18 Amazing Benefits of Coconut Milk for Skin, Hair and Health – Coconut milk, one of the by products of coconut, is a nutritious and tasty drink. Coconut milk offers amazing benefits for our skin, hair and health. In this article, we are going to share some of the amazing benefits of coconut milk for our health as well as beauty. Coconut milk is known for its creamy texture and natural sweet flavor. We know that coconut oil is rich in lauric acid – a medium chain fatty acid which is responsible for all the benefits of coconut oil. And, coconut milk also contains the same. It is rich in saturated fatty acids, but instead of causing any damage, coconut milk actually helps to lower cholesterol level. To know more, keep on reading this article on the Benefits of Coconut Milk.
Check – 22 Surprising Benefits of Coconut Water for Skin, Hair and Health
Before we go on talking about the multiple benefits of coconut milk, lets first find out what exactly coconut milk is, and how we can obtain it.
What is Coconut Milk?
Though it says milk, but coconut milk is not a “milk” in its conventional sense. Coconut milk is the thick liquid that we can get from the coconut meat (the white part of the fruit). When you blend coconut meat or coconut flesh and water together and then strain the mixture, the thick white liquid that comes out is known as coconut milk. You must choose a mature coconut if you want to get a good amount of coconut milk, because as the coconut matures, the water inside gets replaced by coconut meat or flesh, which in turn, produces more amount of coconut milk.
Coconut milk is a common ingredient in South-East Asian cuisine, specially Thai dishes. It adds a distinct flavor and thickness to the gravy of the dish. Also, the nutrients present in coconut milk add a dash of “health” as well. However, since coconut milk is rich in saturated fat, its better to have smaller serving of the same. But the good news is that coconut milk contains almost zero cholesterol and a variety of other nutrients which makes it a must have for health-conscious people.
How to Prepare Coconut Milk at Home
- Put one or two shredded coconut in the blender.
- Heat some water and just before it starts boiling, pour it into the blender over the shredded coconut.
- Keep on blending for two minutes.
- Strain the mixture.
- And collect your homemade coconut milk.
Coconut Milk Nutritional Facts
There is no denying that coconut milk is a high-calorie food, and about 93% of the calories come from the fat. A cup of coconut milk (240 gm) contains –
- Calories : 552.
- Fat : 57 grams.
- Protein : 5 grams.
- Carbs : 13 grams.
- Fiber : 5 grams.
- Vitamin C : 11% of the RDI.
- Folate : 10% of the RDI.
- Iron : 22% of the RDI.
- Magnesium : 22% of the RDI.
- Potassium : 18% of the RDI.
- Copper : 32% of the RDI.
- Manganese : 110% of the RDI.
- Selenium : 21% of the RDI.
So, this was a brief introduction to coconut milk. Now lets find out the benefits of coconut milk for skin, hair and health.
Benefits of Coconut Milk for Skin
1. Skin Cleansing Benefits of Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a great cleanser for our skin. It has the ability to penetrate deep into the skin pores and unclog them by eliminating the dirt, pollution and germs. Coconut milk contains fatty acids, which help in dissolving the excess sebum and dead skin cells within the pores.
How to use coconut milk as a skin cleanser?
- Dip a cotton ball in coconut milk and wipe your face with same to remove the dirt and oil.
- Combine olive oil and coconut milk in 2:1 ratio. Wipe your face with this mixture using a cotton ball. You can use this mixture as a natural makeup remover.
- Mix together some yogurt and coconut milk. Apply it on the face and massage and then wipe it off with a cotton ball or washcloth.
2. Skin Brightening Benefits of Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a rich source of vitamin C and E. Both of them are powerful anti oxidants, which help in boosting complexion. Vitamin C also helps in exfoliating the skin beautifully. These two vitamins along with the other nutrients present in coconut milk, help to lighten blemishes, acne scars, dark spots and even out the skin skin tone.
How to use coconut milk for skin brightening?
- Wash your face with coconut milk on regular basis to get rid of skin discoloration and get brighter complexion.
- Mix together some coconut milk, powdered oats and honey. Apply the mixture on the face and massage gently to scrub. Leave it on the skin for another 10 minutes and wash off with luke warm water.
- Make a paste by combining a tbsp rice flour and some coconut milk. Apply it on the face and massage gently. Let it sit for another 10-15 minutes. Wash off with luke warm water.
- Soak 2-3 almonds in water for few hours. Mash them to prepare almond paste. Take a tbsp each of almond paste, coconut milk and honey and mix together. Apply on the face and massage for few minutes. Wash off with cold water.
3. Anti Acne Benefits of Coconut Milk
Coconut milk contains lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has anti viral, anti bacterial as well as anti septic properties. These properties are great for fighting off acne and keeping the skin healthy and glowing. Apart from topical application, drinking coconut milk on regular basis is helpful in combating acne. Lauric acid in coconut milk gets converted into a compound known as ‘monolaurin’ after consumption. Monolaurin has anti septic and anti viral benefits, which not only treat acne but also protects our body against different infections.
How to use coconut milk to treat acne?
