Coconut milk is a white, milky substance extracted from the flesh of mature coconuts. It can benefit health in several ways, such as by stimulating weight loss and lowering cholesterol.
As a result, coconut milk has gained popularity in the healthcare community and as an alternative to dairy milk.
Coconut water is the liquid inside a coconut, while coconut milk comes from the fruit’s white flesh.
Coconut milk can be thick or thin. When making thick milk, manufacturers grate the flesh of mature coconuts, then squeeze it through cheesecloth to extract the liquid. Thick milk retains more fat than thin milk.
Thin coconut milk comes from the squeezed coconut flesh left inside the cheesecloth. Manufacturers mix it with warm water then strain it through cheesecloth a second time. The resulting liquid is much thinner.
Research suggests that coconut milk has three main health benefits. Below, we describe the effects on weight loss, heart health, and the immune system.
1. Weight loss
Coconut milk contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which researchers have linked with weight loss. MCTs stimulate energy through a process called thermogenesis, or heat production.
Some studies indicate that MCTs work to reduce body weight and waist size. They may also balance out unstable gut microbiota. A lack of this stability may play a role in developing obesity.
A 2015 study in overweight men found that consuming MCTs at breakfast led to reduced food intake later in the day.
Findings of a 2018 study suggest that MCTs increase insulin sensitivity, and man.
2 Heart Health
Some people may not consider coconut milk to be heart-healthy, because of its high fat content.
However, different sources of saturated fats may affect the body in different ways. Also, genetics play a role in how a person metabolizes saturated fats and the extent to which these fats impact health.
3 Boosts Immune system
Coconuts contain a lipid called lauric acid, and many researchers believe that lauric acid can support the immune system.
Some findings indicate that lauric acid has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.