you go to sleep at night, and rinse it off in the morning. You can also apply coconut milk to your sunburn throughout the day.
Conditioner and Detangler
Coconut milk is a natural detangler. Rub some coconut milk into the length of your hair, and comb it out to easily work your way through tangles.
You can also use coconut milk as a leave-in conditioner. Put a small amount of coconut milk into the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together before putting the coconut milk into your hair, working your way from roots to tips.
You can learn how to make your own coconut milk leave-in conditioner by watching this YouTube video. This homemade leave-in conditioner requires few ingredients and is easy to make.
Treats Dry and Damaged Hair and Encourages Hair Growth
Coconut milk isn’t just moisturizing to your skin, it is also a great moisturizer for your hair. Applying coconut milk to your hair on a regular basis restores shine. It can also treat scalp itchiness and dandruff.
To reap these benefits, put some unsweetened coconut milk into the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, apply the coconut milk to your hair, working your way from the roots to the tips.
Leave the coconut milk on your hair for 20 to 30 minutes before shampooing it like you normally do. Repeat once or twice each week.
Coconut milk can also encourage hair growth by boosting your hair follicles. Mix one-fourth cup of coconut milk with one-half cup of water. For additional benefits, add a few drops of lavender essential oil. Lavender essential oil improves blood circulation and can help prevent hair loss.
The lavender essential oil will also add a pleasant fragrance to the mixture. Apply the mixture to your scalp, and allow it to sit for two hours before you rinse it out in the shower.
Coconut milk is not only a great milk substitute for those who are allergic to dairy, it is also very beneficial to your health, skin, and hair. Coconut milk can promote heart health, boost your immune system, help you lose weight, strengthen your hair, moisturize your skin, and improve digestion.
Try using coconut milk to reap some of the benefits described in this article.