Can Vegans have coconut milk? (7 reasons to do it)

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can Vegans have coconut milk?  We will describe 7 amazing benefits of drinking coconut milk and why you should consider it as an option.

Can Vegans have coconut milk?

Vegans can have coconut milk because it is vegan and a great alternative for animal milk. The texture and flavor of coconut milk are different from animal milk, but it is a healthy, delicious, and easily available alternative. This type of milk is high in fat, so if your diet must be low in fat, coconut milk may not be the best choice. For everyone else, it’s still a wonderfully rich and creamy option. 

Other types of plant milk are soy milk, cashew milk, almond milk, rice milk, oat milk; macadamia nut milk, quinoa milk, hemp milk, sesame milk, flax milk, walnut milk, millet milk, and peanut milk. All commercial alternatives are generally added with vitamins and minerals and therefore are great sources of calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamin complex.

The consumption of plant based milk has been increased due to absence of cholesterol and lactose, making it suitable for a group of population suffering from lactose intolerance and heart disease and in general for all. The market for plant based milk alternatives is projected to an average annual growth of 15 % from 2013 to 2018 and is expected to reach a value of $14 billion (1).

The benefits of consuming coconut milk for vegans

The drink called coconut milk is a liquid that results after the pulp of the coconut fruit is scraped, but it is not the same as coconut water. The rich taste of milk is because this exotic fruit has vegetable fats with a high density. Coconut milk can be used to prepare smoothies, soups, pasta with white sauce, curry, and stew.

The cereals you eat in the morning, rice pudding, chia pudding, ice cream, and muffin recipes can be made with this milk. Coconut milk is a superior source of essential nutrients. The price of coconut milk is not one that will discourage you. Of course, it varies depending on the organic certification, quality, weight, and preservation properties used.

  1. Coconut milk has healthy fats that help to lose weight and that have other long-term beneficial effects.

The latest research shows that insufficient fat consumption can generally lead to weight gain. Those who include in their diets more good fats such as triglycerides that have an existing medium-chain and coconut milk will eat less than people who do not consume enough fat. 

Even though all fats help maintain a state of satiety in the body by sending a signal to the receptors in the brain that deal with appetite, fats in coconut milk can increase metabolism and can probably stimulate weight loss when which is followed by a lower calorie diet. 

However, some studies relating the consumption of coconut oil (which is found in coconut milk in a percentage of 5 grams per cup) indicated that coconut oil intake has failed as a weight loss strategy and should not be considered as a supplementation strategy to increase satiety and/or thermogenesis. If one desires to include coconut oil in the diet, then it is suggested that it should be limited and encompassed within the current recommendations of saturated fatty acids intake, which are up to 10% of total caloric intake (2).

  1. Coconut milk has a very good content of vitamins and niacin

If you use coconut milk you have a rich source of niacin, also called vitamin B3, compared to when you consume normal milk. It has 1.8 mg of niacin per cup (3), which is 13 percent of the recommended daily amount for women and 11 percent of the recommended daily amount for adults, according to the FDAmen, compared to only 0.23 milligrams that are present in whole animal milk.

Niacin along with other vitamins in the B complex helps you metabolize nutrients from food so that they can be used to produce energy. It also helps a lot in the production of sex hormones essential in the health of the reproductive system as well as stress hormones (4,5).

  1. Coconut milk contains iron and is perfect for those with anemia

Coconut milk is an organic product considered very good for people with anemia. Iron deficiency is the leading cause of anemia worldwide. We recommend that you choose coconut milk instead of normal milk and you will benefit from much more iron. 

Each serving of a cup of coconut milk provides you with an impressive amount of iron, namely 3.9 milligrams of iron (1), which is almost half of your recommended daily dose for men and women, 1822 percent.

Iron directly supports metabolism and contributes to energy production. It can also directly support metabolism and help transport essential oxygen to tissues. Without this oxygen, the cells can create the necessary chemical reactions and support very well the daily functioning of the body (6).

  1. Coconut milk contains copper

Coconut milk gives you another nutritional advantage over normal milk because it provides a greater amount of copper. The copper included in the diet completes the function of iron because it helps to produce energy. 

The body maintains a strong immune system and contributes to the production of collagen in the elastic connective tissues (7) and each serving of coconut milk will increase the body’s intake by approximately 638 micrograms (0.6 milligrams), which is about 71 percent of the recommended daily dose while an equal portion of whole cow milk offers 6124 micrograms.

