Coconut water offers a myriad of advantages for health and wellness. Learn more about the benefits of drinking coconut water and what to watch out for.
Coconut water is derived from the center of the coconut fruit. The water is usually harvested from a young coconut, because as the fruit matures, much of the liquid ripens to form the white coconut meat. It’s great on its own, as well as in smoothies, dressings, cocktails, desserts, and more. Coconut water has a slightly sweet and nutty taste, and is a natural source of minerals. The water doesn’t contain any fat, as opposed to coconut milk which is high in fat as it contains coconut meat shavings.
While fresh coconut water is best, most people don’t have access to palm trees right outside their door. Fortunately, you can buy coconut water at most grocery stores. Just make sure to check the ingredients – look for 100 percent natural, organic coconut water without any added sugar or flavoring. Aside from tasting delicious, there are many benefits to coconut water. Here are our tips for reaping the benefits from drinking coconut water.
1. It Contains Electrolytes and Minerals
Coconut water naturally contains electrolytes which are lost during strenuous activity like exercise. These include magnesium, calcium and sodium. Coconut water is especially high in potassium. The drink also provides servings of iron, zinc, copper and vitamin C.
2. Drinking Coconut Water is Great for Hydration
People often find it difficult to stay hydrated because they find that drinking plain water lacks flavor. Coconut water is able to add some flavor while also hydrating. Some studies have shown coconut water to be better than water when hydrating after exercise, due to the naturally occurring electrolytes.
Compared to sports drinks, coconut water is a healthier alternative because it is all natural. It can also be used as a base for homemade gatorade.
3. Low in Calories
Coconut water is much lower in calories than conventional sports drinks. While bright red and blue drinks may seem more fun, organic coconut water is a tasty alternative which is much healthier, lower in calories, but packed with all the benefits. Just be mindful of the fact that it isn’t a zero calorie beverage, so you still need to limit consumption.
4. Coconuts Water Contains Antioxidants
Drinking coconut water provides your body with antioxidants as well, which are critical to helping your body function properly. Some research has shown that the properties can help keep the body safe from free radical damage. The fresher the coconut water, the healthier it is — so if you want to reap the antioxidant benefits, avoid processed and heat pasteurized versions.
5. Good for Heart Health
Drinking coconut water may help reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels similarly to prescription drugs. However, further research is needed to determine the threshold of consumption required to access these benefits.
6. Good Source of Potassium
Due to its high potassium content, coconut water has the potential to help lower blood pressure and even reduce risk of stroke. If you struggle with keeping your blood pressure at a healthy rate, consider adding coconut water to your regular diet. It may also work as a way to get over a hangover.
7. Drinking Coconut Water Aids Digestion
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, coconut water is a great aid in digestion. The drink helps prevent bloating and discomfort, while keeping you hydrated. It is especially useful for people who have recently had surgery and need an easy to consume source of calories and hydration.
8. Kidney Stones
It’s important to stay hydrated to prevent kidney stones. With coconut water’s powerful hydration and nutrition properties, it’s the perfect drink to aid in kidney stone prevention. Some research suggests that coconut water helps flush out toxins, keeping the risk of kidney stones low.
If you have chronic kidney disease or you are taking ACE inhibitors, however, it’s best not to consume too much coconut water as it is fairly high in potassium. Make sure to talk to your doctor before starting any kind of new health regimen.
Can You Drink Coconut Water Every Day?
While it’s okay to incorporate coconut water into your daily diet, you should try and limit it to once a day. This is due to the fact that it contains high levels of potassium, and can also contains plenty of sugar. Natural sugars are much better for you than refined sugars, but you should still look to limit your consumption.
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