The Numerous Health Benefits of Coconut Water-Nature's Energy Drink
Coconut water has been known to people of tropical regions since time immemorial. It can be used as a sports drink, due to its rich potassium and sodium ion content. It also has anti-oxidants and less sugar than any artificial sports drink. It is a healthier beverage any day than carbonated and sweetened beverages. In the harsh summers of equatorial locations, coconut water has been used for ages as a natural remedy against dehydration and even stomach problems caused due to water loss and heat.
The Hawaiian term for coconut water is 'noelani', which means 'dew of the heavens'. This is enough to tell us that the benefits of this beverage have been known for long. Biologically, the coconut water and the soft white flesh form the endosperm of the coconut. The endosperm is the portion of the seed which nourishes the sapling and is one of the most nutritive substances of the plant kingdom.
Dietary Supplements Contained in Coconut Water
Coconut water is more than just a refreshing beverage. It has various nutrients that aid in maintaining a healthy body and mind. These include,
1. Vitamins: Coconut water is enriched with Vitamin B (riboflavin, thiamine, pyridoxine, niacin), which helps in healing and repair of damaged tissues, and Vitamin C which is a known antioxidant and protects the body from various infections and diseases like common cold.
2. Minerals: Excessive sweating can make you sweat a lot, and with sweat, the body loses minerals like sodium and potassium. These ions are required for nerve depolarization, muscle impulses and maintaining of water balance and blood pressure. Coconut water prevents loss of these ions and also dehydration due to sweating, diarrhoea or vomiting. Coconut water also contains more calcium, zinc and manganese than other fruits like apples or oranges.
3. Enzymes and Cytokines: Coconut water has several natural enzymes such as peroxidase, catalase, diastase, phosphatase and RNA polymerase. These enzymes aid in the digestion process and regulate the body's metabolism. Cytokines are anti-aging and have some anti-carcinogenic properties. They also maintain elasticity of connective tissues and keeps them hydrated.
Effect on the metabolic rate and health:
- Drinking coconut water regularly boosts the body's metabolic rate. As a result of this, the calories you ingest are utilized more quickly and lead to a leaner and healthier body. Hence, it is a healthy way to lose weight.
- Coconut water, due to its high concentration of potassium ions, helps in preventing the formation of stones in the kidney. It makes the urine more alkaline and dissolves stone forming crystals.
- The potassium in coconut water can also treat muscle cramps after a long game by regulating muscle fibre contractions.
- A glass of coconut water (300ml) with a few drops of lemon juice taken every day on an empty stomach is a wonderful cleanse. It acts as a diuretic and accumulated toxins are flushed out in the urine. This routine also prevents constipation, acidity, flatulence and dysentery.
- Studies have shown coconut water to be effective at relieving stress, depression and anxiety. This is mainly due to the presence of riboflavin and pantothenic acid.
Beauty and Skincare
- A facemask with a coconut water base instead of plain water keeps skin hydrated and looking fresh. It keeps skin supple and non-greasy.
- Coconut water, along with an exfoliating substance like fullers earth is an effective way of getting rid of tan lines by gentle scrubbing. It is a healthier alternative to using harsh chemical tan removers and bleaches.
- Coconut water with a bit of sandalwood powder and lemon juice is used to treat oily skin, blackheads, acne and as a general facial; cleanse.
- When applied to the hair prior to bathing, coconut oil makes hair smoother and softer. It is also used to get more manageable and tangle free hair.
- Antioxidants present in coconut water reduce aging of skin and thereby removes wrinkles and fine lines. Both drinking coconut water as well as applying it topically to skin is effective.
- Coconut water also fights hair loss, dry hair and split ends by conditioning the scalp as well as the hair shaft. It also removes dandruff and lice, which can hinder the growth of hair. Coconut water has Vitamin K and iron, which are needed for healthy hair.
Overall, the health benefits of coconut water are incredibly numberless. Experiments don’t hurt and they are only advantageous.
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SURESH JOSHI on August 04, 2020:
Very interesting articles for good Health.
SK_vel on February 26, 2017:
Thanks for the scientific details of coconut water, we in India have been taking it 1000's of years ago, we knew it provides lot of health benefits documented for centuries .
But we drink tender coconut water , not the coconut water as mentioned. Both have different benefits , pls do some research on the difference between these two , Thank U so much
Rochelle Ann De Zoysa from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka on July 03, 2015:
This is great information :) I love to drink coconut water:)
Ty (author) from Las Vegas on June 15, 2014:
@MsDora - Thanks for the comment! It is definitely delicious, and nutritional. Always something good to add to any diet really.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 06, 2014:
Thank you for presenting this research on coconut water. It's helpful to know what is specifically good about it. In the Caribbean, we just know that it's good, and we love it.