Coconut sugar: composition, useful properties and contraindications
Today on store shelves you can find a large variety of exotic products. These products include and coconut sugar, which is quite common to residents of tropical areas. Concerning its benefits are controversial. If something is confirmed by experts, then others may refute it. Despite this, a new variety of "sweet poison" is becoming popular with customers and thus outpaces the usual cane and beet counterparts.
- How coconut sugar is made
- What is the difference between coconut sugar and conventional sugar
- Which is healthier: coconut sugar or regular sugar
- Composition and calories
- What is the health benefits of coconut sugar?
- For Women
- For Men
- For kids
- When losing weight
- Coconut sugar in medicine
- Coconut sugar cooking applications
- Harm and Contraindications
- How to choose and store
- Interesting Facts about Coconuts
If a country is famous for coconut plantations, it means that it necessarily functions the production of such sugar, which is the product of processing the juice of the palm. Some people believe that coconut sugar is contained directly in the fruit of the plant. In fact, such products are obtained by processing the inflorescences of the tree. At the beginning of flowering, workers make incisions in the young cobs, from which the juice, which has a sweet taste, flows out. A container is placed under the incision to collect the liquid. About 300 liters of sweet juice can be harvested from one palm per year.
How coconut sugar is made
Coconut sugar is produced in southeast Asia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia. The production process takes place right where the palm trees grow and the sap is harvested. Coconut sugar is produced by hand. The collected juice is poured into a large container and heated over low heat. The liquid is then poured into two other vats, one at a time, increasing the heat constantly. These vats are heated on fires, the wood for which is the shells and leaves of palm trees. The workers in these factories are exclusively women.
The process of production is a continuous pouring of juice from one container to the next and so on in a circle. As a result, all excess liquid evaporates and the remaining composition freezes, causing the product to crystallize. This is reminiscent of coffee granules. At the final stage, the coconut sugar crystals are packed in coconuts and sent for drying.
The sugar is sold as round heads, a crumbly substance in granules, or as syrup. For the Asian market such a product has been popular for hundreds of years. In our regions, however, coconut product is considered a rare and exotic product. You can buy such sugar in the department of ethnic cuisine or order it online. However, it is worth noting that the cost of such a product is several times higher than the cost of regular sugar.
What is the difference between the coconut sugar and the regular sugar
Coconut sugar is a natural product, the production of which does not use any additives. It has a sweet and delicate taste, which resembles its brown counterpart. Sometimes there may be a flavor of nut or caramel. The color of this type of sugar is similar to sugar cane sand, but has a hint of orange. The smell of the coconut product depends on the place and time of collection of the initial raw material. The smell is also influenced by the variety of palm tree used.
Unlike regular sugar, coconut substitute is less sweet. It differs not only in its organoleptic properties, but also in its composition. It is believed that coconut sugar contains much more useful substances than usual. About 80% of this product consists of fructose. The remaining 20% include glucose, amino acids, various vitamins and mineral compounds.
Which is healthier: coconut sugar or regular sugar
When comparing the two types of sweeteners, it is the coconut product that is the most useful, its glycemic index is 35. Some time later, the results of these studies were disproved: in fact, the index of the product is 54. But still the first results to this day remain the official data.
When studying the composition of such sugar, we can conclude that it is dominated by the amount of carbohydrates, there is no fiber at all, which does not distinguish it from beet sugar or cane sugar. However, the coconut product is still considered to be healthier.
The advantage of such sugar is the low rate of carbohydrate breakdown. Such a sweetener can be used even with diabetes, as well as when following a glycemic diet.
For comparison, the index for ordinary sugar is about 67, while for coconut sugar it is considered to be 35. This index is due to the gradual, slow flow of glucose into the bloodstream. There is no stress on the pancreas. There is no sharp increase in sugar levels in the circulatory system. It is due to this that its use in the diet of diabetics is allowed.
