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What Are the Benefits of Coconut Vinegar?

by
author image Paul Elsass
Paul Elsass started writing in 1986. He has written articles for the Clinical Exercise Physiology Association and multiple medical-fitness centers. Elsass has certifications through the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Texas and a Master of Science in Management from Northern Arizona University.
What Are the Benefits of Coconut Vinegar?
Coconut tree with green coconuts hanging from it. Photo Credit anurak4ss/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Coconut vinegar is similar to other fermented vinegars such as apple cider and balsamic vinegars. It can either be made with coconut water or from the sap, or "tuba," of the coconut tree. Coconut vinegar is a staple condiment in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines, where it is called suka ng niyog, and is also used in some regions of India. Coconut vinegar is white and cloudy with a very pungent acidic taste and a hint of yeast. As with apple cider vinegar, coconut vinegar includes the "mother," or culture of organisms that caused the fermentation.

Low on the Glycemic Index

Coconut vinegar is a is food appropriate for diabetic patients, as it is very low on the glycemic index, coming in at only 35 on the scale. The glycemic index categorizes carbohydrate-containing foods by how much they raise your blood sugar level. In a 2008 study, Dr. David J. A. Jenkins and colleagues tested 210 diabetic patients who followed either a low-glycemic index diet or a high-cereal fiber diet. The authors noted that the patients on the low-glycemic diet made improvements in glycemic control measures as well as heart disease risk factors.

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Rich in Minerals

The sap used to make coconut vinegar comes from coconut trees grown in volcanic soil rich with minerals. The sap contains phosphorus, potassium, iron, magnesium, sulfur, boron, zinc, manganese and copper. It is especially rich in potassium, containing an impressive 192 milligrams per tablespoon. The Institute of Medicine lists known functions of each mineral in your body. Potassium is important in balancing electrolytes, controlling high blood pressure and metabolizing sugar, while phosphorus works with calcium to build bones and facilitates your body's ability to use other nutrients. Iron is critical for the creation of red blood cells and is essential in the production of cellular energy. In addition to being another component in red blood cell formation, copper is a mineral that will also assist your body with iron absorption. Magnesium is important in nerve and muscle function and is essential in every major biological process in your body.

Contains Amino Acids

Coconut sap contains all 9 essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, although there are only trace amounts of methionine present. The sap also contains 8 nonessential amino acids. Proteins are part of every living cell in your body. The Nutrition Supplement Education Centre lists many other functions of amino acids, including their importance in the formation of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen, and antibodies, which help your immune system fight infection. Some amino acids play a part in repairing tissue, while others serve as neurotransmitters, transmitting messages within the brain, and some are even utilized in detoxification and metabolic functions.

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References

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