In the world today, many synthetic materials have found their way into the food and water we consume. It is increasingly difficult to have food or water in their natural forms – the genetic makeup of many crops have been altered; chemicals are being added to our water supplies in the name of treatment. All these have dire consequences on our health.
The truth is, that if humans stop the greed and selfishness, allowing the things we eat to be in their natural form, many diseases killing us today would be eliminated. Currently, it is even difficult to come across information that would teach you the benefits of eating natural food. But we have one for you today—coconut water. It is our hope that you find this article useful. Remember that Your Health is Your Wealth.
On average, a coconut contains around 200 to 1,000 milliliters (approximately 1 to 4 cups) of water. The water tastes delicious. But not only that, it’s also packed with antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C and minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and zinc. Below are some of the health benefits of drinking coconut water:
1. Boosts Immune System and Prevents Cancer
According to health experts, the micronutrients in coconut water help to boost the immune system. Also, hormones called cytokinins that are present in coconut water exhibit anti-aging, antithrombotic and anticancer effects.
2. Rehydrates the Body
For those who live in tropical regions around the world, coconut water is an excellent thirst quencher to beat the summer heat. It has an electrolyte composition, making it good for rehydrating the body in case of fluid loss due to diarrhea, vomiting or excessive sweating. The water and the soft nut are good sources of carbohydrates, too. They also help raise energy levels. Research suggests that coconut water can be used to rehydrate the body after exercise. In fact, a 2012 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that coconut water has a similar positive effect as sports drinks. Apart from rehydration, the water is also recommended for stomach troubles such as indigestion, acid reflux and gastroenteritis.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
Due to the presence of vitamin C, potassium and magnesium content in coconut water, it is considered good for controlling high blood pressure. It helps lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of sodium. A study published in the West Indian Medical Journal in 2005 found that coconut water helps control hypertension. It is recommended for people suffering from high blood pressure to drink a cup of fresh coconut water twice a day.
4. Cleans the Heart
Coconut water is cholesterol and fat-free. This makes it good for components of the cardiovascular system, especially the heart. It helps lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL or the ‘bad’ cholesterol) and increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL or the ‘good’ cholesterol) levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food revealed that both tender and matured coconut water have beneficial effects on lipid metabolism to counteract increased total cholesterol, very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), LDL and triglycerides. Again, coconut water has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiplatelet properties and helps improve blood circulation. It helps reduce plaque formation in the arteries and lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
5. Relieves Hangovers
Hangover is a severe headache or other after-effects caused by drinking an excess of alcohol. Alcohol causes the body to dehydrate. But coconut water replenishes the electrolytes in the body and boosts hydration, making the body feel better. Also, the antioxidants in this revitalizing health drink fight oxidative stress caused by indulging in too much alcohol. It will also help settle an acidic stomach.
6. Promotes Weight Loss
Coconut water is an ideal drink for weight loss. It is low in calories and easy on the stomach. In fact, this light and refreshing drink contains various bioactive enzymes that aid digestion and boost fat metabolism. Again, coconut water is rich in potassium, which helps balance out sodium. Excess sodium in the body tends to cause water retention, contributing to water weight. Coconut water helps flush out excess water as well as toxins from the body. You can drink an 8-ounce glass of this health drink 3 or 4 times a week to facilitate weight loss.
7. Treats Headaches
Health experts say most headaches, even migraines, are triggered by dehydration. In such cases, coconut water can be of great help in supplying electrolytes to the body and boosting hydration. Coconut water is also rich in magnesium. People who suffer from migraines often have low levels of magnesium. Studies also suggest that magnesium can help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.
8. Balances pH Levels
According to experts, stress, toxic load and a diet high in acid-forming foods, such as processed fast foods, often contribute to acidic pH levels that cause low energy and reduce the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. Also, an acidic pH contributes to problems like stressed liver function, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure and immune deficiency. Coconut water has an alkalizing effect that helps restore a healthy pH in the body. It also helps alkalize the acidic pH levels caused by acidity and heartburn.
9. Regulates Blood Sugar
A serious study has proved that coconut water contains amino acids and dietary fiber that help regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. It also helps with common issues faced by people who have diabetes. It helps manage weight, improves circulation, and reduces symptoms like numbness in feet and a tendency to develop atherosclerosis. In 2012, a study published in the journal Food and Function studied the therapeutic effects of mature coconut water. The study found that coconut water helps decrease blood glucose levels and oxidative stress.
You can see that coconut water is wonderful. It helps the body fight many unnecessary diseases. However, consider the following carefully before drinking coconut water:
Coconut water may not be suitable for those with nut allergies.
It may cause bloating and mild stomach upset in some people.
Do not drink coconut water for at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery as it may interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgery.
People with kidney dysfunction should consult their doctor before including coconut water in their diet.