The healthy food movement has become an unstoppable trend, due in large part to a greater cultural awareness of nutrition. Consumers are beginning to see healthy living as an ongoing trend as self-care continues to increase. More and more importance is given to natural foods and drinks.
In recent years, coconut water has become one such very trendy beverage.
Not only is it tasty and refreshing, it also happens to be good for you. It is Loaded with several important nutrients, including minerals that most people don’t get enough of.
Source of coconut water:
Coconuts grow on large palm trees known scientifically as Cocos nucifera. Despite the name, the coconut is botanically considered a fruit rather than a nut.
Coconut water is the juice found in the center of a young, green unripe coconut. It helps nourish the fruit.
As the coconut matures, some of the juice remains in liquid form while the rest ripens into the solid white flesh known as coconut meat.
Coconut water forms naturally in the fruit and contains 94% water and very little fat, as opposed to coconut milk … which is made by adding water to grated coconut meat. Coconut milk contains about 50% water and is very high in coconut fat.
While Coconuts take 10–12 months to fully mature, coconut water typically comes from young coconuts about 6–7 months of age, though it’s also found in mature fruit.
An average green coconut provides about 0.5–1 cups of coconut water.
Here are 8 health benefits of coconut water.
1. Good Source of Several Nutrients
One cup (240 ml) contains 46 calories, as well as:
- Carbs: 9 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Vitamin C: 10% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 15% of the RDI
- Manganese: 17% of the RDI
- Potassium: 17% of the RDI
- Sodium: 11% of the RDI
- Calcium: 6% of the RDI
2. Antioxidant Properties
Free radicals are unstable molecules produced in your cells during metabolism, the production of which increases in response to stress or injury.
With an increase in free radicals, your body enters a state of oxidative stress, which can damage your cells and increase disease risk.
Research has shown that coconut water contains antioxidants which modify free radicals so they no longer cause harm.
Coconut water contains antioxidants that can protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.
3. Benefits Against Diabetes
Research has shown that coconut water can lower blood sugar levels and improve other health markers in diabetic animals.
With its 3 grams of fiber and a digestible carb content of only 6 grams per cup (240 ml), coconut water can easily fit into a meal plan for people with diabetes.
It’s also known to be a good source of magnesium, which may increase insulin sensitivity and decrease reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
Studies suggest that coconut water may improve blood sugar control. It’s also a good source of magnesium, which may increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.
4. Helps Prevent Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are formed when calcium, oxalate and other compounds combine to form crystals in your urine. These can then form stones. However, some people are more susceptible to developing them than others.
Drinking enough fluids is important to prevent their formation. Although plain water is a great choice, one study suggests that coconut water may be even better.
Researchers believe that coconut water helps reduce free radical production that occurs in response to high oxalate levels in urine.
Research suggests that water from coconuts may prevent kidney stones by reducing crystal and stone formation.
5. Reduces Heart Risk
Drinking coconut water may be helpful to reduce heart disease risk.
Studies suggest that coconut water may have powerful cholesterol-lowering properties.
6. Reduces Blood Pressure
Coconut water may be great for controlling blood pressure.
In one small study in people with high blood pressure, coconut water improved systolic blood pressure (the higher number in a blood pressure reading) in 71% of participants.
Additionally, coconut water contains an impressive 600 mg of potassium in 8 ounces (240 ml). Potassium has been shown to lower blood pressure in people with high or normal blood pressure.
Coconut water may help lower blood pressure.
7. Beneficial After Prolonged Exercise
Coconut water could be the perfect beverage for restoring hydration and replenishing electrolytes lost during exercise.
Electrolytes are minerals that play several important roles in your body, including maintaining proper fluid balance.
They include potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium.
Two studies showed that coconut water restored hydration after exercise better than water and equal to high-electrolyte sports beverages.
The participants also said that coconut water caused less nausea and stomach discomfort.
However, another study comparing high-electrolyte beverages found that coconut water tended to cause bloating and stomach upset in some subjects.
Coconut water is effective at replenishing fluids and electrolytes after exercise. It is comparable to other sports beverages.
8. Delicious Source of Hydration
Coconut water is slightly sweet and has a subtle, nutty flavor. It’s also fairly low in calories and carbs.
The water is freshest when it comes directly from the coconut. Simply press a straw into the soft part of a green coconut and start drinking.
The coconut can be stored in your refrigerator; consume it within two to three weeks of purchase.
Alternatively, you can also buy bottled coconut water at most grocery stores.
However, be sure to read the ingredients to verify you’re getting 100% coconut water. Some bottled brands contain added sugar or flavoring agents.
This tropical liquid can be used in smoothies, chia seed pudding, and vinaigrette dressing or substituted for plain water whenever you want a bit of natural sweetness.
Coconut water can be consumed directly from green coconuts or bought in bottles. Avoid brands with added sugar, sweeteners or flavors.
The Bottom Line
Coconut water is a delicious, nutritious and natural beverage that’s extremely good for you.
It may benefit your heart, blood sugar, kidney health and more.
If you start sipping away at this tropical drink, just be sure to avoid products with added sugar .Fresh is best!