The coconut palm is recognized as one of the most beautiful and useful plants around the world. For millions of years it has provided people of tropical regions with food, shelter, medicine, and transportation. Coconuts yield a variety of uses by their parts: the kernel or flesh, the extracted oil, coconut water and coconut milk (made from blending the flesh with the coconut water). These parts are not only used in the food industry, but also are used in soaps, cosmetics, and medicines worldwide. The raw flesh of the coconut is enjoyed as a crunchy satisfying snack, while the coconut milk is enjoyed in baked goods, desserts, or savoury sauces in entrees. The dried shredded coconut meat adds texture and sweetness in baked goods, granola, and cereals. Coconut milk is a popular plant-based milk substitute. The canned milk is more commonly used in cooking, while the fortified refrigerated coconut milk products are enjoyed as a beverage, in smoothies or cereal/oatmeal.
Benefits of Coconuts
- Coconut meat is a good source of fibre. Dietary fibre helps add bulk to the stool, helping to regulate a heathy digestive tract while also making you feel fuller for longer.
- Coconut meat and coconut milk are a good source of medium chain triglycerides, a type of fat that can be used more easily as energy as they are broken down faster in the body!
- Both coconut meat and coconut milk are a high in magnesia, a trace element important for the functioning of immune, antioxidant and nervous systems of the body.
Nutritional Value of 1.5 Tbsp. (7g) of Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut
- 46 calories
- 3g carbohydrate
- 1g fibre
- 5g protein
- 4g fat
- 3% daily value of selenium
- ~10% daily value of manganese
Nutritional Value of 1.5 Tbsp. (23 ml) of Unfortified Canned Coconut Milk
- 53 calories
- 3 g carbohydrate
- 3 g fibre
- 5 g protein
- 4 g fat
- ~ 11% daily value of manganese
Nutritional Value of 1 cup (240 ml) of Fortified Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage
- 45 calories
- 0 g carbohydrate
- 0 g fibre
- 0 g protein
- 5 g fat
- ~30% daily vitamin D requirements
- ~10% daily calcium needs
- ~10 % daily magnesium needs
Did You Know…
Dried coconut meat can also be ground into coconut flour. This is a popular high fibre, gluten free flour substitute used in baking or as a thickening ingredient in cooking.