Coconut water has seven health benefits.
1.An excellent supplier of a variety of nutrients
Coconuts are botanically classified as a fruit and grow on trees known as Cocos nucifera in tropical areas.
The liquid contained in the middle of a young, green coconut is called coconut water. It aids in the nourishment of the fruit. Some of the liquid remains in the coconut as it grows, which takes around 10–12 months, while the rest ripens into the solid white flesh known as coconut meat. Coconut water is extracted from young coconuts that are 6–7 months old, but it can also be found in older fruit. Coconut water yields around 1/2–1 cup from a typical green coconut.
Coconut water is almost entirely made up of water, with very little fat. It’s not to be confused with coconut milk, which is prepared by combining grated coconut meat with water. Coconut milk has nearly half of its weight in water and is heavy in fat.
One cup (240 ml) contains 60 calories as well as the following nutrients:
Carbohydrates: 15 g
8 grams of sugar
Calcium accounts for 4% of the daily value (DV)
Magnesium: 4% of the daily value
phosphorus: 2% of the daily value
Potassium: 15% of the daily value
- Antioxidant properties are possible.
Free radicals are unstable chemicals produced during metabolism in your cells. When they are stressed or injured, their production increases.
When your body is exposed to too many free radicals, it enters an oxidative stress state, which can harm your cells and raise your risk of disease.
Coconut water includes antioxidants that may help alter free radicals so they no longer cause harm, according to animal studies.
Insulin-resistant rats fed a high-fructose diet were given coconut water in a 2012 study. Blood pressure, lipids, and insulin levels all dropped as free radical activity decreased.
Another study from 2014 indicated that when damaged rat livers were treated with coconut water, they showed a significant reduction in oxidative stress when compared to livers that were not treated.
The effects of coconut water extract on rats fed a high-fat diet were highlighted in a third study published in 2016. Coconut water not only helped lower cholesterol levels, but it also had “antioxidant potency.”
While these findings are intriguing, it’s worth noting that there have been no human studies on the antioxidant activity of coconut water to yet, and each of the animal research used different dosages and conditions.
- For diabetics, it may help reduce blood sugar levels.
Coconut water has been found in studies to lower blood sugar levels and enhance other health markers in diabetic animals.
In a 2015 study, rats with diabetes who were given coconut water had better blood sugar management than the control group. The rats given coconut water had lower levels of hemoglobin A1c, indicating improved long-term blood sugar control, according to the same study.
Coconut water was also proven to lower blood glucose levels in animals with diabetes in a more recent study from 2021.
More research is needed in humans to corroborate these findings.
Another added blood sugar benefit of coconut water is that it’s an excellent source of magnesium, which may help people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels.
With all of this in mind, it’s crucial to remember that coconut water contains carbs (which the body converts to sugars), so if you have diabetes or prediabetes, see your doctor or a dietitian before incorporating it into your diet.
- May aid in the prevention of kidney stones
Kidney stone prevention necessitates enough hydration.
Despite the fact that plain water is a decent option, two tiny studies suggest that coconut water is even better.
Kidney stones form when calcium, oxalate, and other substances in your urine mix to form crystals. These crystals can then be combined to produce little stones. Kidney stones afflict roughly 12% of the world’s population, with some people being more susceptible than others.
Coconut water prevented crystals from attaching to the kidneys and other areas of the urinary tract in rats with kidney stones in a 2013 study. It also decreased the formation of crystals in the urine.
Coconut water increased the urine of potassium, chloride, and citrate in persons without kidney stones, according to a 2018 study including eight participants. This suggests that coconut water may help flush the system and reduce the risk of stones.
Because one study used animals and the other is so tiny, much more research on the advantages of coconut water in reducing the risk of kidney stones is needed.
- It has the potential to improve heart health.
Coconut water may assist to lower the risk of heart disease.
Researchers fed rats a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet in a previous study from 2008. They also gave one group a lot of coconut water to drink (4 ml per 100 grams of body weight).
The coconut water group saw a drop in cholesterol and triglyceride levels after 45 days, similar to the effects of a cholesterol-lowering statin medicine.
It’s important to remember that this was a very high dose. It’s the equivalent of a 150-pound (68-kg) individual drinking 91 ounces (2.7 liters) of coconut water every day in human proportions.
Coconut water may also be good for decreasing blood pressure in people who have high blood pressure, according to a 2005 study, but more research is needed in this area.
Coconut water’s high potassium content is one of the reasons it may be linked to decreased blood pressure (500mg of potassium in 8 ounces).
Potassium has been demonstrated to reduce blood pressure in both high and low blood pressure patients.
- It’s good for you after you’ve done a lot of activity.
Coconut water could be the ideal drink for rehydrating and replenishing electrolytes lost during physical activity.
Electrolytes are minerals that serve a variety of functions in the body, including maintaining fluid balance. Potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium are some of the most important electrolytes.
Several studies have revealed that coconut water may be more useful than water for rehydration after exercise because it contains electrolytes like potassium and magnesium.
In fact, during a hot day in 2014, a small Brazilian study discovered that coconut water boosted exercise capacity more than water or a sports drink.
- Delicious hydration source
Natural coconut water has a faint nutty flavor and is somewhat sweet. It’s also low in calories and carbohydrates.
It’s best straight from the fruit, but if you don’t have access to fresh coconuts, there are several brands of coconut water on the market today.
Just double-check the ingredients to be sure you’re getting 100% coconut water. Sugar or flavoring ingredients may be added to some bottled brands.
This tropical liquid can be used as a base for smoothies, chia seed pudding, vinaigrette dressing, or as a replacement for plain water if you want a hint of sweetness.
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