What is coconut water good for? There is a lot of hype about water which is found in young coconuts.
Not to be confused with coconut milk or oil, coconut water is the clear fluid/juice found in the centre of a young coconut.
This refreshing liquid, which has a sweet and nutty taste, quickly gained popularity across the world. It can be found everywhere – from food stores to fitness studios.
Perhaps, the demand for coconut water is skyrocketing, propelled by celebrity endorsements that claim to deliver a host of health benefits, ranging from providing rehydration to preventing cancer and kidney stones.
But is coconut water really worth the hype? First, let’s consider some of the health benefits of coconut before heading to its water use.
Health Benefits Of Coconut
IT HELPS TO REGULATE BLOOD PRESSURE
They are rich in fibre but contain no cholesterol which helps in regulating blood pressure.
Coconuts contain saturated fats that have been studied and considered healthy just like oil from other nuts, oily fishes and seeds.
These healthy fats play important roles in regulating body cholesterol by improving the high-density lipoprotein in the blood and drastically reducing the low-density lipoprotein.
HELPS IN OXYGEN CIRCULATION
The presence of iron in coconut helps in the transferring of oxygen within the body system; on the other hand, contains a good amount of potassium in the meat and water.
Iron is a very essential component of haemoglobin that transfers oxygen from the lungs to the red blood cells and then to the entire body in other to produce the energy required for the body.
Once the body lacks iron, it results in chronic loss of blood by which the blood which lacks some healthy red blood cells (anaemia).
HELPS TO IMPROVE METABOLISM
Coconuts are a good source of essential vitamin B-complex such as folates, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine which all help to convert food into fuel and as well replenish the body.
This chemical process in the human body which then turns these nutrients into energy is known as metabolism.
Coconut oil is also rich in medium chain triglycerides which are fatty acids that are known to enhance the metabolism of the human body.
KILLS HARMFUL BACTERIA
Coconuts provide an important saturated fat known as a lauric acid that is converted to monolaurin that acts as a bacteria killer that deals with a range of pathogens in the body.
Lauric acid is a saturated fatty acid that makes up about 50% of that fatty acid found in coconut oil.
This oil is very important to the health of human once it is been digested; it forms monolaurin after digestion which acts actively just as its original form to terminate fungal and viral activities which are harmful to human health.
RICH IN ANTIOXIDANTS
Coconut is rich in antioxidants which help to overcome the accumulation of gas in the alimentary canal, clean up toxins in the body and counter deterioration of free radicals in the body.
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant in coconut that helps to remove some damaging oxidizing agents which can cause certain damages to body cells and tissues.
KEEPS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY
Coconut fruits are quite beneficial to human health and safe for consumption for all ages because they contribute to keeping the immune system and nerves healthy.
Coconuts have antiviral and antibacterial properties that help to fight against infectious pathogens that affect the immune system cells.
The meat contains important minerals such as potassium, sodium, vitamin B-6 and fibre which potassium and vitamin B-6 among them play the most vital role in boosting the immune system.
What Is Coconut Water Good For? Here’s what you need to know about the natural beverage.
Coconut water contains natural electrolytes such as potassium, sodium and manganese, although the amounts of these nutrients can vary based on the maturity of the coconut fruit.
Hence, it’s often used for rehydration after an illness like diarrhoea or physical activity.
Unflavoured coconut water is low in sugar and calories compared to other fruit juices.
Coconut water is also a better choice for kids and adults who prefer a beverage that is less sweet.
Natural coconut water contains about 94 per cent water and very little carbs.
According to experts, there are some health benefits of drinking coconut water as it’s an all-natural way to hydrate and add nutrients to your diet – such as potassium and fibre that can support health.
In fact, the high potassium content in coconut water can be beneficial for those who don’t get enough of this nutrient.
Yet, since coconut water contains sodium, it can be a concern for those who already have too much sodium in their diets.
Despite the hype, there’s no enough evidence to back that coconut water is more effective for rehydration than plain water.
And more research is needed to support many of the health claims.
In summary however, coconut water is a nutritious, low-calorie drink (good for weight loss) that can be good for you when consumed as an occasional treat.
Be careful not to drink too much as coconut water does have some sugar and calories, which can add up quickly.
Also, ensure that you avoid flavoured varieties.
per the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), 1 cup (240g) of coconut water contains 45.6 calories, 8.8g of carbs, 6.3g of sugar, 252mg of sodium, 4g of fat, 2.6g of fibre, and 1.8g of protein.
So, weighing the pros and cons, sticking with plain water as an everyday beverage is still the better choice.