Health Benefits of Coconut Water
Coconut water is a healthy drink from young green coconuts before they mature. It is quite popular in the tropical region such as the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. It is different from coconut milk which is made from the white flesh of the coconut. Coconut water tastes great and has several health benefits. Some health benefits of coconut water are listed below:
Coconut water is anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. A 2008 research study showed that coconut water contains peptides or small proteins that can kill bacteria. So if you want to fight infection, coconut water can help. It can also help relieve stomach upsets. It also protects against the bacteria H. pylori that cause ulcer by infecting the stomach lining.
Hydration for Athletes
You may think that you can hydrate yourself with water or sports drink. However, coconut water contains several antioxidants and essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium. If you drink this fresh from the young coconut, you will also avoid extra sugar added in sports drink or soda. It is better to drink fresh coconut water instead of drinking from a can. Usually processed coconut water is pasteurized, and it contains added sugar and preservatives.
If you are suffering from hypertension, potassium from this drink will help lower your blood pressure. It also contains several electrolytic minerals that can be easily absorbed by the body. It does not contain any fat or cholesterol.
Elimination of Kidney Stones
Natural health practitioners believe that coconut water helps dissolve kidney stones. Potassium plays a key role in alkalizing urine and prevents kidney stones from forming.
Drinking coconut water lowers your stress because it contains several minerals and small amounts of B-vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B-6 and folate. Research shows that several B-vitamins play a crucial role in lowering anxiety, depression and stress.
If you like to have fun drinking at a party but do not like hang-overs, some people claim that this also effectively relieves hang-overs. Since it is a fluid with the same five electrolytes found in human blood, it helps cure hang-over by hydrating your body.
Coconut water is nutritious with only 50 calories per cup and it also has a low glycemic load. Since it is a natural isotonic beverage, it helps increase your metabolism. It also helps to detoxify your body, which helps you lose weight. Some people have a hard time losing weight because of the toxicity in the body.
Now skeptics may argue that the benefits of coconut water have been over-hyped. It is true that you can get some of these benefits from other fruits and vegetables. So it is always a good idea to get your nutrients from a variety of sources including coconut water.
Some experts explain that coconut water is not recommended for athletes engaged in intensive training because of low amount of sodium, protein and carbohydrates. Again, this is under the assumption that athletes drink nothing but coconut water before and after training. The key is to eat a balanced diet in addition to this beverage. Most people get plenty of sodium, carbs and protein in their diet already. So the majority of the population is less likely to be deficient in sodium, carbs or protein.
Drinking fresh coconut water from raw young coconut is far superior to drinking bottled coconut water filled with sugar and preservatives. If you are on a budget, you can buy your own young coconut from an Asian grocery store.
Next time if you have a choice between sugary soda or natural coconut water, hopefully this article convinces you to choose the latter. While it is great to be aware of the benefits of this exotic fruit beverage, it is also a good idea to drink this in moderation and not abandon several other healthy foods.