- Make an anti acne face pack by mixing together a generous pinch of turmeric and some coconut milk. Apply on the face and let it dry naturally. Wash off with fresh water.
- Combine coconut milk and lemon juice in 2:1 ratio. With a cotton ball, apply it on the face and let it stay for 15-20 minutes. Wash off with plain water and repeat regularly.
- Mix together a tbsp each of coconut milk and honey. Add some sandalwood powder as well and mix again. Apply o the face and wait for 15-20 minutes before washing off.
4. Moisturizing Benefits of Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a great moisturizer for our skin. It is rich in healthy fatty acids, which penetrate deep into our skin cells and provide them with a boost of hydration. This is why coconut milk is considered as a great remedy to soothe dry skin. Coconut milk is a rich source of vitamin C and E – two powerful anti oxidants that fight off free radicals and protect the skin from dryness and premature aging. Vitamin C helps in boosting collagen production in the skin, which in turn maintains skin elasticity and prevent the appearance of wrinkles and lines.
How to use coconut milk for moisturization?
- Mix together a tbsp coconut milk and half tbsp olive oil. Apply the mixture on the face and massage gently. Leave it on for few more minutes before washing off with fresh water. Repeat regularly.
- Coconut milk bath is another great way to moisturize dry skin. Add half a cup of rose water to a mug of coconut milk. Mix together and add this to your bath water and soak yourself in it. Regular use will help restore moisture to dry skin.
5. Soothes Sunburn
This is one of the best benefits of coconut milk. Coconut milk offers some amount of sun protection. It helps in boosting our skin’s UV defense by neutralizing the free radicals activity, which gets increased due to sun exposure. Not only this, the fatty acids and oil content of coconut milk is very beneficial in soothing sunburned skin. Topical application of coconut milk on the affected areas renders a cooling sensation to the skin as well as reduce redness, prevent peeling of the skin and adds moisture to the inflamed skin, thanks to its anti inflammatory properties.
How to use coconut milk to soothe sunburn?
Soak a soft wash cloth in coconut milk and place it on the sunburned skin. Let it stay for 20 minutes and repeat several times in a day until the irritations go away.
Benefits of Coconut Milk for Hair
After talking about the Benefits of Coconut Milk for skin, lets now find out the hair Benefits of Coconut Milk.
6. Repairs Dry and Damaged Hair
Coconut milk is rich in nutrients. When used on hair, it provides nourishment to dry and damaged hair and helps to avoid split ends, frizzy hair as well as hair breakage. Furthermore, coconut milk contains large amounts of fatty acids and several vitamins, like vitamin B1, B3, B5 and B6, C as well as vitamin E. Also it is rich in minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium etc which make the hair strong from the roots. The anti oxidant benefits of coconut milk helps in avoiding oxidative stress and protects hair from dryness and other damages.
How to use coconut milk for dry hair?
- Refrigerate some coconut milk overnight, so that it turns into a thick cream. The next morning, apply the coconut cream all over the hair and scalp. Cover your head with a hot, damp towel and wait for 30 minutes. Wash off the coconut cream hair mask with a mild shampoo. Reapply once in every week.
- Add one tsp raw honey and one tbsp fresh lemon juice to half cup of coconut milk. Mix together and apply the hair mask all over the scalp and hair. Take steaming hot water in a container and place it on a table. Bend over the container and cover your hair and the container with a towel, in such a way that your hair gets the steam which is coming out of the water. Continue this for 10 minutes and then soak the towel in that warm water. Wring out the excess water. Wrap the towel around the head and wait for another 15-20 minutes. Wash it off with plain water and a mild shampoo. Repeat this treatment once per week.
7. Hair Fall Control Benefits of Coconut Milk
This is one of the major benefits of coconut milk for our hair. Coconut milk is rich in nutrients and fats. It is a great natural remedy to control hair fall. Vitamin E present in coconut milk moisturizes the hair and protects it from free radical damages, including hair fall. The lauric acid in coconut milk has anti bacterial benefits. It helps to treat any fungal or bacterial infection, which often causes serious hair fall.
How to use coconut milk to control hair fall?
Prepare coconut milk at home by following the method mentioned previously. Massage the scalp with coconut milk and also apply some on to the hair ends. Leave it on for an hour and rinse it off with cold water and a mild shampoo. Follow this procedure once a week to combat hair loss.
8. Nourishes the Scalp and Hair Follicles
Coconut milk is rich in nutrients. It is rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, E as well as minerals like zinc, iron, selenium, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, etc. These nutrients deeply penetrate the scalp and hair follicles, provide nourishment and rejuvenate the hair follicles to induce new hair growth.
How to use coconut milk for scalp nourishment?
- Simply apply coconut milk all over the scalp and hair and keep it on for an hour before washing off with a shampoo.
- Alternatively, add some coconut milk to your regular hair mask and increase its efficacy.
Benefits of Coconut Milk for Health
Lets now discuss about what are the Benefits of Coconut Milk for our health.
