As the Hawaiian say, coconut is "dew from the heavens" that can do a lot of remarkable things – from rehydrating your body to lowering your blood pressure. Organic coconut water can also do the following: (Related: One of nature's most refreshing beverages, coconut water is a powerhouse of evidence-based health benefits.)
If you're feeling sick or under the weather, the body can lose a tremendous amount of fluid from vomiting and diarrhea. In this scenario, organic coconut water can help with your hydration status and balance electrolytes better than regular water. The lauric acid (one of the good fats) present in coconut water supports healthy metabolism and has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties, which boost the body's immune system.
Researchers of a study published in Peptides in 2009 found and studied the structural insights of three novel antimicrobial peptides isolated from coconut water, which have been proven effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
Coconut water contains plant cytokines, a category of very small proteins, which communicate with immune cells in the body to work together and respond to infections and disorders.
The balance of electrolytes in coconut water is nearly the same as that in human blood – so close that coconut water is the only natural, non-blood substance that can be safely injected into the human bloodstream.
Dubbed as the "fluid of life," coconut water is so good that it has been used to replace human blood plasma during World War II. A case report published in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine in 2000 reported the intravenous use of coconut water for superior hydration and resuscitation of critically ill patients in remote regions of the world where medical supplies are not readily available.
Coconut water is relatively high in chloride, which helps the body balance its pH level and fluids. This is very important in helping the body maintain homeostasis (the ideal environment for optimum functioning). More specifically, homeostasis is the body's tendency to monitor and maintain internal states – such as temperature and blood sugar – at fairly constant and stable levels, as defined in Molecular Aspects of Medicine.
Coconut water lowers blood pressure. Drinking coconut water regularly may help lower blood pressure. A study published in the West Indian Medical Journal in 2005 found that 71 percent of volunteers with high blood pressure saw improvements after drinking coconut water twice daily for two weeks. Twenty-nine percent of the coconut water participants exhibited "significant decreases" in their diastolic blood pressure readings.
One reason why coconut water may help reduce hypertension is its high potassium content. One cup of organic coconut water contains more potassium than a medium-sized banana. Research suggests that potassium-rich diets can help support heart health by reducing blood pressure and even protecting against stroke. (Related: Coconut water is shown to significantly reduce high blood pressure.)
Coconut water helps lower cholesterol levels and reduce the negative effects of a high-fat diet. A comparative study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2008 reported that coconut water displayed similar, if not better cholesterol-lowering effects, compared to lipid-lowering drugs like lovastatin. Coconut water also doesn’t cause side effects, unlike lipid-lowering drugs.
Though coconut water is sweet, it’s still a healthy beverage for people with diabetes. A study published in Food & Function in 2012 showed the therapeutic potential of several biologically active compounds, including antioxidants in coconut water that can reduce hyperglycemia (high blood glucose or blood sugar) and oxidative stress linked to diabetes.
Coconut water helps prevent brain deterioration. Coconut water can prevent cognitive decline as you age. A study in the Journal of Aging Research in 2019 showed that young coconut water reduces some histopathological changes associated with Alzheimer's disease through the modulation of estrogen receptors (estradiol).
Organic coconut water contains magnesium, a mineral that helps to keep things moving and prevent constipation, said Chicago-based dietitian Maggie Michalcyzk. Adequate hydration, in general, is very important in helping regulate bowel movements.
Results of a study published in Tropical and Geographical Medicine showed young coconut water as a home glucose electrolyte solution for well-nourished children with mild diarrhea or gastroenteritis.
A study published in BioMed Research International in 2018 reported that coconut water was an unexpected source of urinary citrate, which reduces urinary supersaturation of calcium salts or inhibits crystal and kidney stone formation. Researchers found that coconut water increased the urination of potassium, chloride and citrate in individuals without kidney stones – flushing out the system and keeping the likelihood of stones low.
A study published in the Journal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry in 2017 reported that the antimicrobial property of coconut water is because of its high lauric content that has been used as a medication for certain oral infections like mouth sores. Some studies have reported that sucrose monolaurate and glycolipid components present in coconut have anti-cavity properties.
Coconut water is also a great sports and energy drink alternative. Studies show that sports and energy drinks tend to be very unhealthy because they contain high amounts of refined sugar and other additives. Though refreshing, such sweetened drinks can be harmful to your health in the long run. In contrast, coconut water is extremely safe and good for your body. (Related: Forget sports drinks: Coconut water is the perfect fluid to replenish your body’s electrolyte balance after heavy exercise.)
People who exercise regularly, including athletes, are all encouraged to drink coconut water as an isotonic solution. Coconut water replaces the fluids and minerals that the body loses during physical activities. It can be thought of as Mother Nature's sports drink.
The electrolytes in organic coconut water can help regulate fluid balance, prevent dehydration and ensure proper muscle function. One cup of coconut water contains 58 milligrams of calcium, contributing to the recommended daily value of 1,000 milligrams. Calcium helps muscles function properly, in addition to being essential for healthy bones and teeth.
One cup of coconut water also gives you 60 milligrams of magnesium, which is a significant portion of the 400 milligrams recommended each day by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Your body needs magnesium for muscle relaxation, energy production, bone-building, heart function and nervous system health.
Lack of proper hydration leads to dry, tight and even flaky skin. Drinking organic coconut water can contribute to your daily hydration needs. Coconut water contains B vitamins riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), folic acid (B9), biotin (B7), as well as trace amounts of thiamin (B1) and ascorbic acid or vitamin C.
Though vitamin C is low in coconut water, it is sufficient to increase the bioavailability of its other nutrients. The vitamin C found in coconut water helps make collagen, which gives your skin elasticity and firmness.
Being rich in fiber, coconut water can prevent food cravings and overeating. As previously discussed, coconut water can maintain your blood sugar level and help in better digestion. Notably, poor digestion and spiked blood glucose levels are both associated with weight gain.
Coconut water is refreshing to drink alone. But there are many other ways you can drink this healthy beverage.
Slushes — Mix coconut water and your favorite fresh or freeze-dried fruits using a blender. Add a touch of raw organic honey for a sweeter flavor.
Popsicles — Freeze coconut water with some of your favorite fruits for a yummy summer treat.
Muesli — Soak oats overnight in coconut water, then add fruits to your oats in the morning.
Iced coffee — Replace artificial sweeteners with coconut water to enjoy a cold brew with a mildly sweet flavor.
Curry — You can swap coconut milk with coconut water for a lighter curry without taking anything away taste-wise.
A delicious source of natural electrolytes, organic coconut water is generally considered safe to consume every day. There are a few exceptions, however, that you need to be aware of.
Caution should be used in people with poor kidney function and those who require higher glucose and sodium content as part of their re-hydration process. The relatively low levels of sodium and sugar in coconut water are generally considered positive attributes, but may not be ideal in all circumstances.
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Watch the video below about the surprising health benefits of coconut water.
This video is from the Groovy Bee channel on Brighteon.com.
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