In the past few years, there’s been a lot of talk about coconut water benefits. So, is coconut water good for you? Green coconut water is not only tasty and refreshing but there are several health benefits of coconut water as well.
It has been dubbed as Mother Nature’s sports drink by the marketing world and it has become a craze in America with the demand skyrocketing due to endorsements by celebrities and athletes.
But is all this merely hype or does coconut water have true value for health? Let’s check it out!
What is Coconut Water?
Green coconut water or young coconut water is the liquid that is found when you crack a tender coconut fruit.
- It is a clear liquid that is found in the center of the fruit of young, green coconuts. There are many uses of coconut water.
- Coconut water has a sweet and nutty flavor.
- It consists of carbohydrates present in the form of sugar along with electrolytes.
- It contains 46 calories in a single serving of the natural fruit.
Remember: The nutritional facts of coconut water will change for canned and bottled varieties.
Warning: However, coconut water cannot be considered as a source of empty calories!
Do not confuse it with coconut milk or coconut oil! Coconut water is the clear, thin liquid in the middle of a young coconut, whereas coconut milk is made from mashing the coconut meat to make a thick pulp whereas coconut oil is obtained from the dried nut of the coconut tree.
- Is coconut water healthy? Well, it is low in calories and lower in sodium and potassium, as compared to other sports drinks.
- It is free from fat and cholesterol.
- It is super hydrating.
- As for coconut water nutrition facts, it contains proteins, energy, fat, sugar, fiber and carbs, vitamins and minerals.
Super Benefits of Drinking Coconut Water
Coconut Water as an Antioxidant
- What does coconut water do for you? Coconut water is an excellent source of antioxidants.
- Drinking coconut water everyday can scavenge free radicals as well as other toxins produced in your body.
Remember: Free radicals can cause damage by causing cell death and other diseases.
There are several benefits of drinking coconut water daily!
- Coconut water contains much less sugar as compared to other sports drinks, sodas and some fruit juices.
- A coconut water diet is suitable for diabetics looking for a less sweet drink. It contains just 3 grams of fiber and a digestible amount of just 6 grams of carbs per cup, so it can be ideally fitted in a diabetic meal plan.
- Coconut water is also a good source of magnesium, which can improve sensitivity to insulin and reduce blood sugar levels for those with type 2 diabetes.
Warning: Don’t overdo it, as one 11-ounce container contains 60 calories and that could add up.
Remember: Read the labels and select plain coconut water and not those with added juices or sugars.
Coconut Water Helps Normalise Cholesterol Levels
What are the benefits of drinking coconut water? Studies show that coconut water could actually lower bad or LDL cholesterol and increase good or HDL cholesterol levels.
- Coconut water consists of 94% water and very small quantity of fat.
- A study on rats showed that coconut water reduced blood cholesterol as well as triglycerides, along with reduction in liver fat.
- The study showed that it reduced overall LDL or bad cholesterol and increased HDL or good cholesterol.
Reduces Urinary Problems/Kidney Stones
How good is coconut water for you? It is important to drink a lot of fluids in order to prevent urinary problems and kidney stones and what better fluid than coconut water!
- Kidney stones are formed due to formation of crystals of calcium and other compounds in the urine.
Note: A study done on rats showed that coconut water prevented the crystals from sticking on to the urinary tract or the kidneys and also reduced the formation of crystals.
- Coconut water is used in Asian countries as a preventive measure for urinary tract infection. Take coconut water in the morning, as it is a diuretic and flushes out the bacteria from the tract.
- It also has antimicrobial properties, containing biochemicals known as peptides, which is capable of killing bacteria, both gram positive and gram negative, thereby reducing urinary infections.
A Healthier Heart – Health Benefits of Coconut Water
Coconut water is also known to be good for your heart.
- It controls the cholesterol levels, so these levels get reduced in the heart and the aorta as well.
- This results in a healthier heart and fewer risks of strokes and attacks.
- It also stimulates enzymes in the body, thereby assisting in recovery from myocardial damage.
Reduced Blood Pressure Controls Hypertension
Research has shown some interesting results with regard to coconut water and hypertension and blood pressure.
- It is known that potassium assists in lowering blood pressure. Many of the vegetables suggested for a hypertension diet are rich in potassium.
- Coconut water is rich in potassium, so drinking it will result in much the same effects as eating foods containing potassium.
Hypertension is a serious condition and you should be monitored by a doctor. Coconut water could help, but an excess of potassium could harm the kidneys.
Hydration Benefits/For Athletes
John Isner, the professional tennis player swears by it saying it helped him keep on his feet for the 11-hour Wimbledon tennis win.
- Regular water can become rather dull and colas and sodas have a high sugar content. In such a situation, coconut water is a healthy refreshment for athletes, as it has a similar effect as sports drinks.
- Coconut water is useful as a treatment for high sweating or diarrhea. It offers energy and hydrates the body, without the calories.
Note: Studies show that coconut water restores hydration after an exercise better than water and is equal to the hydration offered by top level electrolyte beverages meant for athletes and sportsmen.
- Some minerals like potassium and sodium present in coconut water play the role of electrolytes and are useful in balancing water levels of the body.
- There are also benefits of coconut water for skin. Dehydration causes dry and dull skin. Drinking coconut water could remedy this and give make you glow from both inside and outside. The benefits of coconut water on hair also works similarly. It is perfect for counteracting dry scalp.
Use 1/2 cup coconut water mixed with 4 tsps. of hair oil and spray on the hair to massage the hair follicles. You can also use it after shampooing, as a conditioner.
Taking one glass of coconut water after a long hot day in the sun could restore the minerals, vitamins as well as energy to your body within a matter of minutes.
As for coconut water during pregnancy, it is safe but should be taken in moderation. It helps to curb dehydration that results from morning sickness and also cures constipation and heartburn, associated with pregnancy.
Wrap Up – Benefits of Coconut Water
Thus, we see that coconut water is Mother Nature’s natural way of offering us a super hydrating drink and benefits us in many ways. It is no wonder that the demand for coconut water is skyrocketing and it has become the latest health craze in America today.
Coconut water is low in calories and has a lot of nutritional value. It is much better than many other sugary drinks and sports drinks and could be a great choice for both adults and kids. However, be careful not to overdo it! Stay healthy!