Over the last few years, coconut water has actually become quite the fashionable drink. In addition to being naturally sweet and hydrating, coconut water is loaded with several important nutrients, consisting of minerals that lots of people do not get enough of.
Here are 7 health benefits of coconut water.
1. Good Source of Several Nutrients
Coconuts grow in tropical environments on trees clinically known as Cocos nucifera, and are botanically considered a fruit.
Coconut water is the liquid discovered in the center of a young, green coconut. It helps nurture the fruit. As the coconut develops, which takes around 10 — 12 months, some of the liquid remains while the rest ripens into the solid white flesh referred to as coconut meat.
Coconut water usually comes from young coconuts about 6 — 7 months of age, though it’s also found in fully grown fruit. A typical green coconut provides about 1/2 — 1 cup of coconut water.
Coconut water consists of 94% water and extremely little fat. It should not be confused with coconut milk, which is made by including water to grated coconut meat. Coconut milk consists of about 50% water and is quite high in fat.
One cup (240 ml) consists of 60 calories, along with:
- Carbs: 15 grams
- Sugar: 8 grams
- Calcium: 4% of the daily value (DV).
- Magnesium: 4% of the DV.
- Phosphorus: 2% of the DV.
- Potassium: 15% of the DV.
2. May Have Antioxidant Properties
Free radicals are unstable particles produced in your cells throughout metabolism. Their production increases in response to stress or injury.
When there are too many free radicals, your body goes into a state of oxidative stress, which can harm your cells and increase illness risk.
Research on animals has actually shown that coconut water includes antioxidants that may help modify free radicals so they no longer cause harm.
In one 2012 study, insulin-resistant rats on a high fructose diet were treated with coconut water. Free extreme activity reduced, as did blood pressure, triglycerides, and insulin levels.
Another research study from 2014 found that harmed rat livers showed considerable improvement in oxidative stress when treated with coconut water compared with livers that got no treatment.
A 3rd research study from 2016 highlighted the advantages of coconut water extract on rats fed a high fat diet. Not just did the coconut water help decrease cholesterol markers, but it likewise revealed “antioxidant effectiveness.”
While these research studies are intriguing, it’s important to note that no research studies involving people and the antioxidant power of coconut water have actually been done to date, and each of the animal studies utilized different dosages and criteria.
3. May Help Lower Blood Sugar For People Living With Diabetes
Research has actually shown that coconut water can decrease blood sugar levels and improve other health markers in animals with diabetes.
In a study from 2015, rats with diabetes that were treated with coconut water preserved better blood sugar levels than the control group. The exact same research study likewise found that the rats offered coconut water had lower levels of hemoglobin A1c, showing much better long-term blood sugar control.
A more current research study from 2021 including rats with diabetes likewise discovered that coconut water minimized blood glucose.
More studies are needed to verify these effects in humans.
Nevertheless, another added blood sugar advantage of coconut water is that it’s a good source of magnesium, which may increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
With all this in mind, it’s important to note that coconut water contains carbs (which are broken down into sugars in the body), so if you are living with diabetes or prediabetes, talk with your physician or a dietitian prior to including it to your diet.
4. May Help Prevent Kidney Stones
Drinking enough fluids is necessary for kidney stone avoidance.
Although plain water is a good choice, two little research studies recommend that coconut water might be even better.
Kidney stones are created when calcium, oxalate, and other substances integrate to form crystals in your urine. These crystals can then form small stones. While some people are more prone than others, kidney stones impact about 12% of the world’s population.
In a 2013 study in rats with kidney stones, coconut water prevented crystals from staying with the kidneys and other parts of the urinary system. It likewise reduced the number of crystals formed in the urine.
In a study from 2018 that involved 8 people, scientists found that coconut water increased the urination of potassium, chloride, and citrate in people without kidney stones, indicating coconut water may help flush out the system and keep the likelihood of stones low.
Because one research study included animals and the other is so little, far more research study needs to be done worrying the advantages of coconut water in reducing the possibility of kidney stones.
5. May Support Heart Health
Consuming coconut water may help in reducing heart disease risk.
In an older research study from 2008, researchers fed rats a diet abundant in fats and cholesterol. They also fed one group high doses of coconut water (4 ml per 100 grams of body weight).
After 45 days, the coconut water group had a reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels comparable to the impacts of a statin drug used to lower cholesterol.
Keep in mind that this was an extremely high dosage. In human terms, it would be equivalent to a 150-pound (68-kg) person taking in 91 ounces (2.7 liters) of coconut water each day.
A 2005 research study suggests that coconut water may likewise be useful for lowering blood pressure in people living with high blood pressure, however more research needs to be done in that location.
One of the reasons coconut water may be connected to decreased blood pressure is its impressive potassium content (500mg of potassium in 8 ounces). Potassium has been revealed to lower blood pressure in people with high or normal blood pressure.
6. Beneficial After Prolonged Exercise
Coconut water may be the perfect drink for restoring hydration and renewing electrolytes lost throughout exercise.
Electrolytes are minerals that play several important roles in your body, consisting of preserving proper fluid balance. A few important electrolytes include potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium.
Because coconut water consists of electrolytes like potassium and magnesium, several studies have discovered that it may be more useful than water for rehydration after exercise.
In fact, one little 2014 research study out of Brazil discovered that coconut water enhanced exercise capability much better than water or a sports drink during a really hot day.
7. Delicious Source Of Hydration
Natural coconut water is slightly sweet with a subtle, nutty taste. It’s likewise fairly low in calories and carbohydrates.
It’s freshest directly out of the fruit, but if you aren’t able to fill your fridge with fresh coconuts, there are many brands of coconut water on the shelves today.
Simply make certain to read the ingredients to confirm you’re getting 100% coconut water. Some bottled brands can contain extra sugar or flavoring agents.
You can use this tropical liquid as a base for shakes, chia seed pudding, vinaigrette dressing, or alternatived to plain water whenever you desire a little bit of natural sweet taste.
The Bottom Line
Coconut water is a tasty, electrolyte-filled, natural beverage that may benefit your heart, moderate your blood sugar, assistance improve kidney health, and keep you revitalized and hydrated after a workout.
Although more controlled studies including people are required to confirm many of these qualities, the research to date is encouraging.
If you wish to begin sipping this tropical beverage, there ought to be a variety of brands on the shelves of your local supermarket — just make sure to avoid products with added sugar.