As a result of numerous studies, it has been proven that the product has a positive effect on the cardiovascular and nervous system. Regular use of such sugar protects the body from neurotic disorders and compulsions. Such a positive effect is achieved due to a special substance - inositol.
According to nutritionists, if you replace ordinary sugar with coconut sugar, you can prevent the development of many diseases that often occur due to refined carbohydrates. In addition, the composition of the product of the processing of coconut juice is characterized by the presence of glutamine. This substance is essential in the process of rapid tissue regeneration. That is, this enzyme is involved in the regeneration process, which allows to get rid of abrasions and burns in a short time.
Glutamine has also been shown in some scientific studies to help treat malignancies. In addition, this substance helps to restore the normal functioning of the human endocrine system. Due to the content of inulin in the product are also normalized digestive processes.
Composition and calories
Coconut sugar has in its composition vitamins that represent the group B, fatty acids and amino acids, of minerals found here calcium with zinc, potassium with magnesium and iron. Interestingly, this product is practically the leader in the amount of iron and can even be compared to buckwheat groats and beef liver. At the expense of potassium and magnesium the normal work of the heart and blood vessels is provided.
There are sixteen amino acids in coconut products, the most useful of which is glutamine. As said, the substance has a wound-healing effect, and is also used to restore the body after serious illnesses. This enzyme also stimulates the production of glucagon, which is responsible for burning fat deposits, improves the quality of sleep and reduces the likelihood of cancer.
The chemical composition of the product is found inositol, which has a calming effect on the nervous system.
Inulin is another important component of the coconut sweetener. This compound acts as a prebiotic. It is due to this property that coconut sugar is superior to beet sugar.
If we are talking about the caloric value of such a sweet product, then 100 grams of sugar contains about 380 kcal, which is slightly lower in comparison with beet and cane sugar, the caloric value of which is about 400 kcal.
How useful is coconut sugar
All over the world, coconut sugar is considered a product with a number of health benefits. American scientific associations have conducted various experiments, which have proved that coconut products are not different even from stevia, which is a natural sugar substitute. In addition, constant consumption of the product in moderate doses helps to reduce the load on the work of the pancreas, which is ensured by the gradual entry of sugar into the bloodstream. However, compared to the low-calorie stevia, which contains no carbohydrates, the coconut analog, unfortunately, cannot boast of such properties. Coconut sugar is similar to regular sugar in terms of its energy content, and when consumed uncontrollably, it can harm the human body.
The healing properties of the product are due to the presence of unique enzymes and beneficial substances. Because of this, this sweetener can be used for a variety of pancreatic pathologies and diabetes mellitus. It is believed that this kind of sugar promotes the synthesis of the hormone of joy, which raises mood and increases vitality.
Useful properties for the human body in general have been described above, but as for the beautiful half of humanity, women use such a product for cosmetic purposes. It is difficult to overestimate the benefits of scrubs for the skin, especially if they are made at home and using natural ingredients. So, coconut sugar scrub is able to clean the skin, soften it and provide amazing smoothness. The useful properties of such a cosmetic work even after removing it from the dermis. After all, after such a scrub there is no need to use various creams and lotions. Because of its structure, the product is an ideal ingredient for making such a cleanser. Each granule has a rough surface, which is able to thoroughly clean the skin.
Another important property that such a scrub has is the content of glutamine in granulated sugar. When you get such a substance on various wounds and abrasions, there is no pain as with salt remedies, in addition, this enzyme improves the process of skin regeneration.
To prepare such a scrub you need 4 tablespoons of coconut sugar and 3 tablespoons of essential oil. You can add a little cocoa to the resulting mixture, then you get a chocolate mass.
Inulin in the coconut product contributes to the normalization of the gastrointestinal tract, takes part in metabolism, and also reduces the cholesterol in the blood.
The composition of the product is also characterized by the presence of inositol, which helps to form muscle tissue. It is known that men suffer most often because of diseases of the cardiovascular system, so they should include such sugar in their diet. Such a substance strengthens the walls of blood vessels, normalizes the nervous system and stimulates the work of the brain.
