Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Coconut Water

Introduction

Green coconuts are similar to brown, hairy ones. We are probably more familiar. Both are made from coconut palms (Cocos nucifera). The difference is due to the coconut's age. Green coconuts are immature and unripe, but brown coconuts are fully developed. As a result, the flesh content of green coconuts is significantly lower than that of mature coconuts. Instead, they are known for their healthful and pleasant water.

Stages of Ripening

It takes a year for coconuts to fully grow and ripen. They can, however, be consumed at any time after seven months. Until they reach full maturity, they are mainly green. Because the meat of green coconuts is still forming, they are primarily made up of water. The exterior hue darkens progressively as the fruit ripens. On the inside, there are several stages:

  • A six-month-old coconut is entirely devoid of fat and solely contains water.
  • The green coconut develops more yellow or brown markings after 8–10 months. Its water grows sweeter, and jelly-like flesh sets, thickening and firming up over time.
  • Between the period of 11 and 12 months. The meat within the coconut thickens, hardens, and acquires its high-fat content when the coconut turns brown. As a result, the water content of the coconut is substantially lower.

Benefits of Going Green

Green coconut water and meat both have a lot of nutrients and are suitable for your health.

High Nutritious Value

Green coconut water and delicate meat are high in electrolytes and minerals. Therefore, the nutritional value of a coconut varies dramatically as it ripens and converts from primary water to predominantly meat.

Helps to Prevent Dehydration

Coconut water has a sugar and electrolyte profile comparable to that of oral rehydration treatments; therefore, it can be used to replenish fluid lost due to moderate diarrhea. As a natural rehydration beverage, many individuals prefer it to packaged sports drinks. Compared to a sports drink or ordinary water, a study of eight men who cycled in hot circumstances for as long as they could found that drinking coconut water helped them exercise longer, reach a greater heart rate, and feel minor dehydration.

Potential Heart Health Benefits

Coconut water may aid in the treatment of metabolic syndrome, a collection of diseases that raise our risk of heart disease. High blood pressure, blood sugar, triglyceride, LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, low HDL (good) cholesterol, and extra belly fat are all symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Drinking green coconut water for three weeks decreased blood pressure, blood sugar, triglyceride, and insulin levels in rats with metabolic syndrome generated by a high-fructose diet. Researchers also discovered increased amounts of antioxidant activity in the animals' bodies, which they believe might protect blood vessels from oxidative damage.

Rich in Antioxidants

Both the green coconut meat and the water are high in phenolic compounds, which can help decrease inflammation and protect your cells from oxidative damage. For example, coconut water from one of the most prevalent coconut varietals protected cells against oxidative damage produced by hydrogen peroxide in a test tube research. In addition, coconuts include vitamins and minerals, including zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium, enhancing our body's natural antioxidant defense system.

Science Health Benefits: Coconut Water

Coconut water has become a popular beverage in recent years. Coconut water is packed with nutrients, including minerals that many people do not get enough of, in addition to having naturally sweet and getting hydrating. Coconut water has several health advantages.

Source of Various Nutrients

Coconuts are botanically classified as a fruit and grow on Cocos nucifera in tropical areas. The liquid contained in the middle of a young, green coconut is called coconut water. It aids in the nourishment of the fruit. Some of the liquid remains in the coconut as it grows, which takes around 10–12 months, while the remainder ripens into the solid white flesh known as coconut meat. Coconut water is extracted from young coconuts 6–7 months old, but it can also be found in older fruit. Coconut water yields around 1/2–1 cup from a typical green coconut. There are sixty (60) calories in one cup (240 ml), as well as:

  • Carbohydrates: 15 g
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Calcium: 4% of the recommended daily intake (DV)
  • Magnesium: 4% of the daily value
  • Potassium: 15% of the daily value
  • Phosphorus: 2% of the daily value

