There is a new addition to the menu, which has been generating some buzz amongst food enthusiasts and healthy eating advocates alike. This addition, which promises to be a healthier alternative to some sauce currently available, is called coconut aminos. Coconut aminos are produced from finely aged coconut sap and salt. The sap is the liquid paste produced when coconut palm is cut. The taste is salty with a delicate sweetness and flavor which is not as intense or dark as that in soy sauce.
It is a gluten-free, wholly vegan alternative to soy sauce rich in 17 amino acids and 65% less salt than soy sauce. It is rapidly gaining popularity as an alternative to seasonings like Tamari, soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.
Several brands are currently on the market, in many local stores and even online. However, the most popular of them is Coconut Secret. It is worth noting that each brand may contain other ingredients in addition to the standard constituents.
• Coconut sap
• Amino acids
• Completely vegan
• 100% organic
Some brands may add a touch of coconut vinegar and coconut sugar to add a touch of spice.
Is it true that coconut aminos are Gluten-free?
Coconut aminos is entirely gluten-free. This is welcome news to those allergic to gluten and the health buffs out there. In addition, they contain essential amino acids and a low glycemic index.
Are coconut aminos vegan-friendly?
Coconuts aminos are completely vegan thus are the welcome addition to the vegan menu. The main ingredients are coconut sap, salt, some coconut sugar or vinegar depending on the brand. All these are wholly vegan condiments. In addition, its production process means that the sap is raw and not treated with heat. This means that the many active health enzymes are preserved and enhance proper breakdown, digestion and other beneficial processes in the body.
Are coconut aminos GMO-free?
Yes! Unlike soy sauce, which may sometimes come from GMO contaminated soybeans, you are rest assured that coconut aminos are entirely GMO-free.
Ways/Recipes to use coconut aminos
Their taste which can be described as a rich been of sweet-savory and salty (although not as salty as Tamari or soy sauce) means they can be used as a gluten-free substitute or alternative for soy sauce or Tamari in any recipe at all that catches your fancy.
Thus, it can be used in salad dressings, cooked foods, for dipping in foods like sushi, to spice up your fried rice or short ribs.
Coconut aminos can come in handy as a general enhancer of food flavors. For that awesome taste, go ahead and use in marinades, as the dipping sauce, in stir-fries, like a dash over salad dressings – as many as your imagination are open to.
After opening, it is important to keep the bottle in a refrigerator.
Why The Sudden Buzz Around Coconut Aminos?
Several reasons account for the popularity, and buzz coconut aminos seems to be generating. Some of these include:
• They are wholly vegan and thus ideal for a vegan diet. They are also gaining popularity amongst those on a paleo diet. They contain no gluten thus perfect for those allergic to gluten.
• They are soy-free and contain about 65% less salt than soy sauce and Tamari.
• Their low glycemic index endears them to the diabetic patients.
• Coconut aminos are derived from coconut nectar, and recently coconuts have soared in popularity especially as a dairy substitute.
• They are MSG-free yet give that distinct unique flavor and sweet-savory flavor.
• Coconut aminos have a wide variety of uses as much as the imagination can fathom.
• Not forgetting the great marketing style employed by the marketers of coconut aminos which sticks to promoting its health benefits whole avoiding dubious health claims – a practice which is rife among many marketers of traditional foods.
Where Can I Find Or Shop For Coconut Aminos?
Coconut aminos can be found in your local health food stores, high-end grocery stores, some independent natural grocery stores, big whole food grocers, etc. In addition, some brands have listed on their websites all the stores they supply to including options for online shopping for countries like the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
Benefits Of Coconut Aminos
1. Perfect for vegans and dieters: Consisting mainly of finely aged coconut sap and salt, it is a tasty addition to the diets vegans and those on diets. Its low salt content compared to regular soy sauce, or Tamari leaves you healthier while enjoying its great taste and excellent flavor.
2. Variety is the spice of life: Coconut aminos can be used in many different ways limited only by the creativity of the user. From using as the dipping sauce to salads as a flavor enhancer, it is sure a great addition and comes handy in the kitchen.
3. Protects your heart, blood vessels, and cholesterol regulation: It has been proven that coconut increases HDL cholesterol that is, the good cholesterol in your body. This helps mop up fat away from the heart and blood vessels. This is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system. In addition, coconut products contain anti-oxidants, which protect the heart and blood vessels from free radicals, which cause damage. Thus, coconut aminos like other coconut products leave your heart healthy.
4. Reduction in the risk of Diabetes: The western world is in the middle of an obesity epidemic crisis with increasing prevalence of metabolic disorders such as diabetes. Consequently, a lot of research has gone into the risks and cause of obesity. As the study by the University of California sought to highlight the danger of a soybean-rich diet vs. one containing coconut products. The findings of the survey indicated that diets rich in soybean faced a higher risk of Diabetes and other metabolic conditions whereas coconut-rich diets reduced the risk. Although this benefit is not a quick fix or short-term gain, it shows that opting for healthier alternatives adds up to good health in the long run. For those who already have diabetes, the low glycemic index of coconut aminos is a healthy addition to the diabetic diet plan. A low glycemic idea means it contains less sugar and releases it slowly compared to foods with a high glycemic index. In addition, the abundant amino acid content is essential for the body.