Coconut sugar is useful during pregnancy. The use of such a product reduces the feeling of hunger, which will protect a woman from gaining excess weight. This sugar contains vitamins and useful minerals that are necessary for normal functioning not only for the mother's body, but also for the future baby. As part of such a sweetener has a large amount of iron, which protects against the development of iron deficiency anemia.
During the lactation period, it is also recommended to use coconut sugar. The product has a richer composition compared to the usual sugar and is of great benefit to the body. It is known that when breastfeeding a woman should drink warm tea to stimulate lactation. Therefore, it is useful for breastfeeding women to drink tea with the addition of coconut sugar in the first half of the day, it can also be added to baking and various dishes, replacing the usual product with it.
Regarding the use of this product in the diet of children, there are no contraindications, except that an individual intolerance can develop. In any case, before using such sugar, it is recommended to consult with a pediatrician.
When losing weight
It is believed that the use of coconut juice sugar will help to get rid of extra pounds. This opinion is based on the fact that the glycemic index of such a product is almost twice lower than that of other varieties of sugar. In any case, it cannot become an aid in the weight loss process, because during this period it is recommended to exclude sweets from the diet altogether. However, thinners often have nervous breakdowns, and at such a time it is the use of coconut sugar as a sweetener that will protect the body from severe harm.
Due to its lower GI, this sugar is considered the best substitute for the usual sweeteners. Coconut product is digested slower than white product, so it is the best energy source. It can be added to hot drinks, in baked goods instead of white sugar.
Some users have noted that after adding such sugar to coffee or tea (instead of cane or beet sugar) the feeling of hunger is reduced. Including such an ingredient in food prevents hunger until the next meal.
Coconut sugar in medicine
Coconut sweetener is superior to regular natural sugars in certain respects. Although it is more caloric compared to stevia, when replacing refined sugar with natural sugar, the coconut product is indispensable.
Coconut juice sugar contains a number of amino acids, vitamins and mineral elements. These substances can reduce the likelihood of pathologies of the nervous system, they help in the fight against depression and anxiety, allow to cope with insomnia.
Iron in the product processing of coconut juice maintains hemoglobin at the required level, calcium is responsible for the bone system, joints and nail health. The sugar contains nitrogen, which has a beneficial effect on the function of the heart and blood vessels.
Inulin, found in this product, provides the intestines with beneficial bacteria. This substance also has the ability to maintain optimal blood glucose levels, which is very important for diabetic patients. In addition, this component protects the body from various infections and injuries.
The composition of coconut sugar is characterized by the presence of antioxidants, which are designed to bind free radicals and remove them from the body, which also has a positive effect on human health.
The high nutritional value of the finished product is provided by the fact that no special additives are used in the production process.
People who are faced with diabetes are forced to monitor their glucose levels, because their health will directly depend on it. When choosing a natural sweetener, most people stop just on the coconut sugar.
The use of coconut sugar in cooking
In the culinary field, coconut sugar is used in exactly the same way as the other types. The only difference is that in this case it is necessary to use ten times more. Such sugar is used to make syrups for impregnating cakes and pastries, salad dressings. The existing flavor of caramel makes the taste of baked goods and confectionery original. Adding coconut products to tea and coffee provides energy and vigor for the whole day. This kind of sugar is used in the menu of vegetarians and diabetics for chocolate. It is healthier than regular sugar and is a complete substitute for a healthy diet.
In its taste, this sugar resembles caramel. Externally, it is a small crystals, which can be light to dark brown in color. The sugar can be used in the manufacture of desserts, various hot and cold drinks. You can include it in homemade ice cream. Sugar is also used to sweeten porridges. Some manufacturers make it in the form of a paste that can be spread on your favorite cookies or bread.
