The Top 10 Health Benefits of Coconut Rice

coconut rice health benefits


For many cultures, rice is a staple in their daily diet. While rice provides health benefits on its own, it becomes supercharged when you boil rice in coconut water or coconut milk. Eating too much rice leads to a surplus of carbohydrates stored in the body as fat, but any negative effects of eating rice daily can actually be negated with the added health benefits of choosing coconut rice instead. It’s also worth mentioning that the sweet and creamy texture of fluffy coconut rice is delicious.

Here are the top 10 scientifically-proven ways that coconut rice is great for your health.

The Surprising Health Benefits of Coconut Rice

Coconut rice is made by cooking rice with coconut milk instead of water. The milk infuses the rice with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It also performs wonders for your cholesterol, lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and raising healthy cholesterol (HDL). When made correctly, coconut rice recipes are also considered dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan.

1. Good Source of Healthy Fats

Coconut milk contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of healthy saturated fat that provides energy and impacts health in positive ways. The most researched MCT is lauric acid, and a 2022 report showed that lauric acid has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory benefits. When you choose coconut rice over plain jasmine rice, you get a healthy dose of lauric acid and other MCTs. These fats also make the rice more satisfying, so you’re likely to eat less.

2. Improves Heart Health

Coconut oil contains phenolic compounds that function as antioxidants and guard against cellular damage. The oil also has amino acids that produce nitrous oxide, which dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.

A 2017 study found that virgin coconut oil effectively reduces hypertension. Researchers observed the effects in male rats with hypertension compared to a control group. While more studies are needed, early results show that coconut rice can ward off heart disease in a number of ways.

3. Boosts Cognitive Function

Dementia and memory loss are on the rise, affecting 50 million people globally, according to the World Health Organization. Research shows that MCTs in coconut oil provide an alternative energy source for brain cells and enhance cognition.

For example, a small human study demonstrated that supplemental MCT oil preserves brain structure and function in older adults at risk for dementia. Though larger trials are needed, there’s potential that swapping plain rice for coconut rice can boost brain health and stave off cognitive decline.

4. Good Source of Fibre

Soluble fibre is a carbohydrate that dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It moves through the digestive tract slowly, promoting fullness. Soluble fibre feeds good gut bacteria, leading to many beneficial effects on metabolism and inflammation.

Coconut rice is higher in fiber than white rice varieties because it still contains bran. A half-cup serving of coconut rice contains 1.5 grams of fiber, whereas white rice only has 0.3 grams. The extra fibre makes it more filling than starchy white rice.

5. Regulates Blood Sugar

Eating coconut rice in lieu of plain rice shows promise for better blood sugar control; MCTs and fibre in coconut products reduce fasting blood sugar in diabetics. MCTs deliver a quick energy boost but absorb glucose slowly. Therefore, coconut rice is less likely to spike blood sugar compared to plain rice.

6. Boosts the Immune System

Preventing illness largely depends on adopting dietary and lifestyle practices that bolster immune system function. Lauric acid is the main MCT in coconut products, and it converts into monolaurin in the body, which has antimicrobial effects and deactivates various pathogens to prevent infection.

In addition to providing defence against external invaders, MCTs found in coconuts maintain a balance of beneficial gut flora. Valuable microorganisms aid immune cells and enhance pathogen resistance.

7. Improves Skin Health

Lauric acid has anti-inflammatory properties that calm irritation. The MCTs provide moisture to prevent dryness and soothe eczema. Additionally, the oil is rich in antioxidants like vitamin E, which neutralize skin cell damage from UV exposure, leading to younger-looking skin.

If that wasn’t enough, zinc and lysine in coconut products facilitate collagen production, which keeps the skin firm and supple to prevent wrinkles.

8. Aids in Weight Loss

Coconut rice can help shed unwanted pounds through different mechanisms. The fat and fiber keep you feeling satiated, which curbs your appetite. Furthermore, the MCTs get absorbed differently than other fats. They ramp up metabolism and increase calorie burn to enhance weight loss. The rice also stabilizes blood sugar to prevent insulin resistance, which drives fat storage.

9. Supports Bone Health

Osteoporosis causes bones to weaken and break more easily, but dietary components like calcium and magnesium protect bone mineral density and prevent fractures. Coconut rice supplies these essential minerals.

If you avoid dairy, coconut rice is an alternative source of bone-supporting nutrients. Combine it with vitamin D-rich foods like fish and mushrooms for optimal effects.

10. Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free

Coconut rice makes the perfect substitute for plain rice for those with food intolerances. Gluten sensitivity causes digestive upset, skin issues, headaches, fatigue, and joint pain. Choosing coconut rice ensures you steer clear of this problematic compound.

Furthermore, coconut rice is dairy-free when using whole-fat canned coconut milk. Dairy is one of the most common food allergens, triggering uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Both kids and adults benefit from going dairy-free at times.

The Bottom Line

Beyond a delicious flavour, coconut rice boasts some fantastic health effects, including sharper brain function, regulated blood sugar, healthier skin, and a balanced weight. The MCTs, fibre, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins are far superior to regular rice.

The ingredient list couldn’t be more straightforward—just rice and canned full-fat coconut milk. Use coconut rice in any savory dish that calls for rice, from fried rice to biryani dishes. Start cooking your rice in coconut milk and reap all the perks of this tasty alternative.


Are you looking to add more coconut products to your diet? Find Grace Foods Coconut Water at a Store Near You

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