5. Boosts the immune system: Promoting and protecting the immune system is a great benefit offered by coconut aminos consumption. Coconut products contain high levels of anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants neutralize and make harmful free radicals in the body harmless. This is technically called reduction of oxidative stress. Free radicals have been implicated in the weakening of the immune system, causation of cancer and damage to organs.
This is associated with health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, kidney and heart diseases. Thus, elimination of free radicals is important. What’s more, coconut aminos as with other coconut products contains a healthy amount of saturated fats, which are also linked with the capability to boost and strengthen your body’s immune system.
6. Assists in weight loss: One possible way by which coconut aminos reduces the risk of Diabetes may be found in the role it plays in weight loss. This is connected to the substance called Adinopectin. Adinopectin is produced by the body’s fatty tissue and released into the bloodstream. It has been found to regulate many processes in the body that include breaking down fatty acids and controlling levels of glucose. Adinopectin levels have been discovered to be inversely proportional to body fat, i.e., the more Adinopectin you have, the lower the amount of fat (there are however certain exceptions to this rule).
Consuming coconut aminos increases the levels of Adinopectin in your bloodstream. An interesting study conducted in Brazil discovered that the inclusion of coconut products in diet did not only lead to a regulation of blood pressure, lowered glucose levels, decreased cholesterol, it also accounted for a reduction in the BMI (body mass index), waist circumference, overall body fat and other obesity indices. This highlights the role of coconut aminos in the prevention and even treatment of obesity.
7. Reduction of colon cancer risk: Diets with a high-fat content have traditionally been linked with an increased risk for development of colon cancer. Recent research findings are currently challenging this. Coconut products are noted as a rich source of saturated fats. Contrary to popular belief, saturated fats contain some essential fatty acids, which cannot be synthesized by the body but derived from external sources.
Some health benefits attributed to saturated fats include their role in the body’s immunity, detoxification, and maintenance of healthy bone density. Armed with this information, researchers at the University of South Carolina carried out research to determining how coconut products influence colon cancer risk. Subjects who consumed coconut products showed a reduction in inflammation and decreased the incidence of malignant colonic types of cancer. A likely explanation was the role of saturated fats in maintaining the integrity of intestinal barrier and maintenance of a healthy mucosa layer of the intestinal tract. As a result, coconut products may use as foods which fight cancer especially colon cancer.
8. Promotion of mental health: Not only is coconut aminos right for your body, but it is also great for your mind and mental well-being. The sap used in making coconut aminos is rich in inositol – protein. Inositol has been reported to have a significant effect on people suffering from depression, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders and several other mental health conditions. Inositol has in fact been shown to have equal efficacy/effect as SSRIs which are the standard conventional treatment modalities for some of these disorders excluding the side effects which range from sexual dysfunction, bleeding and suicidal ideation in the most extreme situations.
9. Natural treatment of Polycystic ovarian syndrome: This is linked to its role in providing Adinopectin. Adinopectin affects insulin resistance that is implicated in people suffering from metabolic conditions such as diabetes. In addition, Inositol found in coconut products has been found to be a robust treatment for PCOS and its underlying features including high blood pressure, hyperandrogenism, irregular menstruation, etc
10. 17 amino acids up for grabs: Coconut aminos contains about 17 amino acids. Amino are blocks of proteins that are the building blocks of the body. Among the 17 amino acids are both essential and nonessential ones. They play important roles in the body from muscle tissue repair, maintaining proper functioning of the brain and nervous system, boosting immunity, etc. A highlight of some of the amino acids include the following
• Threonine: This is useful for prevention of stress and calming the mind
• Glutamic acid: Essential for a healthy prostate in men, aids digestion and enhances brain function
• Aspartic acid: Acts as a neurotransmitter and helps in regulating hormone levels in the body
• Valine: Suitable for proper tissue repair and regeneration process.
• Serine: Plays a role in higher mental function such as memory and cognitive functions
• Alanine: Helps in maintaining blood glucose levels and inter-conversion of different sugar compounds in the body.
Possible Cautions / Warnings
Coconut aminos consist of coconut sap, salt and some other ingredients, which are considered very safe for consumption. No research yet suggests adverse effects resulting from coconut aminos overuse. Although extremely rare, individuals who are allergic to coconut products are advised against consumption of coconut aminos.
The benefits of consuming coconut aminos are quite overwhelming. Thus it is a healthy, vegan, organic, and free from gluten, amino acid-packed and, safe substitute the for soy sauce and others like Tamari. It lends itself to a wide variety of uses and its role in maintenance of health and prevention of diseases make it a sure winner any day. For all the goodness of soy sauce without all its attendant downsides, use coconut aminos. It is good for you.
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