Top Seven Health Benefits of Drinking Coconut Water
Coconut water is one of the biggest trends in “health drinks” these days, but why? Can it really be as great as nutritionists, health experts, and trainers say it is? Generally speaking, yes. Coconut water is a great addition to your nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle, for a number of reasons.
Keep reading to learn more about the health benefits of coconut water.
What is coconut water?
Coconut water is the clear juice found inside a coconut. Younger coconuts tend to have a better yield because the coconut water gets absorbed into the white flesh of the coconut as it matures, the best source of coconut water is a young, green coconut rather than the brown, fibrous-looking mature coconut. Coconut water is sometimes referred to as coconut milk, but don’t mistake that for the “coconut milk” sold in grocery stores next to rice and soymilks. They are two different things.
What are the benefits of coconut water?
There are all kinds of benefits to drinking coconut water. We’ve laid out a few here, but this list is by no means exhaustive.
1. Refreshes and rehydrates. The mix of simple sugars, minerals, and electrolytes make it refreshing, especially on a hot day. What’s more, the special blend of all of these naturally occurring in coconut water makes it a great alternative to sports drinks. It can also be used effectively to help patients suffering from dehydration, even severe dehydration. And because it is all completely natural and unprocessed, there’s no worry about dyes, additives, preservatives, refined sugars, or any other ingredients that are potentially damaging to the body.
2. Naturally occurring source of essential vitamins and minerals. The vitamins and minerals present in coconut water are essential for a well functioning body, and they are more plentiful in coconut water than in other, more commonly thought of, fruits. Minerals found in coconut water include iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. It also contains vitamin c and is rich in b-complex vitamins, which makes it a great source of these important substances. The b-complex vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin, are essential for the body but aren’t produced in the body, so they must be consumed from other resources.
3. Great source of electrolytes potassium and sodium. Move over, bananas; step aside, spinach. Coconut water is abundant in potassium and sodium, two electrolytes that are critical to keeping the muscles, nerves, and immune system going. Any kind of significant fluid loss can lead to an electrolyte deficiency, so coconut water is especially useful during or after a grueling workout or when you are sick and can’t keep anything down (or in). Next time you’re headed to the gym for an intense cardio workout, pack a bottle of coconut water instead of the highlighter-colored stuff, and see if you like the difference.
4. Support your heart and cardiovascular system. The naturally occurring substances found in coconut water are also helpful for supporting heart health. Potassium and lauric acid are both key components in regulating blood pressure, so regular consumption of coconut water can help some patients maintain good blood pressure levels. Initial studies have also shown that coconut water may help promote good cholesterol levels.
5. Promote good digestion. Lauric acid, one of the naturally occurring nutrients in coconut water, is converted by the body into something called monolaurin. Monolaurin has tremendous antibacterial and antiviral properties, making it useful in digestion. Monolaurin helps the stomach rid itself of diseases and icky bugs that can cause all sorts of digestive problems or gastrointestinal upset.
6. Supports weight loss. While coconut water doesn’t directly cause weight loss, a lot of its properties are helpful in supporting the body to lose weight safely. The nutrients in coconut water promote good digestion, which is an important part of the body getting the nutrients it needs, efficiently, which may help to reduce cravings. Coconut water also boosts the metabolism with its healthy dose of electrolytes, and a bump in metabolism means more energy and more fat-burning power. And finally, loading up on a natural, healthful drink instead of sugary, calorie-laden snacks or beverages will help you feel fuller, longer, in addition to giving you all the amazing health benefits coconut water already provides.
7. Topical skin treatment. Coconut water is good just drinking, but that’s not the only way to use it. The cytokinins and lauric acid – some of those minerals we covered in #2 above – are some of the things that keep skin cells and connective tissue healthy and strong. Drinking coconut water will support these cells for sure, but you may also want to consider using coconut water as a topical treatment for any of your common skin problems. Think dry patches, age spots, wrinkles, acne, or even eczema and cellulite.
How do I find coconut water?
While coconut water is best when consumed immediately after cracking open a coconut, not all of us have the option or the inclination to seek out and carry around the melon-sized fruits (or the tools necessary to break one open). Bottled coconut water is available in most health food stores and natural grocers, in your town and online. Two popular brands are Zico Coconut Water and O.N.E. Coconut Water, and O.N.E. also has a fat-free version. As its popularity spreads and more people are aware of its benefits, more grocery stores are also beginning to carry bottled coconut water.
And while coconut water in bottles might not be the absolute optimum way to get it, it is certainly a good option for those of us not living in a tropical paradise.
With all the ways coconut water can support a healthy gut and well-functioning body, it’s little wonder that the sweet juice has received a lot of attention lately. If you’re looking for a new change to make in your diet or fitness routine, you may want to give coconut water a try. In moderation, it could certainly make a great addition to your healthful, body-supporting diet. To learn more about the health benefits of drinking coconut water, check out Nutrition & You and Home Remedies Web.
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