For those who are looking for a vegan alternative to butter, you should definitely check out coconut butter. Not only does it provide a rich taste, but coconut butter also offers excellent nutrition. It is basically prepared from the meat of a coconut. Just 33 grams of coconut butter is said to have 2 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 5 percent daily value of iron.
“Adding coconut butter to a meal offers an opportunity to balance nutrition… For something like toast or smoothies, it can be easy to tip the balance towards carbs, so introducing a fat source such as coconut butter can rebalance nutrition,” Cara Harbstreet from Street Smart Nutrition said to Refinery29. Here are five health benefits of consuming coconut butter.
1. Immunity boost
Coconut butter is rich in lauric acid, a compound that is known to regulate the immune system and help fight bacteria and viruses. Lauric acid is the same compound that is found in breast milk and helps infants grow strong and develop an immune system. After breast milk, coconut is ranked the second-best source of lauric acid. The compound can inhibit viruses in the stomach as well as bacteria like E. coli. It can also be quite useful for people who suffer from urinary tract infections.
2. Weight loss
Despite being rich in fats, consuming coconut butter can actually help you lose weight. This is due to the fact that coconut butter contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs) that get used by the body to release energy rather than being stored as fat. Just one or two teaspoons of MCTs per day can raise the calories burned by the body by up to 5 percent. MCTs also make you feel fuller, meaning that you are less likely to eat too much and will be able to better moderate food consumption. In one incident, a group of farmers fed their cattle with coconut butter in the hope that they would gain weight. Imagine their surprise when they discovered that the cattle actually lost weight after being fed for so long.
3. Enhance physical performance
The MCTs get absorbed in the body rather fast, thereby enabling them to be used by muscles immediately. As such, consuming coconut butter can help in boosting a human being’s physical performance, which will definitely be handy for athletes. MCT rich foods like coconut butter are popular among people who follow paleo or keto diets. According to some studies, MCTs are used by the body as quickly as glucose.
4. Improve brain function
When the body consumes MCTs, it produces ketones that can help in boosting brain functions. Scientists believe that ketones provide the brain with an alternative source of energy when the organ is facing issues with consuming its primary energy source, glucose. In people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the inability of brain cells to use glucose for energy is the main reason why the disease affects them so greatly. As such, using coconut butter in diets can aid Alzheimer’s patients in maintaining the operational efficiency of their brain cells.
Coconut butter gets absorbed by the hair easily and can minimize the damage of free radicals. It can act as a hair conditioner, prevent dandruff, and give your hair an excellent shine. Just mix some coconut butter with your favorite essential oil, apply the mixture on your hair, leave it for about 20 minutes, and wash it off. Do this regularly and your hair will be shining like never before.