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Health benefits of drinking coconut water

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Health benefits of drinking coconut water

Coconut water is a nutritious natural drink, it provides amazing benefits to our health. A good source of instant energy and other amazing nutritional benefits in comparison of processed energy drinks. In fact, it could potentially be the greatest energy drink in the world, to top it off, it’s all-natural.
coconut water
Surprisingly, Coconut water is more nutritious than whole milk. Its crammed with Natural Sugars, Salts, and Vitamins to block out fatigue. Drinking coconut water straight from a green tender coconut in the summer heat is simply divine. Not only it's  refreshing, it also has a number of health benefits. Most importantly, coconut water contains less sodium than any other energy drink.

Low in calories, naturally fat- and cholesterol free, more potassium than four bananas, and super hydrating - America’s latest health craze: It contains more potassium than the majority of energy drinks. The chloride it holds is at 118g, and it’s natural sugars extent to about 5mg. 

Coconut water is the juice or liquid inside an immature green coconut and it is best to drink when it is more than 5 months as the water will have a bitter tinge if consumed earlier. Its water is one of the nature’s most refreshing drinks, consumed worldwide for its nutritious and health benefiting properties.
 
The coconut palms grow abundantly along the coasts of tropical environments.Botanically, coconut plant belongs within the Arecaceae family of palm trees and has the scientific name: Cocos nucifera.

The coconut tree has been called the "Tree of Life" for its uncanny (nearly miraculous) healing properties and usefulness. A study of the coconut tree reveals an almost supernatural evolution to become one of the most useful species of plant life known to man.
 
Coconut palm flourishes well along the costal tropical environments. A coconut tree may yield several hundred tender nuts each season. Different species of coconut palms are grown all over the tropics. Naturally, their taste and flavor of water show variations according to saline content in the soil, distance from sea shore, mainland, etc.

tender coconut
The palm can yield 150 to 200 coconuts a season and each coconut contains 200ml to 1000ml of water depending on its cultivar size and type. This water is rich in vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, amino acids and cytokine. This water is now popular all over the world for its refreshing nutty taste as well as its health benefits.

Any nuts younger than five months of age tend to be bitter in taste and devoid of nutrients. In contrast, mature nuts contain less water, and their endosperm thickens quickly to white edible meat (kernel). Coconut milk obtained from the meat is therefore should not be confused with coconut water. Coconut milk is obtained by grating and grinding this ‘meat’ and passing it through a sieve. It is very high in fat content – a cup of coconut milk has 550 calories whereas coconut water has only 50 calories a cup. See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy354 kcal (1,480 kJ)
Carbohydrates24.23
- Sugars6.23
- Dietary fiber9
Fat33.49
Protein3.33 g
Water47
Thiamine (vit. B1)0.066 mg (6%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2)0.02 mg (2%)
Niacin (vit. B3)0.54 mg (4%)
Pantothenic acid (B5)1.014 mg (20%)
Vitamin B60.05 mg (4%)
Vitamin C3.3 mg (4%)
Calcium14 mg (1%)
Iron2.43 mg (19%)
Magnesium32 mg (9%)
Phosphorus113 mg (16%)
Potassium356 mg (8%)
Zinc1.1 mg (12%)
Percentages are relative to
US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Fresh tender coconuts are readily available in the markets in tropical countries year around. However, they require importation into the semitropical and cold regions. Nowadays, ready to use prepared tender coconuts are made available in USA and Canada imported from Thailand and Malaysia.

In the stores, coconut water sold in packets, and bottles. However, their overall nutritional profile may not be up to the mark in terms of vitamins and enzyme levels, since some kind of additives and preservative added in order to enhance shelf life.  

Health benefits of coconut water:
Coconut water is very beneficial after a bout of diarrhoea, as it replaces fluid loss. It is rich in amino acids, enzymes, dietary fibre, vitamin C and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and manganese; at the same time it is low in cholesterol and chlorides. This fluid is ideal to maintain body fluids when a person gets dehydrated. 

Coconut water contains a good amount of electrolyte potassium, thus it can replenish the electrolyte composition in body fluids. Coconut water was used as a “universal donor”, making it identical to human blood plasma. It was used in the Pacific War to save thousands of lives through Coconut IV’s, and emergency plasma transfusions.

A study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine suggested that coconut water can be successfully used as a short term intravenous hydration fluid for hydration and resuscitation of critically ill patients in the remote regions of the world where medical resources are not available. Other health benefits are as under.

Quick energy boost
Abundant in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, Coconut Water makes a wonderful energy drink. In particular, coconut water has less sugar and sodium content compared to most sports drinks, while packing more Potassium, Calcium, and Chloride, which makes it a better choice to rehydrate, replenish and boost the body's energy levels after any strenuous activity or workout. 


Weight Loss
Coconut water is a natural electrolyte and isotonic beverage which help increase the body's metabolism. Therefore, it can greatly benefit people who are struggling with weight issues. Drinking coconut water helps a person to lose weight as it is low in fat and it keeps a person feeling full. It also reduces food cravings.

Useful in aging spots, wrinkles, and other skin problems
Researchers have found that Cytokinins help regulate the cell growth and their divisions. Coconut Water contains these cytokinins and lauric acid which can minimize the aging of skin cells, balance PH levels, and keep the connective tissues strong and hydrated. Therefore, simply applying ccoconut water onto affected skin areas every night before going to bed may help with acne, age spots, wrinkles, stretch marks, cellulite, and eczema. Within two to three weeks, it clears up the skin.

Cardiovascular health

Coconut water promotes health as it is rich in potassium and it also helps to reduce the risk of hypertension and strokes. According to researchers, individuals with high blood pressure usually have low potassium levels. Therefore, drinking coconut water on a regular basis can be quite effective at regulating blood pressure. 

There are several animal studies suggesting coconut water can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, but this research is too preliminary to make claims about it’. But they do agree that coconut water may be a healthier option as compared with other beverages. Similarly, some recent studies have found that coconut water can help increase HDL (good) cholesterol, which makes it a wonderful natural treatment for maintaining good cardiovascular health.

Dehydration

Rich in Potassium and other minerals, Coconut Water helps to regulate our internal fluids and replenish and rehydrate the body. It has been used to treat dehydration caused by dysentery, cholera, diarrhea and stomach flu, and the electrolyte balance and plasma in coconut water has been found to be similar to that of human blood. 

Therefore, drinking one cup of Coconut Water twice daily during digestive tract abnormalities, hot temperatures, and after strenuous workouts can help rehydrate the body quickly.

Good in diabetes 

It is good for diabetics as it is good in nutrients required by diabetics to keep their sugar levels in control.

Anti viral

If you are suffering from flu or herpes due to some type of viral attack on your body, drinking coconut water is very beneficial as it has anti viral and anti bacterial properties.

Reduces the risk of kidney stones 

Due to the minerals, potassium and magnesium, present in coconut water the risk of kidney stones is greatly reduced.

What are the side effects of coconut water?

Fresh coconut water is one of the best natural drinks on the face of the earth. It doesn't have any known side effects unless somebody is prone to having allergic reactions or have severe nut allergies. 

It is considered to be safe for children, pregnant, and breastfeeding women. If you are taking potassium supplements it is recommended to regulate your potassium levels since Coconut Water is high in potassium.

NOTE:
Once a coconut is cut open the water should be consumed as exposure to air can result in loss of nutrients. It is low in fat though rich in vitamins and the potassium level is twice the amount found in banana.


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