Food EducationHealth

20 Incredible Health Benefits of Coconut Water

Coconut water – it refreshes us, tastes incredible and is even good for you. Who knew that America’s latest health craze would actually hold up to these 3 important requirements of any health food product.

The health benefits of coconut water are endless. It helps replenish and revitalize the body, making it one of the best ways to rehydrate and refresh.

Make sure you are purchasing the right coconut water. Food Babe investigated a variety of coconut waters and suggests never buying these 9 brands: Naked Juice Coconut Water, O.N.E Coconut Water, Zico, CocoZona, Vita Coco, GOYA, C2O, Purity Organic, and Coco Libre (Organic).

Instead, buy fresh young thai coconuts from your local Asian store or grocery market, and crack them fresh! These guys won’t be brown on the outside, but instead white. Otherwise, you could also buy better coconut water brands, like my favourite by Taste Nirvana, which is an organic coconut water that contains no concentrates, additives, and contains water from coconuts that have been sustainably grown and harvested.

20 Health Benefits of Coconut Water

So, without further adieu, here are 20 incredible health benefits of coconut water!

1. Prevents Heart Attacks

Coconut water is full of heart-healthy minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and natural sodium. Research has shown that coconut water helps improve blood circulation, lowers elevated blood pressure and thus reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Cytokinins in coconut water (mentioned below), also help lower your risk for blood clots.

2. Lowers High Blood Pressure

The high amount of vitamin K and potassium in coconut water helps lower blood pressure, which consequently helps prevent heart attacks. One study found that 71% of people who drank coconut water experienced lower blood pressures!

3. Anti-Aging Effects

Coconut water is one of the best anti-aging super-drinks out there! Loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants and cytokinins, coconut water is a must for anyone wanting to look younger and feel their best. Researchers suggest that consuming a diet rich in cytokinins (one of the richest sources being coconut water) will help you experience anti-aging effects, with a lower risk for age-related illnesses.

4. Nervous System Support

If you want to help treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, then coconut water might just be your new best friend. The water of young coconuts contain a cytokinin called trans-zeatin, which has been shown in recent studies to have the potential to treat neural diseases. One study found that trans-zeatin has an inhibitory effect on acetylcholinesterase, which gives it potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Another study also found that trans-zeatin prevents amyloid β-protein formation, which has a causal role in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Fights Free Radicals

Antioxidants in coconut water help quench free radicals by donating electrons, and reducing the effects of DNA damage that normally manifest as cancer or other chronic disease. Kinetin, another cytokinin in coconut water, also possesses strong anti-cancer effects by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells.

6. Natural Diuretic

Coconut water is a natural diuretic, meaning that it flushes out excess sodium and can help reduce the symptoms of those suffering from hypertension. It is also good for getting rid of excess water weight (via excess sodium flushing), and will naturally help you shed some pounds and improve the look of your skin.

7. Kidney Support

Acting as a natural diuretic, coconut water helps flush out excess toxins and has even treated those suffering from kidney stones. Dr. Eugenio Macalalag, director of the urology department of the Chinese General Hospital in the Philippines discovered that patients who drank coconut water 2-3 times a week experienced significant kidney stone reduction, to the point of no longer requiring surgery for removal.

8. Improves Blood Cholesterol Levels

Dr. Bruce Fife, director of the Coconut Research Center advocates (and claims) that coconut water helps increase HDL (good) cholesterol and reduces plaque formation, thus improving blood flow and protecting the heart.

9. Digestive Health

Drinking just 1 cup of coconut water a day can significantly help improve digestion. Coconut water contains a host of different enzymes that help with digestion and improve nutrient absorption. It also relieves constipation and feeds the friendly bacteria in our gut. Not only that, but the lauric acid content in coconut water converts to monolaurin, which prevents against intestinal worms, lipid-coated viruses and other gastrointestinal tract infections.

10. All-Natural Electrolyte

Coconut water is like natures own sports rehydration drink. It is a rich source of natural salts and electrolytes like potassium and magnesium that help replenish our cells and ease muscle strain. Ditch the gatorade, and choose coconut water instead!

11. Anti-Inflammatory

Inflammation is something that affects almost every person on the planet – but it’s how you deal with it that’s key. Consuming plant-based foods that have an alkaline effect on the body like coconut water, will help reduce acidity levels and thus reduce the amount of aches and pains you may experience in your body. Coconut water contains vitamin B6, too, which is important in the prevention of inflammation.

12. Vitamins and Minerals

Who would have thought that a clear liquid could provide the body with so much nutrition? Coconut water contains the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium. It is also rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, and vitamin K.

13. Hair Growth

Coconut water improves blood circulation, which means better blood flow to the scalp. This results in strengthened hair follicles, a moisturized scalp, less dandruff and a lower chance of developing scalp infections that could hinder hair growth. The vitamins, minerals and amino acids in coconut water will also improve hair quality like better shine, texture and cleanliness.

14. Cytokinins

Cytokinins in coconut water are like the plant version of cytokines for humans, making this one of the most important nutritional constituents in coconut water. Cytokinins are plant hormones (phytohormones) that have major anti-cancer, anti-thrombolytic, and anti-aging effects on human cells and tissues. They are involved in homeostatic regulation, growth and development, reproduction, healing and repair, immunity and blood clotting.

15. Balances Blood Sugar Levels

This refreshing drink contains a host of amino acids, like arginine, which helps moderate sugar absorption. Arginine also helps improve the sensitivity of insulin and in turn makes the transport of sugar from the bloodstream into cells an easier task.

16. Eye Support

If you suffer from glaucoma or cataracts, coconut water can help. Drinking coconut water has been found to significantly reduce fluid pressure in the eyes, with effects lasting up to 2.5 hours. Coconut water is also incredibly high in antioxidants, and so can help with the treatment of cataracts (caused by oxidation) when applied directly to the eye, and then covered with a warm washcloth for 10 minutes.

17. Immune System Support

Naturally supportive of the immune system, coconut water is something you should always have at hand. The water contains a host of vitamins and minerals, which help to boost the immune system, as well as lauric acid, which contains anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

18. Boosts Your Metabolism

Staying properly hydrated is one way to help boost your metabolism. If you aren’t drinking enough liquids, your body will enter a dehydrated state, which will then cause your metabolism to slow. Coconut water has also been found to boost the metabolism of fats – which is good news if you eat a high fat (and high cholesterol) diet.

19. Highly Alkalizing

The water of young coconuts contain naturally occurring electrolytes like potassium, calcium and magnesium, which replenish the body’s alkaline mineral reserve and help maintain proper pH balance in the body.

20. B Complex Vitamins

Coconut water is a great source of B vitamins, namely, B3 (nicotinic acid), B5 (pantothenic acid), biotin, B2 (riboflavin), folic acid and trace amounts of B1 (thiamine) and B6 (pyridoxine). B vitamins play an important role in energy production and aid a variety of enzymatic reactions needed for metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates. Without these vitamins, we wouldn’t be able to function properly.

Suggested Readings:
http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/14/12/5144
“Coconut Water For Health and Healing” by Dr. Bruce Fife
https://www.litalee.com/documents/Coconut%20Water%20Article.pdf
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1995764511600783

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