Here are 6 reasons why you should incorporate coconut water into your diet. Learn about its endless benefits along with its nutritional facts.
The coconut palm tree has often been referred to as the tree of life — and that is for good reason. The coconut itself provides fuel, food, cosmetics, medicine, and even building materials!
We’ve gone over all of the wonderful fresh coconut-derived products it has to offer — including coconut oil for hair and skin health, as well as health benefits for consumers. Today we’re looking into the benefits of coconut water. It may not be everyone’s taste (make sure to drink it chilled! That’s the trick!) but after what you learn today, there’s a good chance you’ll be incorporating coconut water into your daily diet.
Table of Contents
- Cocos Nucifera
- Reasons for Coconut Water Consumption
A prominent member of the Arecaceae family, otherwise known as palm trees, the coconut tree produces a fruit that has exploded in popularity in the past couple of decades. We’ve gone over all of the wonderful coconut-derived products it has to offer — including coconut oil for hair and skin health, as well as health benefits for consumers. Not to mention it can be used in sweet and savory dishes alike!
People often confuse coconut water, or coconut juice, with coconut milk, which is a common mistake. People assume that when they crack open a coconut a milky liquid will pour out. In reality, coconut water is present in a very young coconut. As the coconut meat matures and ripens, part of that liquid will develop into the flesh of the coconut fruit.
Coconut milk is made by taking that mature coconut fruit and blending it with either plain water or coconut water, creating a lovely thick, delicately tropical, and nutty-flavored beverage. (It’s a really excellent alternative to dairy milk and soy milk, and it’s usually sustainably made!)
1 Cup of coconut water contains the following:
- 94% of water
- 9 grams of carbs
- 3 grams of fiber
- 2 grams of protein
1 Cup of coconut water contains the following percentages of the Recommended Dietary Daily Intake:
- 6% calcium
- 17% potassium
- 15% magnesium
- 17% manganese
- 11% sodium
- 10 % vitamin C
Reasons for Coconut Water Consumption
1. It’s Key in Hydration
First things first, if you have a taste for coconut flavor, it should replace every sports drink that you’ve ever had. Ever heard of electrolytes? They’re minerals that help restore the fluid balance in your body — and it’s super important to pay attention to these after you’ve exercised and got into rehydration!
Pure coconut water is an excellent natural drink that is completely free of food coloring, free of added sugar and artificial sweeteners, and all that other nasty stuff that you don’t really need. Instead, it’s packed with calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
2. It’s Wonderfully Responsive to Physical Stress
There are a number of properties that are present in coconut water that will help replenish your body after exercising, and it’s not just electrolytes!
Calcium is responsible for bone reparation and growth, which is why so many parents want to ensure their children get enough milk in their diet. Luckily, coconuts provide a dairy-free alternative to this. Calcium also helps muscles contract, resulting in a quicker muscular response time.
Magnesium is the property that moves potassium and calcium into your muscles – calcium is paired with contraction, and potassium is paired with relaxation. Magnesium is what you want to incorporate into your body to help with cramping due to physical stress.
3. It Reduces Potential for Developing Kidney Stones
You never think about kidney stones until it happens to you, and then you’ll question if there is any good in the world. Luckily, there is a natural remedy and prevention method for that!
Kidney stones occur when calcium and oxalate combine and form a crystal in the kidney, and then released into your urine stream. Creepy, right? When you drink a healthy amount of coconut water, it will actually prevent these malicious crystals from sticking in the kidney.
4. It’s Good for Blood Health!
Coconut water is great for blood health for two reasons: it is able to stabilize blood sugar levels, and it helps regulate systolic blood pressure.
Coconut water contains a big amount of magnesium which increases the sensitivity of insulin production. This makes it a really wonderful asset for people with type 2 diabetes. Incorporating coconut water into your diet can decrease blood sugar levels, and levels of hemoglobin as well. This could possibly result in sustainable blood sugar control.
The presence of potassium in coconut water is what helps with blood pressure stabilization. There is an impressive 600 mg of potassium in just 8 ounces of coconut water — that amount of potassium gives bananas a run for their money. Potassium is anti-thrombotic, and aids in the prevention of blood clot formation.
5. It’s Jam-packed with Antioxidants
We all love antioxidants, and coconut water is super easy to ensure you’ve got a steady supply of them all the time. Why do we love antioxidants? Because they help with modifying free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable molecules in your body – they’re unstable because they’re unpredictable, and they can put your body in a state of oxidative stress. This damages cell health and this is what makes one vulnerable to diseases.
Luckily, a recent study found that antioxidants found in coconut water actually decrease free radical activity in rats. Not only that, it lowered the rats’ blood pressure, insulin levels, and triglycerides.
6. It Has Plenty of Amino Acids and Cytokinins
If you reel back to your grade 12 biology class, you will remember that amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Why do we want more of these? Because proteins are what help repair the tissue in our bodies!
Coconut water also contains alanine (an energy source for the nervous system and muscles), arginine (helps repair blood vessels), cysteine (creation of collagen), and serine (essential in cell signaling).
Cytokinins are the hormone found in plants that help them grow. It is said that incorporating this into your diet can help with anti-aging and even cancer prevention.
When does coconut water go bad?
If unopened and stored at room temperature, coconut water can actually stay edible for 9-12 months! It’s easiest to tell that coconut water has gone bad due to its unpleasant odor and difference in color.
Where is coconut water made?
Coconuts themselves are grown in very tropical and usually remote locations. Those coconuts are then transported around the world where they are manufactured into a variety of coconut-derived products.
Can fresh coconut water help with constipation?
Due to the healthy amount of sodium found in coconut water, you’ll find that if you drink a large amount of it it can actually encourage a laxative effect.
Is coconut water good for acid reflux?
The electrolytes found in coconut water help balance the pH level of the body, which can be greatly beneficial who experience acid reflux.
Are coconut water and coconut milk the same?
Not at all! Coconut water is found in unripened coconuts and is very viscous and clear in color. Coconut milk is made by taking the flesh of a coconut and blending it with water to create coconut milk.