A breakfast dish
For example, you can make a healthy breakfast dish. You should pour oat flakes on a tray and place them in an oven heated to 150 degrees for 20 minutes to dry. You can add dried fruit and nuts to taste. The flakes should be stirred, add nuts to them, and then sprinkle with coconut sugar. After that, dry for another 15 minutes. Next, lay out the dried fruit, to which you can also add candied fruits, if desired. Then the dish should stay in the oven for another five minutes. At the end of this time, the ingredients should be taken out of the oven, left to cool completely, and packed in containers for further storage. The resulting mixture can be used as granola, adding milk, yogurt or juice to it.
Coconut sugar can be used in the preparation of cream for dessert. For this you will need to prepare two egg yolks, 200 grams of milk (if there is coconut milk, if not - you can use cow's milk), coconut sugar, flour and powdered sugar. Next you should mix the yolks, flour and powdered sugar. Then, pour the sugar into the hot milk, mix the mass and put it on low heat. Cook the cream until it becomes a thick consistency. The cooled cream can be used to fill cakes or decorate a cake.
Damage and contraindications
Uncontrolled use of coconut sugar can cause serious harm to the human body. Like regular sugar, this variety contributes to the creation of a sweet environment in the mouth, which leads to the development of bacteria. Consequently, the harm of coconut juice product to dental health is obvious. Abuse of this product can cause tooth decay and various gum diseases.
People with type 1 diabetes should limit the consumption of this product, as they should constantly monitor their blood glucose levels.
Excessive consumption of palm sugar can cause the gain of additional pounds. It is not recommended to include such a component in the diet of people with excessive body weight. Also a contraindication to use is an individual intolerance to the products of processing of coconut products. With particular caution should be used such sugar sand for people who have a tendency to allergic reactions.
How to choose and store
When buying, you should pay attention to the transparent packaging or buy a weighted product. This will allow you to study it before buying. Depending on the variety of palm, on what time of year and under what weather conditions the juice was collected, the taste and color of the product may vary. But still the taste should be pleasant, sweet, with a subtle taste of caramel. The color can vary from light yellow to dark brown. The mass should be crumbly, if there are lumps, it indicates that during storage the rules concerning the humidity in the room were not respected.
When choosing coconut sugar you should pay attention to some points:
- The packaging of the product should be intact, without any damage. The packaging of the product should contain information about the expiration date of the sugar, the composition, which states that it is natural, without any inclusions and additional treatments.
- Also, the region where the product was produced must be indicated. Usually it is Thailand, India, that is, regions where there is an ocean and there are suitable climatic conditions for the growth of palm trees.
Sugar made from coconut juice is stored for two years, provided that it is in a sealed package that protects the product from direct sunlight, moisture and air. After opening the package, the shelf life is reduced to six months, but it must also be kept in a dry and cool place. During this period, coconut sugar retains all of its organoleptic and medicinal properties.
Interesting facts about coconuts
- During the First World War there were various attacks with exposure to gases, so there was a need to create gas masks. Carbon was used to purify polluted air. In the U.S. they began to obtain it by burning coconut shells. Scientists have found that coconut carbon is much more effective at filtering out dangerous compounds. Even nowadays, such a coconut-based substance is used against radiation.
- Harvesting coconuts is difficult and dangerous for humans, so farmers began to use monkeys for this purpose, which do the dirty work for people. The animals are controlled with long leashes. Some monkeys just hear special voice commands of their masters. Such pets can bring their owner a large income.
- It is no secret that the coconut has many nutrients. However, few people know that such a plant is an excellent material for construction. A Filipino president who built a palace out of coconut material was able to prove it. Almost 70% of the building was built from coconut wood. Various elements as well as the fruit itself have also been used as architectural and decorative elements.
- The fruits of the coconut plant can be of great benefit to the human body. But probably not many people know that they can act as a clean fuel for transportation. Coconut is a biologically natural and safe diesel that is a complete substitute for the existing fuel, which is very harmful to the environment.
- In the Republic of Kiribati, artisans created coconut armor. These suits were made of dense coconut fiber cloth that looked like a thick carpet. The armor included a hat, a vest, a platina on the back, pants, and a jacket with a high collar.
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