Coconut water is known to have a lot of benefits for our health. Coconut water is rich in electrolytes, vitamin, and also contains several types of vitamins. Made from the clear liquid present inside green coconuts, coconut water contains 95% of water. Nowadays, coconut water is a very trendy beverage to have all over the world. From children to the elderly, coconut water is a drink of choice for everybody. This beverage is tasty and refreshing, and also very good for your health. Today we take a look at the top benefits of coconut water.
10 Health Benefits of Coconut Water
Coconut water provides a myriad of different benefits for your health. From rehydration to weight loss and even being a remedy for the digestive system and cholera, coconut water is like the magic elixir of life. Coconut water contains energy, fat, proteins, sugar, carbohydrates, and even your required dosage of dietary fiber. Amongst the minerals contained in coconut water, there is calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, copper, selenium and manganese. Coconut water also contains several types of vitamins including vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, and even vitamin K, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate and riboflavin.
Some of the health benefits of drinking coconut water include:
Coconut Water Boosts Cardiovascular Health
Coconut water is known to promote cardiovascular health, as it reduces the risk of stroke, hypertension, low blood pressure and heart attacks. While exercising regularly is also necessary for good heart health, drinking coconut water regularly also has its benefits. You should be consuming tender coconut water once a day to improve your heart health. However, do keep in mind that you should not be drinking too much coconut water as it does contain nearly 5 g of sugar per coconut.
Coconut Water Has Antioxidant Properties
Coconut water has been proven to contain antioxidants which modify the free radicals found in our body and prevents them from causing any harm. Free radicals are present in the body in the form of unstable molecules that our cells produce during metabolism. When the body suffers an injury or is under stress, the production of free radicals increases. When there are too many free radicals in the body, the body reaches a state of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is known to cause damage to cells and also increase the risk of catching many diseases. Studies conducted on animals who were exposed to free radicals and other toxins showed that coconut water is rich in antioxidants, which modified the free radicals so that they were unable to cause harm any further. Another study done on rats who suffered liver damage showed that there was a substantial improvement in the condition of oxidative stress in the rats after being treated with coconut water. Till date, several studies have shown that coconut water contains antioxidants, which helps protect the cells in the body from the damage caused by free radicals.
Coconut Water can be a Natural Sports Drink
Rich in natural electrolytes, coconut water is an ideal option for being used as a sports drink. In fact, it is very much similar to traditional sports drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade. Coconut water is actually a better option than the traditional sports drink because it is made without any food coloring, added sugar or any artificial sweeteners. This is why many people are opting for using coconut water as a natural performance drink to boost their energy levels.
There have been many studies that have shown that coconut water can perform equally as well as a traditional sports drink and keeps you well hydrated and also help to replenish the lost fluids after an exercise session. However, there are some drawbacks to coconut water being used as a sports drink. One factor is that coconut water contains less sodium as compared to actual sports drinks. Sodium is the primary electrolyte that is lost through sweating. Also, coconut water has a lower content of carbohydrates as compared to sports drinks that are designed for endurance sports. This means that coconut water may not provide you the energy that is required for a bout of exercise lasting for over an hour. Nevertheless, coconut water will keep you rehydrated and also provide rehydration afterward.
Another health benefit of using coconut water over traditional sports drinks is that it is easier to drink sufficient amount of coconut water without having an upset stomach or without feeling nauseated. A point to keep in mind is that it is not recommended to have coconut water which has added preservatives and added sugar as they will prevent hydration from happening properly and also add unnecessary calories to your daily intake.
Coconut Water Improves Metabolism
A major health benefit of coconut water is boosting the metabolism of your body. An improvement in your body’s metabolism is known to help you burn more calories, which is a great health benefit of coconut water. A sluggish metabolism may cause many problems and diseases. Coconut water is known to give a boost to your metabolism. Coconut water boosts the metabolism because it contains a high level of manganese, which is required by the body for proper metabolism.
Coconut Water May Help in Diabetes
Studies conducted on animals have shown that coconut water is helpful in lowering the levels of blood sugar and also improving related health markers in diabetics. For example, one study done on diabetic rats found that when they were treated with coconut water, it resulted in better-maintained blood sugar levels as compared to the other diabetic rats who did not receive coconut water. The study also showed that the rats treated with coconut water displayed lower levels of a certain type of hemoglobin known as A1c, which is a measure of blood sugar control for the long term.
Yet another study showed that diabetic rats who were provided with coconut water showed improvements in their levels of blood sugar and also showed reduced markers of oxidative stress.
While data seems promising for coconut water and how it helps diabetics, more research is still required to confirm these results in humans. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to include coconut water in your meal plan if you suffer from diabetes because coconut water is a great source of magnesium, which is known to improve insulin sensitivity and also lower levels of blood sugar in people having type 2 diabetes.
Coconut Water is Rich in Potassium
Coconut water is known to contain very high levels of potassium – almost 10 times than that of sports drinks. In fact, an 8-ounce glass of coconut water will contain nearly the same level of potassium as one banana. Potassium is necessary to maintain the electrolyte and fluid balance in the body, particularly while you exercise. If you are a sports person, then drinking coconut water is particularly helpful to you. Furthermore, coconut water is low in sodium levels, while being high in potassium, which helps balance out the effect of sodium on your blood pressure, while also helping in keeping it on the lower side if you suffer from hypertension.
Coconut Water helps Prevent Kidney Stones
Having plenty of fluids is necessary for keeping the body healthy and is also important for preventing kidney stones, particularly for people who have a propensity for kidney stones. While having plain water is usually the go-to option, it does become boring to consume too much of plain water. Furthermore, many studies show that coconut water is a better option when it comes to preventing kidney stones.
Kidney stones form in the body when oxalate, calcium, and some other compounds combine together to form crystals in urine; these crystals then stick together to form stones. Studies have shown that coconut water prevents these crystals from sticking together and also from sticking to the kidneys or other parts of the urinary tract, thus preventing the formation of stones. Coconut water also lowers the number of these crystals that form in the urine and hence is highly beneficial for your health.
Coconut Water contains Essential Amino Acids
Our body needs amino acids to repair tissues and they also form the basic building blocks of protein. Coconut water is known to contain high levels of amino acids such as arginine, alanine, cysteine and serine. The levels are even higher than what is found in cow’s milk. High levels of the amino acid arginine ensure that your body responds properly to stress and also keeps your heart in a good condition.
Coconut Water Helps with Digestion
Ingesting fibers is known to be beneficial to the digestive system and ensures that it keeps functioning properly. Coconut water is also rich in fibers, thus making it an excellent digestive aid and an added health benefit of coconut water. Studies show that the average water contained in one green coconut contains around 10% of the fiber your body requires on a daily basis.
Coconut Water has High Levels of Cytokinins
Cytokinins are the hormones that help plants grow. These are also found in high levels in coconut water. Apart from ensuring proper growth levels, cytokinins also have cancer-fighting and anti-aging properties. However, no studies have yet been done to show whether coconut water actually helps prevent cancer, but nevertheless, all these benefits of coconut water make it an attractive beverage of choice.
Coconut water has many more benefits apart from the ones mentioned here. Having coconut water regularly is a great choice for keeping your body healthy and active. In fact, you should opt for choosing coconut water over your traditional sports drinks, thus skipping the added preservatives, sugar and food colors. Coconut water is also a great option if you are trying to lose weight. It helps you lose the calories and also keep you well hydrated. It is best to have coconut water fresh and unprocessed so that you get the maximum benefit from it.