If heaven can exist safely nestled inside strong green exteriors, then you might want to crack open a coconut to get a taste of it. As an avid coconut water lover, I have always thought that despite incredibly rich health benefits of coconut water, it has always been severely undervalued. That said, since the past year or two, with brands like Vita Coco and One Natural infiltrating every grocery store, people are becoming more and more aware of this simple and humble yet powerful gift of nature.
Today, in this article, we are going to take a detailed look at coconut water health benefits, because with summer around the corner, when that scorching heat strikes, I want you all to reach for a sip of nutrient rich coconut water, instead of that calorie rich cocktail.
Benefits of Coconut Water#1 It is Electrolyte Rich
Now before I tell you how many electrolytes coconut water has, it is more imperative to first know what electrolytes do.
Electrolytes are minerals that are broken up into ions to be used by your nerve, heart and muscle cells to maintain voltages across the membrane and to carry electrical impulses from cell to cell. In other words, electrolytes are sort of like motor oil for your body. Its presence is absolutely crucial to keep your body and organs running smoothly.
Our body has 8 main electrolytes- Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphate, Chloride, Bicarbonate, and Sulfate, each with its own specific function.
When we workout, our electrolyte balance can change. Our body loses electrolytes- specifically sodium and potassium- in the form of sweat, which can cause muscle cramping, fatigue, nausea and more. Thus, these electrolytes must be replenished to keep its concentration in the body fluids constant.
How can Coconut Water Help?
Coconut water contains 5 of the 8 key electrolytes need by your body. These include Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorous and Magnesium. 1 cup of coconut water contains 252 mg Sodium, 600 mg Potassium, 57.6 mg Calcium, 48 mg Phosphorous, and 60 mg Magnesium.
Benefits of Coconut Water #2: Very Low On Sugar
The electrolyte content of coconut water is more than double of most sports drinks. It also contains just half of the carbohydrates found in those traditional drinks. Not just that, most traditional sports drinks contains high fructose corn syrup as its sweetener, which has been shown to cause weight gain, tooth decay, dementia,cancer and more.
Coconut water, on the other hand, has no artificial sugar content, other than what’s naturally found in it. According to Lillian Cheung, DSc and RD of Harvard School of Public Health, an 11 ounce can of coconut water contains 60 calories, so as long as you don’t over do it, chances are it won’t get stored as fat.
That said, make sure you read the ingredient chart before buying your coconut water. Because of the increase in demand, there are a lot of new companies selling sub par products filled with artificial sugars and other additives, but those are no different than any other sugary juices or sodas. So, If you can get your hands on 100% coconut water, you are good to go.
Benefits of Coconut Water# 3: Cholesterol Free, Fat Free
Coconut Water has no cholesterol content. In one preliminary study done on rats, scientists gave coconut water enriched food to one group and lovastatin (a drug for lowering cholesterol) to another group of cholesterol fed rats for 45 days. The results showed that the lipid lowering effect of coconut water was similar to that of lovastatin. Now, there hasn’t been any research done on humans yet, but the results sure look promising.
Especially with 0mg cholesterol and 0 gram saturated fat, when it comes to coconut water, you have nothing to gain (weight wise) and everything to gain (nutrition wise).
Other than that, proponents have also credited coconut water for its anti aging effects, and its role in reducing acne, eczema, cellulite, stretch marks and wrinkles, although there aren’t any scientific studies to back these claims.
But whichever way you look at it, coconut water is extremely good for you. If you can get it right from the source, that’s even better. But if you do have to purchase it from the grocery store, make sure to check the ingredient chart. You don’t want to replace sugary drink with yet another sugary drink.
A healthy lifestyle is a culmination of small steps. Replacing your drinks with something healthy and nutritious might just bring you a few inches down. Try it!
Have you ever had coconut water before? Are you looking forward to including it in your lifestyle? Please let us know below.