Health Benefits of Coconut Water

Coconut water: A delicious, refreshing beverage that’s also incredibly healthy. It’s full of antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes as well as a plethora of essential vitamins and minerals. It’s best to drink fresh coconut water if you live an environment where it exists, otherwise fresh coconut water found in cartons and sometimes bottles is the next best thing. If consuming fresh coconuts, choose young green coconuts rather than more mature as they are denser in nutrition. As coconuts mature, much of the water turns into the coconut “meat”. Drink it plain or add it to smoothies for a great nutrient boost.

Coconut water is great for many aspects of your health. The micronutrients found in this super food are great to boost your immune system. It’s also a good option for anytime your body has lost a lot of fluid (from vomiting, diarrhea, exercising, etc.) due to the abundance of electrolytes. Studies have shown that coconut water has roughly the same effect as typical sport drinks like Gatorade, without all of the excess sugar and chemicals. Coconut water is also great to cure hangovers. Because drinking alcohol depletes your body of electrolytes and is dehydrating, coconut water is a good choice to revitalize and rehydrate your body after a long night. The electrolytes can also help to treat headaches and migraines caused by dehydration or lack of electrolytes.

Coconut water is also great for cardiovascular health. Several vitamins found in coconut water are great to lower high blood pressure. Be careful that you’re drinking as fresh of coconut water as possible, as some packaged coconut water has a lot of sodium. Coconut water can help to balance cholesterol as well. It works to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol as well as raise HDL (good) cholesterol. Coconut water also contains plenty of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties which help to improve circulation, another component of a healthy heart. These properties also promote plaque-free arteries which lessens the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Antioxidants also help to neutralize free radicals and decrease levels of oxidative stress.

Other health benefits of coconut water include lowered risk for diabetes, regulated blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity. This makes coconut water a great diet choice for those at risk or already suffering from diabetes. Drinking lots of fluid in general is great to reduce risk of kidney stones as well. Some studies have shown that coconut water actually prevents crystals from sticking to the kidneys and urinary tract in the first place.

While some research is still inconclusive about all of the potential benefits of consuming coconut water, the data collected and experimental evidence shown thus far is very promising. Coconut water is truly a superfood.

Nutrition information for one cup of coconut water (most unflavored brands):

Calories: 46 calories
Sugar: 6.3g
Dietary Fiber: 2.6g
Fat: 0.5g
Vitamin C: 5.8mg (10% DV)
Thiamin: 0.1mg (5% DV)
Riboflavin: 0.1mg (8% DV)
Vitamin B6: 0.1mg (4% DV)
Calcium: 57.6mg (6% DV)
Iron: 0.7mg (4% DV)
Magnesium: 60mg (15% DV)
Phosphorus: 48mg (5% DV)
Potassium: 600mg (17% DV)
Sodium: 252mg (11% DV)
Copper: 0.1mg (5% DV)
Manganese: 0.3mg (17% DV)