Just like the name suggests, coconut butter is prepared from the pulp of the coconut tree, scientific name Cocos nucifera. Coconut oil is produced from the same raw material. Coconut butter has a similar texture and consistency as real butter but actually consists of ground-up coconut pulp.
The coconut is known as one of the world's super foods, with numerous benefits for human health. Coconut butter preserves most of these benefits, which include facilitating weight loss and boosting immune response.
The meat of the coconut, also known as copra, is the raw material required to produce coconut butter. Some vendors name coconut oil as butter or the other way around, since these products can be similar. At lower temperatures, the oil can resemble butter. However, coconut oil should consist of pure oil, while the butter is oil mixed with pieces of pulp. The coconut butter has many uses. It is edible and can be used to prepare numerous dishes. It is considered a healthy food choice because it reduces the level of yeast in the body and can help with weight loss. It is also an important ingredient in the cosmetics industry.
The production process is quite simple. Copra is dried and then grounded and blended until it turns into a buttery paste. This industrial process can actually be copied easily at home. Any kitchen blender or food processor can be used to crush and mix dried coconut until it turns into butter, which takes between 20 and 30 minutes. However, home tools are not as effective as industrial ones, so home-made coconut butter will usually be grainier. The coconut butter has a long shelf life and last two or three years, it is not a good idea to store it in the fridge. Like many other similar products, the oil in its composition rises to the top when stored and must be mixed up again with the solids before use.
Coconut butter can replace many other products in cooking. It is an alternative for various recipes that require coconut milk or coconut oil but is also popular as a spread and can be used as a condiment due to its flavour. It resembles the texture of real butter and needs to be warmed before it can be spread, unlike most butters of plant origin. Adding vanilla or other spices can improve the taste. It can replace regular butter in dairy but must be combined with oil or fruit puree. Otherwise, it makes bakery products very dry.
Like other types of plant butter, it is a good natural cosmetic due to its high amount of fats. It is especially useful for various homemade hair treatments and skin lotions. If you use it on your hair, you must rinse it very well in order to eliminate any remaining flakes. Because of this potential problem, many people choose coconut oil instead. For an effective homemade cream, mix coconut butter with shea butter and other natural ingredients with similar effects. The coconut butter is also a common raw material for many industrial cosmetics, such as shampoos, conditioners or soaps.
Coconuts have many health benefits and most of them are found in coconut butter, since it is less processed than other products. One of the most useful compounds in its composition is lauric acid, a strong antiseptic that is effective against bacteria, viruses and fungi. Due to its anti-fungal effect, it can control the amount of yeast in the body, especially from the Candida species. It is also known to help with weight loss, due to the content of MCTs, or medium chain triglycerides, which are a type of fatty acids that accelerate the rate of body fat burning. These fatty acids are instantly digested by humans because they don't have to be broken down by the stomach.
Coconut butter shares many of the properties of coconut oil and can be employed against a wide range of diseases. Some of the most useful compounds in its composition are medium-chain fatty acids. According to researchers, these prevent many conditions, such as Crohn's disease, gallbladder disease or osteoporosis, and can even help against cancer or diabetes. Medium-chain fatty acids have a strong anti-inflammatory action and are digested faster than the ones with log chains, so they have an immediate impact.
Like most plant products, the coconut butter is a great source of fibers. These improve digestion by regulating bowel movements and also scrape harmful cholesterol from the walls of blood vessels. Coconut butter also provides a high amount of iron. This essential mineral is the building block of red blood cells and is also required by our brain, skin, nails and hair.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) supplied by coconut butter are a very healthy type of fatty acids because they are not stored in fat deposits but actually burned as fuel. They also increase the overall rate of fat burning, just one or two tablespoons of MCTs per day can burn an additional 120 calories. The effect lasts for 24 hours, offering you an improved metabolism. Other useful side effects of these fatty acids are the sensation of fullness, as well as slower digestion. In addition, these healthy fats are a great weapon against type 2 diabetes since they prevent insulin resistance and dangerous spikes in blood sugar levels.
All products made from coconut, including oil and butter, are excellent hair cosmetics and boost its growth while eliminating dandruff. Coconut butter is packed with powerful antioxidants and protects the hair from the destructive action of free radicals because it is quickly absorbed by the scalp. For best effects, combine coconut butter with rosemary oil or other similar essential oils. Massage your scalp gently with this mixture, let it act for about 20 minutes, then wash your hair with a quality shampoo.
The strong effect of coconut butter against viruses and fungi is mainly caused by its content of lauric acid. This compound is known to be very effective against some viruses that are hard to destroy otherwise, so it can help against cold sores, herpes, genital warts but also common conditions like cold or flu. It fights many other infectious conditions such as bronchitis, ringworm, chlamydia, Candida or gonorrhea.
Because of its strong antiseptic effect, lauric acid can improve the overall immune system response. It is chemically transformed into monolaurin, a bioactive molecule with a very powerful action against pathogens. This is found in breast milk but otherwise rare in nature, coconut being the second best source for it. Monolaurin can kill all types of harmful agents, including bacteria, viruses and fungi.
The coconut butter is rich in MCTs, which are healthy fatty acids that are processed quickly and contribute to the burning of fats, instead of being stored in fat deposits. This makes coconut butter a potential food for athletes. MCTs don't have to be digested and are immediately available for the muscles to be burned as fuel. As a result, special food for athletes, as well as dedicated products for ketogenic or Paleo diets include MCTs. In addition, coconut butter is rich in lauric acid, a bioactive compound with a proven effect against viruses, fungi or bacteria.
The metabolic boost that results after consuming coconut butter is also useful in weight loss. People with a fast metabolism are able to digest food faster, which burns a higher amount of calories and provides more energy. Coconut butter is also recommended in weight loss diets due to the content of healthy fats. These are not stored but used immediately as energy by the body's cells, providing a long-term sensation of fullness that prevents you from eating snacks between the main meals.
The antioxidant compounds in the coconut butter also have cosmetic benefits and can improve your looks. It is quickly absorbed by the skin and penetrates to deeper layers, where it heals tissues, moisturizes them and shields cells from the action of free radicals. It makes the skin elastic and smooth, countering the effects of aging.
Coconut butter can also help balance the levels of blood glucose. If you consume it constantly, it will prevent the spikes in blood sugar levels that are so dangerous for diabetes patients by reducing the glycemic index. If there is too much sugar in the blood, your body is unable to break all of it and all excessive amounts end up stored as fats, increasing weight.