Given the fact that coconut oil has such as wide variety of benefits to offer, it is no odd fact that coconut butter is equally (if not more) beneficial as well. As a matter of fact, the coconut tree is often called as “tree that gives life,” perhaps due to the fact that every single part of it is beneficial and used in one way or another, from coconut water and milk, to coconut sugar or nectar, along with coconut flour. Coconut butter of course is no exception.
Made of ground-up coconut meat, coconut butter has a consistency similar to that of nut butter, although it is indeed slightly flakier. We all know about the value of coconut as a superfood, the wide variety of health benefits it offers, and the regard it has across almost all cultures as a great source of medicine and food. And coconut butter, just like its parent plant, contains and offers all of these benefits and then some.
Coconut Butter Benefits
The following are some of the benefits offered by coconut butter:
1. Helps In Losing Weight
While it may seem a bit odd as to how a fat can help shed weight, it is true that the one present in coconut butter does. As with anything good, however, you must always make sure to get the best by taking things in moderation.
Being a fatty acid of medium-chain variety, coconut butter burns much faster in your body as opposed to long-chain-fatty-acids, and therefore acts as a beneficial superfood. It also works as a great metabolism booster which helps increasing calorie-burn and energy levels.
2. Boosts Immunity
Coconut butter is rich in lauric acid. According to reports given by the HEAL Foundation, the level of immunity offered by coconut is only second to breast milk, which contains 50% saturated fat and 20% lauric acid.
3. Helps Keep Viruses At Bay
With its various antibacterial characteristics and lauric acid, coconut butter can help prevent and treat many major and minor viral problems. Not only can it treat infections like common cold, influenza, genital herpes, warts, and cold sores, it can also help fight advanced conditions such as gonorrhea, bronchitis, yeast infections or candida, ringworm, and chlamydia, among others.
4. Keeps Diseases At Bay
Much on the lines of coconut oil, coconut butter is very instrumental in eliminating the risk of contracting a disease. According to scientific research, medium-chain fatty acids present in coconut butter can help in both preventing and treating diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, gallbladder disease, and cancer.
This is due to the fact that since medium-chain fatty acids can be more easily digested by the body (as opposed to long-chain versions), it gives the body more support and in turn reduces the risk of inflammation. Although further studies are required to substantiate this claim, right now it is indeed clear that it is beneficial if consumed in moderate amounts.
5. Contains Beneficial Fiber
Believe it or not, many Americans have very low fiber content in their diets. This is one place where Coconut butter, with its high level of beneficial fiber content, can help. Fiber, when consumed in adequate amounts, offers a host of benefits such as bowel movement consistency, lowering cholesterol levels, and controlling blood sugar, among others.
Scientific research has worked out this rough guide stating the daily recommendations for fiber consumption for adults:
- Men (till age 50): 38 grams
- Men (of and above 51): 30 grams
- Women (till age 50): 25 grams
- Women (of and above 51): 21 grams
6. Improves Hair Quality
Much on the lines of coconut oil, coconut butter has great beauty benefits, and works as a great mask which offers several benefits including (but not limited to) hair growth, dandruff prevention and conditioning, and gives your hair an unmistakable shine.
Given the fact that the skin absorbs coconut butter much faster than others, it makes it more likely to minimize the effects of damage done by free radicals – all while enhancing the quality of your locks.
You can either use it on its own or mix it with any essential oil (such as rosemary or chamomile) and massage said mixture on your scalp and hair. After leaving it for 20 minutes, you can wash your hair like you generally do. You can also heat the mixture before applying to get better results.
7. Provides Iron
Unlike coconut oil, coconut butter completes at least 5% of the body's daily iron requirement. This is fantastic news for women, given the fact that the CDC has found that over 10% of American women are deficient in iron.
Needless to say, iron is a very important element that plays a crucial role in developing red blood cells. Lack of iron prevents your body to get required oxygen and also causes anemia, which is commonly suffered by many women. Less oxygen supply means further troubles for the body, right from exhaustion and inferior brain function to poor quality skin, nails, and hair, among others.
The ideal iron intake should be 8 mg per day (for men) and 18 mg per day (for women aged 19-50). Women above the age of 50 can work with the 8 mg requirement.
Coconut Butter Nutrition
A 33 gms coconut butter serving consists of the following ingredients (and quantities):
- 186 calories
- 7 grams carbohydrates – 2 grams protein
- 18 grams fat
- 5 grams fiber
- 0.9 mg iron
- 0.6 mg vitamin C
- 10 mg calcium
Coconut Oil And Coconut Butter: A Comparison
- Is a fatty acid of 100% medium-chain
- Becomes clear upon being melted
- Is extracted from mature coconuts by cold-pressing
- Can be used to cook on high temperature
- Is used a replacement for dairy in southeast Asia
- Is available in virgin form
- Is available in organic version
- Can be stored at room temperatures
- Contains fiber and functions as a fatty acid with medium-chain properties
- Has a white color which it maintains
- Is made by grinding dried coconut meat into a butter-like texture
- Is used both as a spread and as a condiment
- Is not suitable for cooking on high temperature since it tends to burn easily; it can, however, be melted on a low temperature
- Is suitable for exfoliating skin
- Contains fiber
- Is available in virgin form
- Is available in an organic version
- Can be stored at room temperature
- Tends to separate, and therefore should be stirred before use
- Has 60% oil content
Making Coconut Butter
Servings: 1.5–2 cups
Time: 15–20 minutes
While coconut butter tastes fabulous on its own, it adds great flavor to pretty much anything it is added to, from pancakes and toasted sourdough to coffee and smoothies, dark chocolate and nut butters, to even curry dishes. It is great beauty benefits as well, and works as a great body scrub or hair mask.
Given the fact that coconut butter is made up of only a single ingredient (i.e. coconut), you must be careful about the type of coconut you should buy. Always make sure to buy coconut 100% unsweetened and dried, and comes in either flakes or shreds. While both make fantastic butter, the texture is separate for each. For instance, butter made from shredded coconut is coarser as compared to the smoother butter that comes from flakes.
- Place approximately 4.5 cups of shredded/flaked coconut in a blender or food processor.
- Blend the coconut for 10-15 mins (if you're using the blender) and for 15–20 minutes (for a food processor)
- To get the best results, stop the blender/food processor once in a while and push the coconut that has accumulated on the sides into the mixture.
When you begin making the butter, you will find that it will first acquire a fine, shredded texture that gradually gives way to a grainy and thin one, and finally turns into a smooth and thick liquid. Also, the result product may seem to be runny, but you will realize that it is actually similar to nut butter in texture once you try it, especially if you give it time to settle.
Coconut Butter Precautions
While coconut butter is ideal for a variety of things ranging from curry dishes to vegan sweets and offers great benefits to your body, it comes with certain precautions:
Coconut butter evaporates very fast and needless to say, burns very quickly when you put it on the stove. You must therefore keep the temperature on the lower side to prevent the butter from burning away too quickly.
Coconut butter is made up of lauric acid, which while safe for breast-feeding and pregnant women, should not be taken in large amounts and outside general food. It is wise to always consult your physician on these matters.
Coconut Butter Final Words
Much on the lines of coconut oil, coconut butter acts as an amazing food with a variety of benefits. It, however (like coconut oil) requires moderation in consumption, given the fact that it is after all a fat (even though it is a much healthier one). One can add substantial nutritional value to their food by switching regular butter with coconut butter in their diet.
Coconut butter has a variety of benefits including (but not limited to) boosting immunity, weight loss, protection from viruses, regulating the body's iron content, giving athletes a performance boost, and improving hair and skin quality, among others.