Coconut sugar, or coconut palm sugar, comes from the sap of the flower buds of a coconut palm tree. Supporters claim while it has the same amount of calories and carbohydrates as graduated sugar (as well as a higher price), it may have less impact on your blood sugar, and contains actual vitamins and minerals.
The latest health food crazes has stirred controversy over its actual benefits. The natural sweet taste of coconut sugar has been used for centuries in South Asia, and many claim it is the perfect substitute for regular sugar. Let’s examine the possible health benefits, and learn how you can incorporate it into your diet, if you wish to make the change.
Why Coconut Sugar is Healthy ?
Coconut sugar is a whole, pure and completely natural sugar. It doesn’t through the extensive refining process as sugar does, so it is a whole, pure food. It will not give you sugar high’s and low’s and won’t make you feel sluggish or bloated. It’s naturally full of vitamins and minerals like amino acids, potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc and is a completely safe as a diabetic sugar substitute. Coconut sugar has a low glycemic index (35), making it safe and convenient for any one concerned with blood sugar levels. Not all natural sweeteners are perfect for those who are concerned with this, but coconut sugar is one that is safe!
How to Use Coconut Sugar.
Coconut sugar is a wonderful natural sweetener that can be used in many ways!
Because of coconut sugar’s properties, it’s the perfect natural sweetener for baking and cooking.
Here are some of the many things found in coconut sugar that make it so great:
1# Reduces Weight Gain
With a lower level of fructose than normal table sugar, coconut sugar is less likely to contribute to fat deposition. When the liver processes fructose, it releases triglycerides, which are a form of fat. The fructose you consume from fruit is considered healthy and appropriate, but added sugar should have a lower level of fructose. In comparison to high-fructose corn syrup and other natural sugars, coconut sugar is lower in fructose content, meaning that it will lead to less weight gain and fat deposition.
2# Helps in digestion
Foods which are rich in fiber are good for digestion and reduce constipation and bloating symptoms. Coconut sugar being rich in fiber is good for the digestive tract and helps prevents a host of digestive related problems. Fiber helps in ridding the body of bad cholesterol hence having coconut sugar performs the additional and important function of lowering our cholesterol levels.
3# Low glycemic impact
Coconut sugar is one of those rare sugars which in spite of being a sweetener doesn’t increase the blood sugar levels in the body. It is because coconut sugar has a low glycemic index and foods that are low in glycemic index do not increase the blood sugar levels. Hence if you ever feel that sugar craving coming over you, you can load up on coconut sugar without feeling guilty.
4# Prevents anemia
Anemia is caused by iron deficiency in the body. Coconut sugar being rich in iron helps prevent the start of anemia. Iron stimulates the production of RBCs in the body and is also required fir blood circulation hence anything which contains iron is good for the body.
5# Increases Blood Circulation
The small level of iron found in coconut sugar will have an impact on your overall blood circulation, which can increase oxygenation and nutrient availability in the body. Iron is a key component in red blood cells, and without proper levels in the body, you may suffer the symptoms of anemia, including muscle weakness, headaches, fatigue and gastrointestinal problems.
6# Prevents Oxidative Stress
Polyphenolic compounds and phytonutrients in this sugar act as antioxidants in the body. This will lower the impact of free radicals and prevent oxidative stress, which can lead to chronic disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic inflammation, among others.
7# Boosts mood
Coconut sugar contains vitamin B2 also known as inositol which is a great mood booster. Inositol is great at providing relief from conditions like depression, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorders.
8# Rich in antioxidants
Coconut sugar has a good concentration of antioxidants, thus it helps in eliminating harmful free radicals from the body and preventing cancer. Antioxidants also protect the body against oxidative stress thus having coconut sugar is a good thing.
9# Lowers Bad Cholesterol
The unique form of fiber found in coconut sugar, insulin, has been linked to lowering overall cholesterol levels in the body. By lowering LDL cholesterol and raising HDL cholesterol, this sugar can help minimize your cardiovascular risk and prevent symptoms of atherosclerosis and plaque deposition.
10# Anti-inflammatory properties
Coconut sugar contains phytonutrients such as flavonoids and polyphenols which possess great anti-inflammatory properties. These phytonutrients protect us against inflammation in the respiratory tract and provide considerable relief from other inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
11# Low fructose levels
Fructose is responsible for converting sugar into fat. Greater fructose levels in the body means greater levels of triglycerides in the body. The presence of excess fructose can lead to obesity and other health problems. Hence we all should move towards a sweetener that contains low fructose and coconut sugar being low in fructose levels is the ideal one to include in our diet.
12# NUTRIENT CONTENT
Coconut sugar isn’t a nutritional superfood, but it does offer more vitamins and minerals than white table sugar. It contains trace amounts of vitamin C, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and copper. Coconut sugar also provides small amounts of phytonutrients, such as polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanidin, and antioxidants. You’ll also find the B vitamin inositol, often used as a mood booster, in coconut sugar.
13# LESS FRUCTOSE
Fructose is a type of sugar your body converts to fat quickly. Only your liver can break down fructose, and one of the results of this breakdown is triglyceride — a form of fat. You shouldn’t consume large amounts of fructose outside of that which you get in fresh fruit, notes Harvard Health Publications. Agave nectar is 90 percent fructose, and high-fructose corn syrup is 55 percent fructose. Coconut sugar has just 45 percent fructose, making it a better option than these other sweeteners.
14# Strengthens immune System
With trace levels of vitamin C in this sugar, it does have a minimal impact on the immune system and can drive the production of white blood cells, which are the body’s first line of defense against foreign substances and infectious pathogens.
15# Energy Levels
The raw materials for energy found in coconut sugar are slightly different than traditional table sugar, and take longer for the body to process. This means more consistent and long-term energy metabolism, so you will have reliable energy levels throughout the day, rather than the sugar rush and inevitable crash.
16# Bone Health
There are a number of important minerals found in coconut sugar, including zinc, potassium, iron, calcium, and copper, which play an important role in building bone mineral density and lowering your risk of osteoporosis as you age.
Coconut sugar contains potassium, magnesium, and sodium, which are all essential for regulating your body’s water content as well as many heart, nerve, and muscle functions. It has nearly 400 times more potassium than regular sugar.
Coconut sugar contains iron, zinc, and calcium, which can have many health benefits, including stronger bones.
19# Raw antioxidants
Since coconut sugar is just dehydrated coconut sap, it’s considered a raw food—this means that it retains all the rich antioxidants found in the original source. Antioxidants fight off the oxidation of cells in the body, which helps combat aging.
20# No bone char
In some instances, regular sugar is processed with bone char from animals in order to produce its white color and fine consistency. However, coconut sugar is an unprocessed product that comes straight from the coconut tree—so you never have to worry about whether animals were harmed in the making of your sweet treats!
Note: In order to reap the maximum benefits of coconut sugar, you have to be a cautious shopper. Many brands may be selling coconut sugar mixed with cane sugar. Therefore, read the ingredient label carefully before purchasing. Coconut sugar, also known as coconut crystals or coconut palm sugar, may even be slightly more expensive in comparison to regular cane sugar.
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