We just can’t get enough of coconut water. It isn’t just a fad though; it couldn’t possibly be when there are so many health benefits of drinking the stuff. Coconut water isn’t to be confused with coconut milk, something that has been tinned and on the supermarket shelves for years. They are quite different things. Coconut milk is extracted from mature coconut flesh, whereas coconut water is the liquid found in the fruit before it has matured. Both are delicious though, it has to be said.
People in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia have been reaping the benefits of coconut water for years. Here are just some of the fantastic health benefits of drinking coconut water.
Water is the typical choice to hydrate yourself, however coconut water goes that step further. It contains heaps of antioxidants and essential minerals that will help keep you hydrated in a whole new way. These minerals include magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Drink the juice of a young coconut rather than fuelling up on a sugar loaded sports drink when you next hit the gym or at a running event. It is best to drink the liquid fresh as the canned versions often contain sugar and preservatives. However if all you can find is a packaged drink then it will still do the job.
2. Hangover Cure
Feeling a little sore from last night’s excesses? It has been claimed that coconut water can help to relieve your hangover because it contains the same five electrolytes that are found in human blood. This will replace those electrolytes damaged by drinking alcohol, while hydrating you at the same time. Stock up your fridge with this nutty water for the night after a party.
3. Antimicrobial Benefit
Amazingly coconut water is not only anti-viral, it is also anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial. Studies have proven that coconut water contains proteins that can kill off bacteria, making it the perfect drink when you are feeling under the weather. If you have an upset stomach, coconut water can help to relieve it. Its antimicrobial properties can even help to protect against H. pylori, the bacteria which causes ulcers when it infects the lining of the stomach.
4. Elimination of Kidney Stones
It has been said that coconut water can dissolve kidney stones. The potassium content in the drink also plays a role in preventing the stones from forming too as it alkalizes urine.
5. Healthy Heart
This fat- and cholesterol-free drink that contains potassium can lower blood pressure, so if you’re suffering from hypertension reach for the coconut water.
6. Stress Relief
Feeling stressed out? Coconut water actually can lower your stress levels as it is full of minerals and B-vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin pantothenic acid, niacin, folate and B-6. B vitamins have been proven to lower depression, stress and anxiety. If you’re having a hard day at the office, or are worried about something, have a glass of coconut water and see for yourself how well it works.
7. Lose Weight
Considering how many nutrients are in coconut water it is only 50 calories, is fat free and has a low glycemic load. This isotonic drink will increase your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories. Its detoxing properties will also help you too lose a little weight if part of your weight problem is due to toxins in your body.
Now you can get these benefits from fruit and veg, however, coconut water is delicious as well as healthy. There is no harm in giving it a go and drinking it alongside a healthy bowl of veg, fruit, and salad.
Some experts say that coconut water isn’t ideal for athletes who are training intensely, because of its low protein, sodium and carb content. However, alongside a diet of food that contains all these things coconut water is a much better choice than a sugar loaded sports drink.
If you can easily get hold of it, drink the water of a young raw coconut over bottled coconut water. You can get fresh coconuts pretty cheap from an Asian grocery store, or if you are stuck, buy the bottled version and check that the added sugar content isn’t too high. Coconut water is certainly a better choice than a soda because of the health benefits listed above. All soda is going to do is give you a quick burst of energy and lead to weight gain and rotting teeth. I know which one I’d prefer!