Coconut Milk – The “Key” that Gets You LEAN
Coconut milk is creamy and sweet, causing one to think it might not actually be good for you. However, it’s often referred to as a “miracle liquid” because its nutrition offers great benefits when it comes to recovery, immunity, fighting inflammation, and preventing disease. Its relatives coconut oil and coconut water are also among some of the world’s healthiest foods and for good reason; they help keep you healthy, strong, and lean!
That’s why we chose to have it as our main source (in powder form, of course) of protein in our FitTeam LEAN. Curious to know more about its nutritional value and benefits? Read on!
What is Coconut Milk?
Coconut milk is a liquid naturally found inside of mature coconuts, stored within the “meat”. When you crack open a fresh coconut, the milky white substance that leaks out is natural coconut water, but the liquid that comes from blending and straining the coconut meat is the thicker “milk”. (The process of getting the milk is similar to “milking” nuts.)
What’s the Difference between Coconut Milk and Coconut Water?
As a coconut matures, the water inside is used as part of the development of the coconut meat; the older it gets, the more meat and the less water, so mature coconuts tend to be better producers of coconut milk, while younger coconuts (around five–seven months) are the best producers of coconut water. Coconut water has greater amounts of sugar and electrolytes (great for hydration), while coconut milk is higher in healthy saturated fatty acids (from coconut oil) and calories.
Coconut milk also contains beneficial fat called lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that’s easily absorbed and used by the body for energy, lowers cholesterol levels, and improves blood pressure.
Full-fat coconut milk is higher in calories (grams of fat naturally have 9 calories compared to protein and carbs with have 4 cals/g), it’s better to be mindful of your serving size compared to regular milk or coconut water.
What are the Health Benefits of Coconut Milk?
1. Improves Heart Health
As we mentioned before, lauric acid found in coconut milk is a fatty acid with the ability to lower bad cholesterol levels and has antibacterial and antiviral power. Not only that, coconut milk is a significant source of magnesium which is known to help with relaxation and tension, aiding in circulation, blood flow, and the ability for the heart to function.
2. Aids in Fat Loss and Muscle Gain
Studies find that medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) fatty acids such as those found in coconut milk and coconut oil increase energy expenditure and help enhance physical performance. Not only that, the caloric density of this healthy fat keeps you fuller, longer, reducing hunger.
3. Prevents Fatigue and Helps with Recovery
Coconut milk also provides important minerals and nutrients such as the electrolytes magnesium and potassium to help the body recover post-exercise and prevent dehydration-related ailments (i.e. cramps, diarrhea, heat exhaustion).
4. Improves Digestion
In order for our digestive tract to operate optimally, it must be hydrated. “Coconut milk nourishes the digestive lining due to its electrolytes and healthy fats, improving gut health and preventing conditions like IBS” and constipation.
Now you know why we use it as an ingredient in FITTEAM LEAN and have even more reasons to add coconut (especially the milk) to your nutritional arsenal!