Nature’s natural drink

Coconut water has been used for many years as a nutritional drink. It comes from fresh coconuts that have been opened up to reveal a clear, dense and sweet fluid.

This natural drink is second only to drinking water in terms of purity and contains a number of beneficial vitamins and minerals. With its energising and nutritional properties, coconut water has been touted as a healthy addition to a well-balanced diet plan.

Coconut water is low in calories, low in sugars and 99 per cent fat free. The sugar in coconut water is natural and not refined and has no processed added sugars that could increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a 100 g serving of coconut water provides 19 kcal, 0.2 g of fat, 1.1 g of fibre, 0.72 g of protein and 0 mg of cholesterol.

Coconut water contains a variety of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, growth factors, and other nutrients. Coconut water is a good source of the major minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium. One eight-ounce cup of coconut water has more potassium than a banana.

Depending on which country it is planted it can contain trace elements such as zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur, manganese, boron, molybdenum, and others. All of these minerals are in the form of electrolytes so they are easily absorbable by the human body. Many of the health benefits attributed to coconut water can be traced to its mineral content.

Coconut water is a natural source of essential B Vitamins, which provide energy to the body, decrease anxiety and depressive symptoms, help with muscle functions, and increase the immune response. Such vitamins include riboflavin, niacin, thiamine and folic acid.

Fresh coconut water also contains small amounts of vitamin C, or approximately four per cent of the recommended daily allowance. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is essential for fighting off free radicals that damage the body as well as preventing certain cancers and the risk of heart disease.

Coconut water can be used as a rehydrant after light exercise, because of the levels of minerals found in it such as the potassium and sodium. Because of these two ingredients, care has to be given when recommending or gifting this fruit. The hypertensive, because of the sodium content should be watchful on how much coconut water they drink, so to the person with excessive potassium levels.

Young coconut juice also can be used to replace lost fluids from vomiting in cases of gastro and influenza. It also might help settle queasiness and stomach upsets and although not related acts as a natural diuretic which may be beneficial in some bladder infections.

The juice of green coconuts might be helpful for dissolving kidney stones because of the high amount of potassium present in the juice, suggests Dr. Theodore Baroody in Alkalize or Die. Potassium assists in alkalizing urine, which might help prevent digestive wastes in the blood from solidifying and attaching to the kidney walls, offering possible protection against future stone formation.

Coconut water can remain drinkable 24 months after first cutting the coconut, I am just reporting here, fascinating thing the Internet! I don’t think I would test this theory though.

Research bears this out. Animal studies show that coconut water consumption reduces plaque formation in arteries, thus reducing risk of heart attack and stroke.

High blood pressure is one of the primary risk factors associated with heart disease and stroke. The minerals potassium and magnesium are known to help reduce high blood pressure. Human studies show that coconut water, which is a good source of both of these minerals, is effective in reducing high blood pressure and increasing circulation.

Studies also demonstrate that coconut water consumption reduces the risk of heart failure in heart disease patients. The evidence is so convincing that the FDA allows coconut water to carry the claim that it “may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke”.

Because coconut water improves blood circulation, it is of benefit to diabetics. Coconut water helps dilate blood vessels, improves blood flow, and reduces plaque formation. Coconut water also contains certain forms of dietary fibre and amino acids that help moderate sugar absorption and improve insulin sensitivity.

Coconut water contains additionally plant growth hormones, particularly cytokinins. Cytokinins are a group of hormones that regulate growth, development, and aging in plants. Cytokinins are also known as anti-aging hormones. Cytokinins also have an anti-aging effect on human cells and tissues. Because of their effects on human cells, cytokinins have been tested for the possible treatment for age spots, wrinkles, sagging, and dry skin. This has led some cosmetic manufacturers to add cytokinins to facial creams and lotions.

Coconut water is the richest natural dietary source of cytokinins. Researchers have suggested the possibility that consuming a rich source of cytokinins, such as coconut water, may produce an anti-aging effect on the body, reducing risk of developing degenerative and age related diseases.

In regulating cell growth, cytokinins also prevent mistakes that may lead to the development of cancer. Normal cells are kept healthy while cancerous cells are programmed to die, preventing them from growing and spreading. Subsequently, the anti-cancer effects of cytokinins have been well documented.

Because its electrolyte content is similar to human plasma, unlike other beverages, it is completely compatible with the human body, in so much that it can be infused directly into the bloodstream. In fact, it was used as an intravenous fluid in WW2.

Published medical research and clinical observation have shown that coconut water:

* Makes an excellent oral rehydration sports beverage — replaces electrolytes from exercise, heat stress and illness

* Aids in exercise performance

* Natural isotonic beverage — contains the same level of electrolytes found in human blood

* Has 15 times the amount of potassium as most sports and energy drinks (264 mg vs. 12.5 mg /100 ml)

* Reduces problems for infants suffering from intestinal disturbances

* Cardio protective: helps regular blood pressure (due to high potassium); improves circulation

* Reduces swelling in hands and feet

* Prevents abnormal blood clotting

* Aids in kidney function including those with kidney stones; Nutritional support for those with urinary tract/bladder problems

* Helps balance blood sugar in diabetics

* Improves digestion

* Reported by some people to reverse cataracts

* Contains nutrients that feed friendly gut bacteria

* Helps relieve constipation or diarrhea

* Possesses anti-aging properties

* Nutritional support for healthy skin: restores strength and elasticity to skin; reduces age spots; reduces wrinkles and sagging

* Regulates the functioning of the intestine which promotes smoother, more hydrated skin

* Enhances healing of wounds and lesions

* Supports good vision and provides nutritional support in those who have a tendency towards glaucoma

* Contains potent antioxidants

* Nutritionally supports immune function

* Provides nutrients important in preventing osteoporosis

This fruit seems very impressive from the mounting evidence, and can be a beneficial addition to your regimen. Although you must remember that as a replenisher it is useful for light exercise only. If you are hypertensive, just let your prescriber know that you have added coconut water to your diet.

Another thing, all of those ingredients found in the coconut are dependent on the soil in which the coconut palm was planted and also whether the coconut water you have paid for has not been adulterated by tap water! Always buy your water from a trusted source and stay with that source, your health will depend on it.

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