Thursday, 13 October 2016

8 Top Hair, Skin & Health Benefits Of Coconut Milk


Living in a coconut farm all my life and depending on coconuts for livelihood, it is a great joy for me to write anything related to coconut and coconut milk in no exception. We literally start almost every morning breaking a coconut and extracting the coconut milk because we use coconut milk extensively in our cooking. Coconut milk is very very soothing on the stomach and has wonderful health benefits and medicinal uses. Coconut milk is called Nariyal ka doodh in Hindi, Thengai Paal in Tamil, Kobbari Paalu in Telugu and Tengina Halu in Kannada. Coconut milk has a wonderful creamy texture and buttery taste which makes many people think of it as an ingredient that is fattening and bad to be eating every day. We get contradicting advise from everyone about most of the ingredients we use including coconut milk, some say it is good and some say it is fattening. I always prefer to follow the traditions, if my grandma and mom used an ingredient, then I continue to use it. We have been using coconut milk and coconut oil in our cooking literally forever, in my humble opinion we should never let go of the traditions that has been followed for thousands of years, especially ingredients like coconut milk which is very nourishing both when taken internally and applied externally. Coconut Milk Nutrition: 100 grams of coconut milk has around 230 calories, 263 mg of potassium, 2.3 grams of protein, 16 mg of calcium, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 37 mg of magnesium, 2.8 mg of vitamin C and 1.6 mg of iron.  It is also rich in phosphorus, copper and B vitamins. How is coconut milk made? Coconut milk is made by scraping the fresh coconut and grinding it in with water to a coarse paste in a blender. To extract the milk, pour the ground paste in a cloth and squeeze it, at home I use jaggery strainer (which is a two layered strainer ) but you can also use a clean thin muslin cloth for extracting the milk. Here are some of the health benefits of coconut milk: 1. Coconut Milk For Heart Health: The main reason we are advised not to include coconut milk is because it contains saturated fat. But the truth is coconut milk can actually lower cholesterol levels, coconut milk is rich in lauric acid which helps lower LDL cholesterol. You can read the study that proves it here. 2. Coconut Milk For Strong Healthy Bones: Next to calcium, phosphorus which is found abundant in our body is very essential for building strong bones. Coconut milk is rich in phosphorus, 1/4 cup of coconut milk contains around 60 mg of phosphorus. Especially we women should include coconut milk regularly in our diet for our bone health to prevent osteoporosis and arthritis. 3. Coconut Milk For A Calm Mind: Coconut milk not only gives us strong bones, it also gives us a calm mind as well. We all know that magnesium plays a major part in keeping our mind relaxed and magnesium deficiency is more common than we realize. Some of the common symptoms of magnesium deficiency are insomnia, restlessness, irritability, fatigue, cramps and memory loss. We can avoid magnesium deficiency very easily by including coconut milk in our diet as 1/4 cup coconut milk contains around 22 mg of magnesium! 4. Coconut Milk For Weight Loss: Coconut milk unlike processed fatty foods contains medium chain saturated fatty acids. Medium chain saturated fatty acid has been proven to increase energy expenditure, prevent fatigue and improve physical performance, it has also been proven to stimulate weight loss, you can read the study that proves it here. In addition, coconut milk is very very filling and is very nutrient dense too. 5. Coconut Milk For Immunity: Lauric acid in the coconut milk has anti bacterial, anti viral, anti fungal properties. Coconut milk is also rich in antioxidants which prevent free radical damage and helps build immunity. Everyone can consume coconut milk; babies, aged people, even diabetic people can consume pure homemade coconut milk in moderation. 6. Coconut Milk For Ulcer: At home, if anyone is suffering from stomach ulcers, the first go to remedy is a mixture of manathakkali keerai and coconut milk, it gives amazing relief from ulcers. You can read about it here. Also surprisingly I found a study that proves this traditional use, you can read the study here 7. Coconut Milk For Hair: I love to use coconut milk for my hair, especially I love to use it in hair packs. I also make my own coconut cream at home for using it on my hair. Coconut is a great hair conditioner and after using coconut milk on your hair, you will find your hair really soft, smooth and shiny. Also if your hair gets tangled often, coconut milk will greatly prevent tangling and it also promotes hair growth. I have given different ways of using coconut milk for hair below. 8. Coconut Milk For Skin: Coconut milk is very very soothing on the skin and the number of ways it can be used for skin care is endless. From face masks to cleansers to nourishing baths, coconut milk is amazing for skin care. I have given the list of recipes I have tried below, choose the ones you like. Types Of Coconut Milk: We get two types of coconut milk in the markets now, one is canned coconut milk. Canned coconut milk might be sweetened or unsweetened and can also come in different fat content. However I have never seen canned coconut milk with varying fat content in India, at least not in my local town. The other one is coconut milk powder which can be mixed in water to get coconut milk. While both these methods might seem very convenient as  buying a coconut, breaking open, scrapping the flesh and grinding to extract the milk might seem a lengthy and tedious process for many but in my humble opinion it is totally worth it. Coconut milk made fresh is literally divine, it has a beautiful fresh smell and sweet taste. Coconut milk spoils easily and so to extend the shelf life of a product that is highly perishable the manufactures have to add preservatives so I would recommend extracting fresh coconut milk every time and trust me it gets easier with practice. Where to Get Coconut milk? Canned coconut milk can be got in almost all the departmental stores now. If at all you want to buy canned coconut milk make sure to buy one that is organic and free of BPA (Bisphenol A), an industrial toxic chemical used to line the inside of canned tins. Especially they leach out more in stuff that is acidic, salty or in foods that contain high amounts of fat like coconut milk. Also check for guar gum which is also an other common ingredient in canned coconut milk. Coconut Milk Side Effects: We have been using coconut milk literally forever and I have never seen anyone experience any ill effects. But I have to mention that I never ever use canned or powdered coconut milk. I would also suggest pregnant women to avoid consuming canned coconut milk for the reasons mentioned above.......



