While coconut receives plenty of credit health-wise, it is coconut water and coconut milk which oftentimes get the most attention. Coconut water is the natural liquid contained in the fruit itself, whereas coconut milk is derived from blending the fruit flesh.
There are several differences between coconut water and coconut milk, both of which are exceptionally healthy to our health.
On one hand, coconut water is valued for its hydrating abilities, reducing high cholesterol levels and regulating blood sugar. On the other hand, coconut milk is a great dairy replacement, which makes it perfect for general and vegan consumption.
Below, let’s discuss the differences and similarities between coconut milk and coconut water, as well as their uses.
Coconut Water Benefits
Coconut water is a naturally existing liquid produced by the fruit itself. Coconut water has an amazing nutritional content and is packed in calcium, manganese, potassium sodium, vitamin C and magnesium.
As for its benefits, coconut water is able to:
- Provide a high antioxidant content, thus protecting the body tissues.
- Eliminate free radicals from the body, thus reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
- Help diabetics in blood sugar regulation, due to its elevated magnesium content.
- Protect the kidneys from forming stones and keep the urinary tract healthy.
- Lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body.
- Offer incredible hydration, which makes it perfect as a pre or post workout drink.
Coconut Milk Benefits
Coconut milk comes from the fruit flesh, using coconut water as part of the preparation.
The benefits of coconut milk include:
- Weight management, due to its valuable content of medium-chain triglycerides.
- Digestive system support.
- Regulation of your cravings and providing a sense of fullness.
- Providing additional energy when you feel tired.
- Reducing LDL, or bad cholesterol levels.
- Reducing inflammation, due to its amazing antioxidant and lauric acid content.
- Offering a great deal of antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- A great replacement for lactose-intolerant individuals, although not as high in calcium as soy milk.
Coconut is super healthy for you, but the overconsumption of coconut may lead to some side-effects. Such include:
- Higher sugar levels. An oz. of dried coconut contains 2.1 grams of sugar, while the artificially sweetened coconut contains 10.4 grams of sugar.
- Greater fat content. Being rich in healthy fats, one oz. of coconut contains 18.3 grams of fat, 16.2 grams of which are saturated.
- Although rich in fiber, the overconsumption of coconut can cause digestive issues, like diarrhea, gas, and constipation.
- Intestinal issues. Coconut is a natural fighter against infections, in doing so, the fruit can trigger other issues, like intestinal distress.
- People allergic to coconut can experience skin irritation, hives, and sensitivity, which is why you should test the fruit out first before consuming it.
- If you naturally have an oily scalp, fat content found in coconut can cause dandruff in skin-sensitive individuals.
To determine whether coconut water and coconut milk make a good pairing in your daily diet, it is best you consult a nutritionist first.
Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe
If you are a fan of coconut milk, below is a simple recipe to help you prepare this drink at home.
- 4 cups of water
- 2 cups of freshly shredded coconut
First, heat the water without bringing it to boil. Next, extract all coconut flesh from the fruit and blend the pieces in a blender. Use a higher level of blending so you get a smooth and creamy texture. Strain the liquid with a drainer and/or a cloth and transfer to clean bowl.
All done and ready for consumption!
Keep the milk refrigerated for up to three days. As for coconut water, sip it throughout the day, but make sure you don’t exaggerate the content.