It is low in calories, high in nutrition and is an excellent thirst quencher. We’re talking about coconut water, a natural drink that has gained tremendous popularity in the recent years. Thanks to numerous health benefits of coconut water.
What is coconut water?
It is the clear water found in the tender green coconut. Tender coconuts are harvested at 5 to 7 months as they contain maximum water at this stage. As the coconuts mature, the water dries up, and the coconut turns fleshy. Coconut water has a sweet, almost nutty taste and is very refreshing.
Nutritional facts about coconut water
On an average, a green coconut provides a half to one glass of coconut water. One glass (240 grams) of coconut water contains 46 calories. It contains 10 grams of natural sugar and no fats. Other components are:
- Carbohydrates: 9 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Potassium: 600 mg
- Sodium: 252 mg
- Magnesium: 60 mg
- Calcium: 57.6 mg
- Vitamin C: 5.8 mg
- Folate: 7.2 mcg
Health Benefits of coconut water
1. Replenishes electrolytes
Electrolytes are minerals that are essential for the body to maintain fluid balance. Coconut water contains potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium. According to studies (1), coconut water is much better than water in restoring hydration is the body after exercise.
It is also a natural alternative to sports drinks as it contains very little sugar and calories as compared to most sports drinks.
2. Promotes weight loss
Weight loss is one of the biggest health benefits of coconut water. If you are trying to shed weight, coconut water is the drink for you. This refreshing drink contains enzymes that aid digestion and boost metabolism.
The high potassium levels in this drink help to balance out the sodium. Excess sodium, as we all know, can lead to water retention in the body. Coconut water also helps to flush out toxins from the body.
3. Reduces blood pressure
Coconut water is very useful in lowering blood pressure and keeping it under control. According to a 2005 study (2), when patients with high blood pressure were given this natural water for two weeks, they showed significant improvement in their blood pressure.
Their systolic blood pressure reduced by 71 percent and diastolic blood pressure came down by 29 percent as compared to those who drank plain water.
One glass of coconut water (240 ml) contains 600 mg of potassium. Scientists have also studied (3) the role of potassium in lowering blood pressure and for reducing cardiovascular diseases.
4. Improved digestion
Drinking coconut water can be beneficial if you are suffering from indigestion or acid reflux. It is rich in fiber content and natural enzymes, and this has a soothing effect on the stomach and intestinal lining.
It is also helpful in relieving constipation.
5. Beneficial for people with diabetes
Several studies have been done on diabetic rats to check the effectiveness of coconut water in treating diabetes. According to one such 2015 study (4), the rats that were given coconut water maintained better blood sugar levels than those who were not given any coconut water.
Further studies need to be done to see if coconut water is as beneficial for humans. However, this water is highly nutritious and is suitable for people with diabetes.
Coconut water is rich in magnesium (5), which improves insulin sensitivity and reduces blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
6. Rehydrates the body
Diarrhea, vomiting or excessive sweating can lead to dehydration. Coconut water is ideal for rehydration of the body thanks to its electrolyte content. This water is an excellent source of carbohydrates and can help in boosting your energy levels.
- Suggested read: How Much Water Should I Drink a Day?
In fact, the composition of coconut water is quite similar to what WHO recommends for its oral rehydration solution. If you are using bottled coconut water, make sure it does not contain added sugar.
7. Helps prevent kidney stone
Drinking coconut water can help reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. It has diuretic properties which promote the production of urine and flushes out extra calcium, phosphate and uric acid from the kidneys.
People why already have kidney stones can also benefit from drinking coconut water as it will help them break down the stones and pass them in urine.
In a study (6) done on rats with kidney stones, it was discovered that coconut water keeps crystals from sticking to the sticking to the kidneys and other parts of the urinary tract. It also reduces the formation of crystals.
8. Reduces stress
Certain electrolytes found in coconut water like calcium and magnesium can help reduce stress and muscle tension. Calcium plays a vital role in the relaxation of muscles in our body.
Magnesium aids in the formation of serotonin, the feel-good hormone. Magnesium is also crucial for the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the nervous system that helps us relax.
9. Reduces risk of heart disease
Coconut water has high electrolyte content, so it is great for heart health. According to a study (7), when rats were fed coconut water, it reduced their chances of having a heart attack.
Coconut water consumption decreased their levels of total cholesterol triglyceride and LDL cholesterol. According to researchers, the reason for this improved heart health could be the presence of potassium, magnesium, and calcium in the coconut water.
10. Helps prevent premature ageing
Coconut water contains a protein called cytokines that are responsible for cell growth. This protein has an anti-ageing effect as it helps in reducing fine lines and wrinkles. The anti-oxidant properties of coconut water and its vitamin C content also helps to prevent sunburn.
Final words on health benefits of coconut water
We just saw that there are a number of health benefits of coconut water with absolutely no side effects. It is a cost-effective alternative to unhealthy sugar-laden drinks. Add it to your daily diet and enjoy the benefits.