From coconut oil to coconut extract, coconut has a lot to boast of. Coconut water, in particular, has a high concentration of minerals, vitamins, and electrolytes. This tropical drink can be bought from nearly every store.
Coconut water is typically obtained from a clear liquid of green coconut. Coconut water should not be confused with coconut milk which is obtained from the liquid and flesh of mature coconut fruit. A large percentage of coconut water is composed of water itself. Consumption of coconut water started long ago, especially in tropical areas. It was also used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine to manage digestion issues and reproduction problems. Even if it may not treat these problems, coconut water appears to have several health benefits. Keep reading to learn more.
Provides Beneficial Nutrients
Scientists consider coconut as a fruit, and it is botanically called Cocos nucifera. Coconut water is in the center of an immature green coconut and is responsible for the nourishment of the fruit. Coconut fruit takes about 10-12 months to attain full maturity. As the fruit gradually matures, a small portion of coconut water may remain, but most of it hardens to form the white flesh, which is called coconut meat. Coconut water is usually present in an immature coconut fruit about seven months of age and is approximately a half or one full cup. Mature coconut only carries a small portion of it. Coconut water provides beneficial nutrients. In just 240 ml of coconut water, there are 60 calories, 15 g of carbs, 8 g of sugar, 4% of the RDV of calcium, 4% of the RDV of magnesium, 2% of the RDV of phosphorus, and 15% of the RDV of potassium.
Contains Powerful Antioxidants
Antioxidants are stable compounds that usually counteract the effects and reduce the amounts of free radicals. During metabolism, which takes place in your cells, free radicals are produced. When you are traumatized or under stress, the number of free radicals produced increases. When these free radicals are produced in excess, outnumbering antioxidants, oxidative stress sets in. This state can severely damage your cells and tissues.
Coconut water contains antioxidants, which according to researchers, can help reduce damages caused by free radicals. Similarly, antioxidants can reduce blood pressure, activities of free radicals, insulin levels, and triglycerides. It is worth noting that these claims are based on studies that had not been tried on humans. Therefore, human studies need to be done in this area.
May Help Control Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetic Patients
Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires that its patients be monitoring their blood sugars periodically. People living with diabetes also need to practice dietary discipline by avoiding some foods which can spike blood sugars. Published studies have concluded that coconut water can help lower levels of sugars in the blood. One study indicated that the rats treated with coconut had considerably regulated blood sugar levels than the rats in the control group.
Coconut water may also help reduce blood glucose. Additionally, coconut water may also benefit diabetic patients in another way. The content of magnesium in coconut water may help increase insulin sensitivity and decrease blood sugar levels. However, you should proceed with caution on coconut water if you are diabetic. This is because it contains carbs which your body breaks down into sugars, thus increasing sugar levels again in your blood.
May Help Prevent Renal Calculi
Renal calculi or kidney stones usually result in the blockage of the ureter leading to reduced urine output. Constant rehydration may help prevent kidney stones. Using plain water for rehydration is good, but scientists suggest that coconut water may even do better. Kidney stones are tiny crystals formed in the urine and are a combination of oxalates, calcium, and other compounds. One study conducted in 2013 and published in PubMed treated rats diagnosed with kidney stones using coconut water. At the end of the study, it was evident that coconut water helped reduce crystal formation in urine and prevent them from adhering to the walls of the kidney and the entire urinary tract. A recent study of 2018 also concluded that coconut water could help cleanse the system by eliminating chloride, potassium, and citrate.
May Improve Heart Functionality
Heart disease can be debilitating and fatal over time. Overweight, high fat, triglycerides, and cholesterols contents in the blood are contributing factors to heart disease. Interestingly, coconut water can help reduce the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood. In a similar way, coconut water may also be effective at lowering blood pressure in people living with hypertension. The secret behind coconut water lowering blood pressure this much is its high content of potassium which is about 500 mg of potassium in just 8 ounces of coconut water.
Beneficial During and After Strenuous Activities
As had been mentioned earlier, it is deemed better to rehydrate yourself with coconut water. It perfectly replaces lost electrolytes, especially after strenuous activity. Maintenance of fluid balance and impulse conduction is among the few of the vital functions of electrolytes. They include sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Coconut water contains impressive amounts of potassium and magnesium than water, making it a perfect choice for replacing electrolytes after a hard exercise.
Contains Vital Amino Acids
Amino acids are the major building blocks of protein. They are also important in tissue repair. Compared to cow’s milk, coconut water has more content of cysteine, alanine, and serine. It is also rich in arginine, an amino acid that has been shown to help the body respond to stress caused by strenuous activity.
It is Delicious
Coconut water has an impressive nutty flavor with low content of calories and carbs. It is more delicious if you obtain it fresh from the fruit. It can be used as an ingredient in a recipe for chia seed pudding or smoothies.
Coconut water is a delicious liquid obtained from an immature coconut fruit of 7 months or less. It has several health benefits like providing beneficial nutrients, hydration, and improving heart functionality.