The benefits of coconut water can be attributed to the nutrients present in coconuts, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is an amazing drink to keep you hydrated naturally. Coconut itself offers several health benefits due to its nutritional properties. It can be used to produce coconut milk and coconut oil as well.
Coconut flesh is often used to make sweet and savory dishes. They are consumed across the world and are more popular in Asian countries. The coconut tree is scientifically known as Cocos nucifera and is considered a fruit. This article discusses the health benefits of coconut water along with its nutritional value.
Nutritional Value of Coconut Water
The health benefits of coconut water include anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties. Though the mineral content isn't that high, it is comparatively healthier than any other beverage.
One cup (240 ml) of coconut water contains:
- Calories: 60 kcal
- 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
Coconut water is also low in naturally occurring sugars and is hence considered a good option to include in a low-carb diet.
Potential Health Benefits of Coconut Water
Here is a list of evidence-based benefits of coconut water:
1) Rich in antioxidants
Several studies have shown that coconut water contains antioxidants that may help fight free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals cause oxidative stress in all our cells.
A study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine found that tender coconut water can reduce oxidative stress in hypertensive conditions. This is equally true for oxidative stress caused by other chronic inflammatory conditions.
Another study found that coconut water can reduce levels of insulin and triglycerides and regulate blood pressure. Further studies in clinical cases are required to learn more about coconut water's benefits in chronic inflammatory conditions.
Check out why antioxidants are good for your health.
2) May help lower blood glucose
A study published in the Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology found that coconut water had an antidiabetic effect via a pathway known as the L-arginine-nitric oxide pathway.
Several other studies have shown that coconut water can reduce levels of HbA1C or glycated hemoglobin, in diabetic patients. It should be noted that coconut water is not a significant source of glucose and thus does not cause an increase in blood glucose or insulin levels. The benefits of coconut water for diabetics require more studies.
Check out this list of fruits that are good for diabetes.
3) May protect the kidneys
Fluids are important to maintain mineral balance in our bodies. Too little fluid or too much fluid can be harmful to our kidneys. Since coconut water contains minerals naturally, it does not cause mineral imbalance and helps the kidney to function properly.
Kidney stones are caused by the deposition of certain minerals. This phenomenon is particularly triggered by an imbalance in mineral ratios. Kidney stone formation affects about 12% of the population around the world. Several studies have found that coconut water helps flush out excess minerals through the kidneys. This is one of the most important benefits of coconut water.
Check out these tips to keep your kidneys healthy.
4) May promote heart health
Coconut water is rich in potassium, a mineral that is known to protect the heart and reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Additionally, the antioxidants present in coconut water have heart-protective properties.
The benefits of coconut water included a reduction in triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and other biomarkers of heart disease.
Check out this list of low-sodium foods to keep your heart healthy.
5) As a pre-workout or intra-workout drink
Coconut water can be a cheaper substitute for expensive pre-workout supplements. One of the advantages of coconut water is its ability to quickly absorb into the body and leave you feeling energized and alert.
Check out these pre-workout snack ideas to fuel your body.
One of the most important benefits of coconut water is that it hydrates your body. It is a healthier option than water and can be carried easily in bottles. It is tasty and versatile. Coconut water can also be used to make smoothies.
Check out the reasons why you should drink plenty of water.
There are several benefits to coconut water when it comes to health and fitness. You can drink coconut water regularly, keeping the overall water intake levels as usual.