For centuries, coconut water has been consumed in tropical regions around the world. A few decades back, this tasty, nutritious drink was only enjoyed by a few who could afford a tour to tropical regions for vacations. Recently, coconut water has exploded in popularity and has swept the nation. This tropical drink can now be found in vending machines, restaurants and even yoga studies; you can buy coconut water just about anywhere.
What is Coconut Water?
This is the liquid found inside coconuts that are yet to mature. The fluid is harvested from green, young coconuts which are 5 to 7 months of age. There is a difference between coconut water and coconut milk. Coconut milk is derived from a fully grown coconut after the meat is ground and liquid squeezed from it. Coconut water is more nutritious and has more health benefits compared to coconut milk. As the drink continues to become popular, coconut water health benefits continue to be touted and marketers call it a life enhancer and nature's sports drink. But is coconut water really good for you?
Let's look at the health benefits this tropical drink has to offer and some of its uses.
Health Benefits Of Coconut Water
1. Good Source of Several Nutrients
Coconuts are botanically considered as fruits rather than nuts. The juice is found at the center of a young coconut and it helps to nourish the fruit. The water contains Vitamin C, fiber and other important minerals like magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, calcium, protein and carbs.
2. Regulates Blood Pressure
According to research conducted recently about coconut water, the results showed that this juice helps to lower high blood pressure and improve blood circulation thus reducing the risk of heart attacks. This tropical drink, if taken regularly, is said to also control blood sugar levels.
3. Help Lose Weight
People looking to lose a couple of pounds are encouraged to drink coconut water more. This drink is low in fat. Drinking coconut juice helps one to feel full thus reduce food cravings. Most fitness centers and instructors encourage their clients to drink coconut water frequently to help them reduce weight.
4. Increases Immunity
Rich in vitamins and nutrients like folates, pyridoxine, thiamin, niacin and riboflavin, coconut water has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that help increase the immune system of the body and fight viral infections.
5. Rejuvenates The Skin
Coconut water has reparative properties to help heal skin conditions like pimples and acne. Applying the juice on the face and leaving it overnight can help one retain a smooth and flawless skin. It can also be applied on the nails and hands to keep them soft.
6. Improves Kidney Function
Due to its magnesium, potassium and minerals, coconut water is beneficial to a patient suffering from any kidney disease. This water is known to increase the flow and production of urine, and also act as a diuretic. Drinking a lot of water helps to prevent kidney stones. Although drinking plain water is encouraged, physicians agree that drinking coconut water may be even better. Coconut water can reduce the number is crystals formed in the urine from sticking to the kidneys.
7. Good For Pregnant Women
Pregnant women are encouraged to drink coconut water because it helps to fight slow digestion, heartburn and constipation. However, if you are pregnant and have some health complications, it is best to consult your physician first to know whether taking coconut water is safe.
Uses Of Coconut Water
1. Prevent Dehydration
Most athletes and sportspeople take a lot of coconut water because it is high in potassium and a good electrolyte replacement. Drinking coconut water is better than artificial sports drinks because it is lower in carbohydrates. This is good for sportspeople trying to hydrate and watching their sugar intake at the same time. Although there is no reliable evidence yet, some research shows that coconut water can help prevent dehydration in children with mild diarrhea.
2. Improve Exercise Performance
Drinking coconut water rather taking plain water before exercise can help athletes to improve endurance. The juice can be taken before or during exercise to improve performance during follow-up exercises.
3. Gets Rid Of Worms
Some parents are often apprehensive about giving medication when their children are inflicted with worms. If this is your case, you can give a teaspoon of olive oil along with coconut water to get rid of intestinal worms. However, you need to administer this dose three days consecutively.
4. Blood Transfusion
In case of medical emergencies where medical saline is needed but not available, coconut water can be used as an intravenous fluid. Moreover, this water is almost identical to blood plasma so it is considered a universal donor. For a long time, this tropical juice has proven itself as the salvaging factor during states of emergency.
5. Heals Sunburns
Instead of using creams, one can use coconut water to heal sunburns. All you have to do is dab a little coconut water onto the affected area to bring about a soothing effect on the skin.
Coconut Side Effects
- Coconut water is still being studied and researchers are still getting to learn more about this natural liquid to give a conclusive report. So far, there is no evidence that coconut water poses side effects. Just like any other vegetable and fruit juices, this water seems quite safe. However, coconut juice does contain sodium, so it is not recommended for people who need to reduce their sodium intake.
- Coconut water helps to lower blood pressure, although it can interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgery. Patients scheduled for surgery are required to stop using coconut water at least two weeks before the procedure.
- Another known side effect is that excessive consumption of coconut water may cause some diarrhea in some people.
From the information provided above, it is safe to conclude that coconut water is:
- One of the best natural drinks there is
- Offers a lot of health benefits and uses
- Safe for pregnant women and children
- Good for people who work out frequently and those looking to lose weight
- Is easily available and can be taken by anyone
- Is one of the best drinks for hydration