1. Coconut Milk Oil:

If you don't get pure coconut oil in your place, I would suggest making homemade coconut oil from coconut milk. Though the quantity got is very less, it is really a pure coconut oil got without any additives. You can find the method for making it here.

2. Coconut Milk For Ulcers: 

Whenever we suffer from stomach ulcer, we make a simple drink | soup with mudakathan keerai and coconut milk. It heals ulcers really well. You can find the recipe for making it here.


3. Coconut Milk Hair Mask For Dandruff & Hair Growth:

For the hair mask, take fenugreek powder in a bowl, add enough coconut milk to form a very loose paste. Set aside for an hour or two to thicken, mix well again and use it as a hair mask. Both fenugreek and coconut milk will condition the hair, prevent dandruff and will leave the hair manageable and soft.

4. Coconut Milk Cream For Hair Loss:

For making the coconut milk cream, extract coconut milk the same way but instead of water, add cow milk and extract the coconut milk. Now squeeze in fresh lemon juice to it, mix well and set aside overnight in the fridge. The next day, a thick cream would have formed on top. Skim the cream and use it as a hair mask.

5. Coconut Milk Hair Serum For Dry Hair:

Coconut milk hair serum is a wonderful preparation we can make at home. For the serum, take 1/4 cup of coconut milk in a bowl, add a cup of distilled water along with 4 drops of your favorite essential oil and mix well. 


6. Coconut Milk As a Makeup Remover:

Coconut Milk is wonderful as a makeup remover. To remove makeup, just dip a piece of cotton in coconut milk, squeeze out excess coconut milk and use as a makeup remover. It not only removes makeup but also cleanses the skin really well too....

7. Coconut Milk Face Mask:

Coconut milk mixed in oatmeal is one of the best at home remedies for sunburned skin as it is very very soothing. To make the mask, grind oatmeal to a fine or coarse powder, add coconut milk to it and let it soak for about 10 minutes. Apply this mixture on sunburned skin, it will greatly help...

8. Coconut Milk Bath:

Coconut milk bath like regular milk baths is very hydrating and is best for treating extreme dry skin, it also eases skin irritation. This bath also can be given to young children during cold winter months, it will keep the skin supple and soft. For the bath, add 1/2 cup of coconut milk, a handful of dried rose petals and 5 drops of rose essential oil to the bath...

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