An alternative to aerated beverages and sports drinks, coconut water, is low in calories, and delicious to boot! But, did you know that your favorite drink has some surprising benefits to offer!
Some biological facts about Coconut —
Vasco da Gama gave the coconut its name. The inhabitants called it ‘Coco,’ named after a scowling face or hobgoblin (the scary coconut’s ‘eyes,’ remember?). When this ‘coco’ arrived in England, the suffix ‘nut’ was added making it a ‘coconut.’
But, coconut is not a ‘nut’ as many of us presume. It is actually a stone fruit found on the palm trees that grow well in the coastal tropical environments. This tree usually yields several hundreds of tender fruits every season, depending upon the species and the area.
Coconut ‘water’ is actually the juice present inside the endosperm (interior cavity) of the young (about 5-7 months old) and tender coconut. This clear liquid is sweet and sterile and contains various essential compounds such as vitamins, minerals, sugars, electrolytes, amino acids, phytohormones, and cytokine.
Here are the benefits:
- It rehydrates the body —
Coconut water is an excellent thirst quencher to beat tropical summer thirst. Because of its electrolyte composition, coconut water is also used to rehydrate the body in case of dehydration and fluid loss due to diarrhea, vomiting or excessive sweating. A good source of carbohydrates, it also helps lift your energy level.
- It improves metabolism —
One of the crucial things required for the proper metabolism of carbohydrates and fats into energy is manganese. This is why coconut water, a good source of manganese, helps improve metabolism.
- It lowers blood pressure –
Coconut water is considered good for controlling high blood pressure, thanks to its vitamin C, potassium and magnesium content. Potassium, in particular, helps lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of sodium.
- It aids digestion —
It is common knowledge that ingesting fibers is essential for your digestive system to function properly. Coconut water is rich in fiber, which is why it helps with your digestive system.
- Helps ease Muscle cramps —
Muscle cramps can happen due to many reasons, and coconut water helps ease the discomfort. According to studies, potassium deficiency can result in muscle spasms. A diet rich in potassium ensures that your muscles stay in perfect order.
Excessive exercising can also cause muscle cramps, which can be eased by the consumption of electrolytes. Coconut water, which replenishes lost water and potassium, can be a perfect substitute for any energy drink.
6. It reduces bloating —
Bloating is usually gas-related. But it can also be caused due to high sodium intake, which coconut water can reduce.Coconut contains a high amount of potassium, which helps counteract the effects of sodium.
7. It treats diarrhea —
Coconut water is a must-have liquid for those suffering from diarrhea. It will prevent the need for hospitalization by replacing the fluid loss from the GI (Gastrointestinal) tract
8. As an electrolyte replacement —
Coconut water is also a workable short-term replacement for human blood plasma (16). 100 ml of coconut water contains about 250 mg of potassium and 105 mg of sodium that help replenish electrolyte deficiency in the patient’s body.
9. Helpful after a prolonged workout session —
Coconut water is rich in essential potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium which helps natural replenishment of lost electrolytes in the body. Also, they assist in maintaining proper fluid balance
10. It balances pH levels —
Many toxins and chemical compounds present in the environment and foods make your body pH levels highly acidic which can eventually lead to joint pain, chemical sensitivity, heartburn, weight gain, diabetes, and immune deficiency. This is where coconut water comes into play.
Coconut water has an amazing alkalizing effect which helps restore a healthy pH in the body. So, next time you face a disturbing acidity and heartburn, don’t think before sipping on this tasty drink.
11. It provides instant energy —
A glass of fresh coconut water contains about 5 mg of natural sugar that has better energy-boosting effects than that of energy drinks, at a much lower price. The same glass is also rich in about 294 mg of potassium, which is essential for energy production in the cells.
12. Relieves Headache —
Dehydration is one of the major triggers for headaches, and coconut water is touted to be one of the best natural remedies for instant hydration.
Migraine patients have low levels of magnesium and coconut water with their high levels of magnesium helps reduce the frequency of migraine attacks
13. It boosts immunity —
Trust coconut water for an active immune system.
Every 100 grams of coconut water contains 2.4 mg of vitamin C that is required for the production of antibodies to fight any foreign invasion. It also helps clean your body of the existent toxins and germs, making you healthy from inside out. Coconut water also successfully beats cold viruses.
14. Ensures good eye sight —
Our body needs a significant amount of Vitamin B1 for an improved brain and eye health. It strengthens eye muscles and betters night vision. Every cup of coconut water contains around 0.7 mg of Thiamine (Vitamin B1), so you need to have two cups to meet the recommended daily requirement of 1.4 mg.
15. Relieves stress —
Coconut water contains a fair amount of vitamin B5, B6, and folate, that help reduce stress levels. Folate (vitamin B9) also helps trigger the release of serotonin, the mood-boosting hormone.
16. It cures Insomnia —
This natural ingredient contains GABA, a neurotransmitter that has a relaxing, anti-convulsive, and anti-anxiety effect on the body, aiding a good sleep.
17. It boosts memory —
Several studies have concluded that coconut water helps increase memory owing to the presence of glutamic acid, an amino acid that is essential for improved memory retention and recall
18. It treats Gall stones —
Drink coconut water to flush out the accumulated gallstones from your body.Coconut water is rich in malic acid, which when paired with magnesium helps in the breakdown of gallstones.
19. It fights depression —
Coconut water has a high magnesium content (a whopping 60 mg per cup) that is clinically proven to fight symptoms of depression.
20. Treats constipation —
Coconut water, being a natural laxative, is touted to be an excellent cure for constipation. It contains a high amount of dietary fiber that ensures stool formation. Also, the cleansing property of this water regulates the bowel movement in the body.
I’m Dr. Malini Bhat MD (Ayu); an Ayurvedic Doctor and a health blogger. Follow me on social media to get daily health tips which you can easily adapt to a healthy lifestyle.