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Coconut Aminos: Benefits and Uses for This Health Food Trend

There are lots of interesting health food trends worth learning about to either improve upon unhealthy habits or to just try something new in your diet. One example is coconut aminos, which can be used as a soy sauce alternative. People who practice the paleo diet made this particular health food popular, but you can give it a try regardless of what type of diet you follow.

Here is some information about coconut aminos, including their potential health benefits and how to use them in cooking.

Photo credit: Rob Bertholf via Flickr

What Are Coconut Aminos?

Coconut aminos are a type of sauce that is made from the coconut blossom nectar of coconut palms. To make it edible for human use, this sap is fermented and often blended with sea salt. No additives are needed to produce coconut aminos, so you won’t have to worry about processed ingredients. It has a salty and sweet taste at the same time and ends with a satisfying buttery finish. You use coconut aminos as a condiment to add onto food or to cook with it.

How Healthy Are Coconut Aminos?

One of the biggest reasons to use coconut aminos as an alternative to soy sauce is to lessen your daily sodium intake. They have about 73 percent less sodium than your standard bottle of soy sauce. Coconut aminos are also recommended for people who are allergic to soy, and this up-and-coming condiment is gluten-free too.

Although the sauce does contain amino acids, the actual quantity of them is relatively low, so you’ll still need to get your amino acid intake from other foods. In addition to having trace amounts of approximately 16 or 17 amino acids, coconut aminos also contain a bit of vitamin B and vitamin C. A single serving of coconut aminos is about 5 grams and contains approximately five calories and one gram of carbohydrates. It is also a way to help control your blood glucose levels because this is a low GI index food and does not contain MSG like many soy sauce brands do.

Photo credit: waferboard via Flickr

How to Use Coconut Aminos

In addition to a soy sauce alternative, coconut aminos can also replace teriyaki sauce because it’s sweet and savory. You can try making stir-fry dishes using coconut aminos rather than the sauces you typically use. However, heat can destroy the natural nutrients it contains, so it’s best to save it for the very end of your cooking.

You can also simply pour coconut aminos over salads to use as a salad dressing or use it as a dipping sauce or marinade. They can complement a wide variety of dishes, including chicken, fish, and vegetables. Natural health-focused grocery chains, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joes, carry coconut aminos, and other stores are starting to put them on their shelves too as this health food trend continues to gain popularity.

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