May have Antioxidant Activity

Free radicals are unstable chemicals created during metabolism in our cells. When they are stressed or injured, their output rises. When our bodies are revealed to too many free radicals, we experience oxidative stress, damaging our cells and increasing the risk of illness. According to animal studies, coconut water includes antioxidants that may help alter free radicals to no longer cause harm. Insulin-resistant rats on a high-fructose diet were given coconut water in a 2012 research. Blood pressure, lipids, and insulin levels all dropped as free radical activity decreased. Another study from 2014 indicated that when injured rat livers were treated with coconut water, they exhibited a substantial reduction in oxidative stress when compared to livers that were not treated. The effects of coconut water extract on rats fed a high-fat diet were underlined in a third study published in 2016. Coconut water not only helped lower cholesterol levels but also had "antioxidant efficacy." While these findings are intriguing, it is worth noting that there have been no human studies on the antioxidant activity of coconut water yet, and each of the animal research employed different doses and conditions.

May Help Reduce the Blood Sugar Level of Diabetic Patients

Coconut water has been demonstrated to reduce the level of blood sugar and enhance several other health indicators in diabetic animals. For example, in a 2015 study, rats with diabetes fed coconut water had better blood sugar control than the control group. In addition, the rats given coconut water had lower levels of hemoglobin A1c, indicating improved long-term blood sugar management, according to the same study. Coconut water was also reported to lower blood glucose levels in animals with diabetes in a more recent study from 2021. However, more research is needed in people to corroborate these findings. Another added blood sugar advantage of coconut water is that it is an excellent source of magnesium, which may help patients with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is crucial to remember that coconut water includes carbohydrates (which the body converts to sugars). If you have diabetes or prediabetes, see your doctor or a nutritionist before incorporating it into your diet.

May Help to Prevent Kidney Stones

Kidney stone prevention needs adequate hydration. Even though plain water is a decent option, two tiny studies show that coconut water is better. Kidney stones occur when calcium, oxalate, and other substances in our urine mix to form crystals. These crystals can then be combined to form small stones. Kidney stones afflict roughly 12% of the world's population, with certain people being more vulnerable than others. Coconut water prevented crystals from attaching to the kidneys and other areas of the urinary system in rats with kidney stones in a 2013 research. It also decreased the formation of crystals in the urine. In addition, coconut water increased the urine of potassium, chloride, and citrate in persons without kidney stones, according to a 2018 study including eight participants. This suggests that coconut water may help cleanse the system and reduce the risk of stones. Because one study used animals and the other is so tiny, much more research on the advantages of coconut water in lowering the risk of kidney stones is needed.

May Help Keep the Heart Healthy

Coconut water may assist in lowering the risk of heart disease. Researchers fed rodents a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet in a previous study from 2008. A substantial amount of coconut water was also supplied to one of the groups. The coconut water group saw a drop in cholesterol and triglyceride levels after 45 days, similar to the effects of a cholesterol-lowering statin medication. It is important to remember that this was a very high dose. It is the equivalent of a 150-pound (68-kg) individual drinking 91 ounces (2.7 litres) of coconut water every day in human proportions. Coconut water may also be suitable for decreasing blood pressure in those who have high blood pressure, according to a 2005 study, although more research is needed in this area. Coconut water's high potassium content is one of the reasons it may be linked to decreased blood pressure (500mg of potassium in 8 ounces). Potassium has been demonstrated to reduce blood pressure in both high and low blood pressure patients.

Beneficial after Exercise

Coconut water might be the perfect drink for rehydrating and restoring electrolytes lost after exercise. Electrolytes are minerals that perform several tasks in the body, including fluid equilibrium. Some of the most significant electrolytes include potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium. Coconut water, which contains electrolytes like potassium and magnesium, has been shown in various trials to be way more effective than water for rehydration purposes after exercise. A small Brazilian study found coconut water increased exercise capacity more than water or a sports drink on a hot day in 2014.

A Delicious Source of Hydration

Natural coconut water has a faint nutty taste and is somewhat sweet. The properties also include its low calories and carbohydrates. It is best straight from the fruit, but if we do not have access to fresh coconuts, there are several brands of coconut water on the market today. Just double-check the ingredients to be sure we are receiving 100% coconut water. Sugar or flavoring ingredients may be added to some bottled brands. This tropical liquid may be used as a basis for smoothies, chia seed pudding, vinaigrette dressing, or as a replacement for plain water if we want a hint of sweetness.

Last updated: 2021-December-16

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