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Over the past few years the popularity of coconut everything has skyrocketed and many have incorporated it into their diet for the health benefits. This includes coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut flour…but what about coconut water? Is coconut water healthy too?
Coconut water is the clear juice found when you crack open a young coconut. Coconut water is different from coconut milk, which contains coconut meat.
You can drink coconut water straight from the coconut as many do in tropical locations. Often times a straw will be stuck directly into the coconut to drink through. The other option is packaged containers of coconut water you find sitting on store shelves.
Interesting Fact about Coconut Water
One interesting fact I came across while trying to find an answer to the question, “Is coconut water healthy?”, was that coconut water is nearly identical to blood plasma. Coconut water is a good source of electrolytes and natural salts; in fact, it contains the same electrolytic balance as human blood. According to Natural News, coconut water was used as a replacement for intravenous plasma for soldiers in World War II.
So, What’s in Coconut Water?
Well, coconut water consists of 95% water! The remaining 5% consists of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. Coconut water is most noted for its high amount of potassium, it contains 600 mg of potassium.
Coconut water also consists many essential amino acids, including, arginine, alanine, glycine, proline, just to name a few.
Benefits of Coconut Water
There are many benefits of drinking coconut water. Coconut water is excellent for balancing electrolytes as it naturally contains potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphate and calcium. Also, it contains many beneficial amino acids.
Additionally, it contains enzymes such as catalase, RNA-polymerases, and acid phosphatase which are beneficial for digestive processes.
The minerals, nutrients, and enzymes in coconut water also provide antioxidant properties.
The cytokinins present in coconut water have been shown to be beneficial for the anti-carcinogenic and anti-ageing effects.
More Health Benefits of Coconut Water:
- Help prevent diabetes
- Help with weight loss
- Help fight viruses
- Aid digestion
- Revitalize cells and boost metabolism
- Relieves urinary problems
- Kills intestinal worms
- Breaks up kidney stones
- Contains antibacterial properties
- Aid in reducing vomiting
Coconut water is also a great way to rehydrate the body. According to this study, coconut water, preferably from a fresh young coconut, is an effective way to rehydrate your whole body and blood volume following exercise. It makes a great replacement for sports drinks that contain added sugar and artificial flavoring.
The Problem with Coconut Water
The only negative of coconut water, is that it is relatively high in sugar. Coconut water contains natural sugars, so even if you buy a bottle of coconut water with no added ingredients, it will still have a good amount of sugar.
One serving consists of about 12 grams of sugar. The amount of sugar in packaged coconut water can vary, one popular brand contains 14 grams.
To put this into perspective, a handful of blueberries contains about 3 grams of sugar.
The reason high sugar is of concern is because it can cause a spike in glucose and insulin.
Even though it contains a fairly high amount of sugar, coconut water can be very beneficial when used in small amounts and preferably when being sipped straight from a fresh young coconut.
Store Bought Coconut Water Vs. Making it Yourself
Packaged coconut water from the store may contain added ingredients to help preserve it. Also, the coconut water may be sitting on a self for many months.
It is best to use a fresh young green coconut and make it yourself by cracking open the coconut, draining it, and then drinking the juice. Here is a great list of step by step instructions to open a coconut.
What do you think, is coconut water healthy?
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