  1. Coconut milk is good for heart health

Saturated fatty acids that have a medium-chain in coconut milk have the role of improving the health of the heart. Coconut milk is rich in lauric acid. Lauric acid may reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which lowers heart disease and stroke risks. Furthermore, the fats that are present in coconuts are less likely to clog arteries, because the body does not store coconut fats (8). A recent study shows that Filipino women who consume more coconut oil have a healthier lipid profile and this is a major determinant in heart disease. 

Also, medium-chain fatty acids in coconut milk are converted in the body into a highly beneficial compound called monolaurin, an antiviral and antibacterial that destroys a wide variety of disease causing organisms. Hence, the consumption of coconut milk may help protect the body from infections and viruses.can kill three major types of arteriogenic organisms, bacteria that cause the formation of atheroma plaque in the artery and can cause heart disease.

  1. Coconut milk helps you maintain the beauty of your hair and its shine

Coconut milk is very nutritious after it has been ingested and the nutrients can help strengthen and rehabilitate the hair and skin at the same time. The fatty acids contained in coconut milk are natural antiseptics that can help treat dandruff and skin infections, heal wounds, and dry itchy skin (9). 

Besides, having a high content of fatty acids, coconut milk is very useful as a natural moisturizer for very healthy skin and can help reduce wrinkles and restore wrinkled and aged skin.

  1. Coconut milk is a good substitute for animal milk

Coconut milk is perfect for allergies. Allergy to milk and dairy products comes from a reaction of the body to a protein called casein. Casein is present in all products that contain cow’s milk in varying amounts. Casein fractions and beta-lactoglobulin are the most common cow milk allergens. Human milk is free of beta-lactoglobulin, similar to camel milk. On the contrary, beta-lactoglobulin is a major whey protein in cow, buffalo, sheep, goat, mare and donkey milk (10). Similar proteins are found in goat’s milk, so over 50 percent of people who are allergic to cow’s milk cannot tolerate either it or goat’s milk.

Because coconut milk does not contain animal dairy products, it is a perfect choice for people with dairy allergies, unless they are allergic to coconut milk as well. Coconut milk consumption is rarely associated with allergic reactions (1).

Other FAQs about Vegans which you may be interested in.

Can Vegans eat curry sauce?

Can Vegans eat fish sauce?

Can Vegans eat rice?

Does v mean vegan or vegetarian?

Final thoughts

Not only can vegans have coconut milk, but it will also be a great source of calcium and vitamin B3 for those who do not drink animal milk.

Besides, coconut milk is a very good addition to fried sauces and is an interesting alternative to thickeners in sauces such as flour and cornstarch. Coconut milk is a fairly thick liquid that has a fine and creamy texture and a sweet taste to the actor. It is prepared by straining the water from the coconut pulp and does not contain the milk of animal origin.

Coconut milk can sweeten and mix the most potent flavors and works even at the highest temperatures giving the dishes a good taste.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

References

  1. Sethi, Swati, Sanjeev K. Tyagi, and Rahul K. Anurag. Plant-based milk alternatives an emerging segment of functional beverages: a review. J food sci technol, 2016, 53, 3408-3423. 
  2. Santos, Heitor O., et al. Coconut oil intake and its effects on the cardiometabolic profile–A structured literature review. Progr cardiovasc dis, 2019, 62, 436-443.  
  3. Zubair, S., et al. Evaluation of effect of coconut milk on anxiety. J Anal Pharm Res, 2017, 6, 00182.  
  4. Bellows, L., et al. Water-soluble vitamins: B-complex and vitamin C. Food and nutrition series. Health; 2012, 9, 31.
  5. Kim K, Mills JL, Michels KA, et al. Dietary Intakes of Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin B-12 and Ovarian Cycle Function among Premenopausal Women. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2020, 120, 885-892.
  6. Godswill, Awuchi Godswill, et al. Health benefits of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and their associated deficiency diseases: A systematic review. Int J Food Sci, 2020, 3, 1-32.
  7. Borkow G. Using Copper to Improve the Well-Being of the Skin. Curr Chem Biol. 2014, 8, 89-102.
  8. Alyaqoubi, Saif, et al. Study of antioxidant activity and physicochemical properties of coconut milk (Pati santan) in Malaysia. J Chem Pharma Res, 2015, 7, 967-973.
  9. Lima, Renan da Silva, and Jane Mara Block. Coconut oil: what do we really know about it so far?. Food Qual Safe, 2019. 
  10. El-Agamy, E. I. The challenge of cow milk protein allergy. Small Rumin Res, 2007, 68, 64-72.