Nutrition

5 Health Benefits of Coconut Water

Coconut Water is a great low calorie and low sugar alternative to plain water that offers many heath benefits when consumed appropriately.

Have you ever imagined climbing up the trunk of a coconut tree and picking the freshest young coconut you can find. You jump down and crack it open with an arrowhead laying nearby. The juice 0f the coconut quenches your skin and your thirst as you part your lips to take a sip. There’s nothing like the taste of fresh coconut water straight from the coconut itself. Although the only way to get coconut water outside of the tropics is in a container sold on a shelf.

For centuries Coconut water has been a staple in the diet of the indigenous people of the tropics. Although it doesn’t seem like they’ve done much of the picking themselves. For about 400 years they have been training  pig-tailed macaques, which are a class of chimps to pick the coconuts for them. Although picking coconuts for mass production is probably easier said and done for the chimps.

Coconut water is valued all over the world. It is best known for its hydrating abilities and contains electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, and phosphorous. Unlike many other electrolyte enhancing sports drinks out there coconut water is an all-natural alternative, one that is fat free, cholesterol free, and low in calories.

It is also packed with antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, b vitamins, vitamin c, and minerals such as manganese and zinc, making coconut water one of the healthiest drinks on the planet.

However, not all coconut water is created equal. In order to gain all of the nutritional benefactors listed above you’ll want to chose a high quality coconut water that follows the listed criteria below.

Tender Coconuts comes from young green coconuts and have an abundance of water. It is best to choose water that sources young and not old as the coconuts begin to lose important nutrients as it matures. Each nut can contain anywhere from 1-4 cups of water.

Now how will you know where your coconut water is being sourced, well you can contact the company to ask but a hint is in the ingredients. Young coconuts produce a sweet refreshing flavor that needs nothing else added but mature water can become acidic and therefor will need sugar or artificial flavors to make up for the taste. If your coconut water has any of these added sweeteners I would avoid it as your likely paying too much and not reaping the benefits that were intended.

As we know pasteurization is a key component in making sure your drink is free from bacteria and lasts longer on the shelf. It is also another way of killing the vital nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes you so desire. You’ll want to search for a high quality raw unpasteurized coconut water but this can be hard to come by so the best you can do is find one that is not from concentrate as that would mean it was more processed.

Whenever you chose a product I would always encourage you to select Organic for most things as you want to avoid as much toxin exposure as possible. It has recently been reported that some non-organic varieties being shipped to the US are dipped in formaldehyde or sodium metabilsulphite to preserve freshness. These chemicals can leech into the meat of the coconut and taint the water with carcinogens.

Now lets talk in detail about what coconut water has to offer you with these top 5 health benefits

 

1.Hydration

Due to its electrolyte composition Coconut water can be used to combat dehydration from working out or illnesses that cause diarrhea and vomiting. It was even said that coconut water was used, as an IV alternative when saline wasn’t available. It is a much better option to Gatorade and vitamin water which contain harmful ingredients such as High fructose corn syrup, Brominated vegetable oil, sugar, natural flavors, and artificial colors.

 

2.Lowers Blood Pressure

Due to its high levels of potassium coconut water was found to have a significant improvement to the systolic blood pressure reading. A study noted in “The west Indian Medical Journal” stated the systolic rate was reduced by 71 % in those who consumed coconut water. Although this was a small study and more will need to be conducted to get a true interpretation, Science has backed potassium as a lowering tool for blood pressure by balancing out the levels of sodium in the blood.

 

3.Promotes Weight loss

The right amount of coconut water can help to aid weight loss. Drinking coconut water 2-4 times a week can aid digestion and speed up your metabolism. Coconut water can also be a diuretic, which can help aid in the removal of harmful toxins and flush out excess water as well. Most coconut waters also have less than 50 calories per serving so trading in your high sugar juices and high calorie sodas for this refreshing treat will do the trick.

 

4.Anti ageing benefits

Coconut water has an array of antioxidants, which are known to protect the body from damage caused by toxins. It also has high levels of vitamin C, which boost the immune system, and keeps the skin looking younger and firmer, and is a huge source of cytokines, which are shown to have anti-cancer and anti-ageing properties. Kinetin for example can potentially be used to help treat myeloma and other skin cancers.

 

5.Heart Healthy

Did you know coconut water can help reduce heart disease risk? Animal studies have shown a link to coconut water consumption in lowering cholesterol. In fact it helps lower lipoprotein (Bad Cholesterol) and increases high-density lipoprotein (Good Cholesterol). It also helps lower the risk of heart attack and stroke with its anti-inflammatory properties.

 

Coconut water is best consumed in its natural raw form straight from the coconut tree but for a more attainable approach I would select from the list below of store bought varieties and avoid the over processed assortment with added sugars and flavors.

 

*Please note this list includes the most attainable options offered in your area and can be purchased in a store and online. There are many other options of pure raw and organic waters that must be ordered online or are only attainable in certain locations. I have found that these options can be easily located at your neighborhood supermarket and are trusted brands.

  1. Harmless Harvest
  2. Suja Organics
  3. Harvest Bay
  4. Purity Organics
  5. Coco Libre

Now that you know what to look for and what not to buy when choosing your Coconut water let’s end off with the list of absolute do not buy’s

  1. N.E Coconut Water (Pepsi co brand )
  2. Zico (Coca Cola Brad)
  3. Vitas Coco

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