Coconut sugar is made from the sugar blossoms of fresh coconuts found in the tropics. It is harvested by slicing the bud of the coconut tree flower to release the sap or coconut nectar. This nectar is then boiled into a thick caramel and dried into crystals. Nothing is removed during this process. Coconut sugar is similar in texture and taste to brown sugar but far outweighs its nutritional profile.
Low Glycemic Index
The glycemic index is a numeric value given to a food to represent how fast it turns to sugar. Coconut sugar’s glycemic index is approximately 35, which is considered very low. Low glycemic index foods can help balance and control health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity. Eating low glycemic may also protect your body against cardiovascular disease and hypoglycemia, which is a condition that causes the body to overproduce insulin and take too much sugar away from you, leaving you feeling weak, tired, irritable and always hungry. In fact, in a study published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia showed that eating a low glycemic index diet reduced the risk of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, coronary heart disease and breast cancer.
High in Vitamins and Minerals
Coconut sugar contains the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus and boron. Minerals are necessary for many body functions, such as muscle and bone growth, cell production, mental development and immune system and enzyme regulation. Because the body cannot produce minerals, it is imperative that you find them through food sources. Minerals are also necessary for vitamins to work efficiently in the body. Coconut sugar also contains 12 of the B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, nicotinic acid, biotin, pyridoxal and inositol. It is especially high in the vitamin inositol, which is necessary for nerve transmission, metabolism of cholesterol and the redistribution of fat within the body. In addition, inositol has been used to treat diabetes, depression and panic attacks.
Rich in Amino Acids
Coconut sugar contains 16 out of the 20 amino acids. This sugar is especially high in the amino acids glutamic acid, which makes glutamine, threonine, aspartic acid and serine. Glutamine is very important for metabolic function. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, glutamine can also be effective for healing of wounds and injuries, building up the immune system, treating inflammatory bowel syndrome, helping with HIV/AIDS patients and possibly aid in the treatment of cancer.
- Philippines Coconut Sugar: Coconut Sugar Health Info
- NamNam: Health Benefits of Coco Palm Sugar
- NaturalNews.com: Coconut Sugar: Enjoy the New Star Among Low Glycemic Sweeteners
- PubMed.gov: Glycemic Index, Glycemic Load and Chronic Disease Risk — a Meta-analysis of Observational Studies
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Glutamine