9. Good For Heart Health
We have previously said that coconut milk is a calorie rich food, so how come its good for our heart, you may ask. Here is the answer. Coconut milk contains a good amount of lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid which has many benefits for our health. In fact, it has been found that lauric acid has positive effects on reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in both men and women. Studies have found that though coconut milk is rich in fatty acids, specially saturated fats, but it doesn’t cause any damage to our heart. Coconut milk help in reducing the bad cholesterol level, increases the amount of good cholesterol and helps in keeping the heart healthy.
10. Helps with Weight Control
One of the major health benefits of coconut oil is that it helps with managing weight. According to experts, the MCT or medium chain triglyceride fats in coconut milk have beneficial effect on increasing metabolism and maintaining body weight. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid etc which are all medium chain fatty acids. These fatty acids go to the liver directly from digestive tract and used for producing energy. Thus, there are less chances of them being stored as fat. Researches have found that MCT, or medium chain triglyceride fats are helpful in reducing appetite and calorie intake. In a study done on 20 overweight men, it has been seen that the ones who took 20 gm of MCT oil at breakfast consumed less calories than those who took corn oil.
Furthermore, these triglycerides present in coconut milk help to enhance physical performance. After an intense work out session, our muscles require plenty of nutrients to repair the broken tissues and grow back stronger. Coconut milk contains electrolytes, such as magnesium and potassium which help in muscle recovery. The healthy fats present in coconut milk help to make you feel “full” for long time and prevent overeating, which in turn boost your weight loss efforts.
11. Coconut Milk Prevents Fatigue
Coconut milk is a great natural remedy to prevent fatigue. It is a good source of important minerals including electrolytes, such as potassium and magnesium which help in preventing dehydration and diarrhea, maintaining blood volume and regulate heart health. If you do intense workout or training session in a very hot weather, chance of feeling exhausted is pretty high. The electrolytes present in coconut milk are extremely beneficial to prevent exhaustion, heat strokes, muscle cramps as well as heart problems. It has also been found that coconut milk’s calories actually work as a quick and healthy source of calories for our brain to function properly. In fact, our brain can use the MCTs present in coconut milk without even the need of them to get processed.
12. Boosts Our Digestion
One of the best health benefits of coconut milk is that it has the ability to boost our digestive system and give relief from a lot of digestive issues including constipation. The healthy fats and the electrolytes present in coconut milk nourish the digestive lining as well as improve our gut health. Coconut milk actually helps with smooth flow of the food along our intestinal tract and regulating the bowel movement.
13. Improves Bone Health
Coconut milk is a mineral rich drink. It contains a good amount of calcium and phosphorus – two minerals which are essential for healthy bones. Furthermore, the medium chain triglycerides that we find in coconut milk has anti inflammatory benefits. Due to this, coconut milk helps in reducing painful conditions, such as arthritis or any joint pain or muscle pain. Health experts suggest that it would be beneficial for those suffering from arthritis or any other auto-immune diseases if they replace sugar with coconut milk. Sugar is low in immunity and its pro-inflammatory nature actually end up worsening the pain and swelling.
14. Help to Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Here comes another very important health benefits of coconut milk. Coconut milk, being rich in fatty acids, help in slowing down the rate at which sugar is released into the blood stream, thus better controlling the insulin level and preventing situations like “sugar high” or diabetes in worse conditions. Experts often suggest to replace sugar in desserts with coconut milk for its benefits. Furthermore, coconut milk is rich in MCTs which are preferred source of energy than sugar.
15. May Help in Treating Ulcer
Yes, this is quite surprising, but studies have found that coconut milk has positive effects in ulcer treatment. In a lab study, when coconut milk was given to rats with ulcers, they have experienced about 56% reduction in the size of ulcers.
16. Boosts the Immunity System
Coconut milk contains a good amount of Vitamin C. We already know that vitamin C is very beneficial in boosting our immunity system. Health experts say that regular consumption of coconut milk is very beneficial to stay away from infections along with common cold and flu.
17. Improves Blood Circulation
One of the surprising health benefits of coconut milk is that it helps with proper blood circulation. Coconut milk has the ability to maintain the elasticity and flexibility of our skin as well as blood vessels. Also, it is a good source of vitamin C. These two benefits of coconut milk work together to ensure proper blood flow in the blood vessels and minimizes fluctuations in blood pressure levels.
18. Helps in Calming Down the Nerves
Yes, that’s right. Coconut milk helps our nerves to calm down and make us feel relaxed. The high amount of magnesium is coconut milk can be attributed to for this health benefits of coconut milk. Magnesium is one such mineral which is known for its ability to calm down the nerves and gives relief from muscle cramps as well as tension, and help us feel relaxed.
How to choose Coconut Milk
Its always best to prepare your coconut milk at home. But if you have to buy a pre-made one, look for the organic ones. Do check the label carefully and make sure that it is free from artificial sweeteners, preservatives and also isn’t pasteurized as pasteurization can end up destroying some of the important nutrients present in coconut milk.
So these were the major benefits of coconut milk for skin, hair and health. Tell us how you like to use coconut milk for your overall well being 🙂