Coconut water is the liquid found inside the coconut shell along with the coconut flesh. Coconut sap is the liquid extracted from coconut blossoms. It is locally called tuba, and is sweet when freshly harvested. Tuba can then be made into an alcoholic drink (raw coconut wine tuba or refined into lambanog), coco sugar or sukang tuba (coconut sap vinegar).
It is said that coconut sap offers more health benefits than coconut water because of the concentration of essential vitamins and minerals. More so, our very own sukang tuba (not the ones with artificial flavor enhancers) may actually be far superior than the more popular apple cider vinegar (ACV). Let’s take up the benefits we can get from sukang tuba and see whether it is indeed the better vinegar than ACV.
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.
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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