15 Hydrating Benefits of Coconut Water
Throughout the entire world, particularly in tropical regions, coconuts have long played a role in popular savory and sweet culinary cuisine, and people have been reaping multiple health benefits of this unique fruit for hundreds of years. Many people are familiar with the creamy coconut milk or the flaky dried fruit, but in recent years, coconut water has been increasingly popular for the various health benefits associated with this sweet and salty drink. While coconut milk comes from the mature fruit, coconut water is harvested when the plants are still young and green, giving it a different appearance and different set of health benefits of well.
1. Coconut Water Helps Aid In Weight Loss
Nearly two-thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese, and the market for a miracle weight loss cure is booming. While there are no true weight loss miracles and weight loss happens when there is a good balance between exercise and a healthy diet, coconut water can definitely help in your weight loss journey through its thermogenic properties. (1) Studies have shown that coconut water actually helps raise metabolism, helping you to burn fat more quickly.
2. Coconut Water Helps Prevent Overeating
Coconut water, while full of other nutrients, is almost ninety-five percent water, and many studies have shown that adequate hydration is crucial while losing weight. If your body is dehydrated, your body tends to misinterpret thirst for hunger, which leads to overeating and subsequently, fat gain.
3. Coconut Water Promotes Healthy Digestion
Coconut water is also unique because it is a great source of fiber, whereas most fluids offer little to no fiber. Fiber is an important part of weight loss (2) as it helps to keep you feeling full longer, in addition to helping to keep your digestive system healthy.
Additionally, coconut water is low calorie, particularly when drinking the unsweetened, unprocessed version. While there is sugar in coconut water, it is unprocessed, which will not hinder your weight loss efforts like added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Coconut water is a great way to stay hydrated throughout the day especially for those who don’t like plain water.
4. Coconut Water Helps Keep Hair and Skin Healthy
The average woman in the United States has dozens of hair and beauty products, but few are aware that simply adding coconut water into their diet is a great way to reap multiple benefits for hair and skin. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and thus, signs of stress and aging will quickly become more apparent when the skin is dehydrated.
Additionally, coconut water is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, and when applied topically, can help to treat and relieve irritated skin plagued by fungal or bacterial infections.
5. Coconut Water Keeps Hair Follicles Strong to Prevent Breakage
Hair is also prone to showing signs of dehydration, so ensuring you are properly hydrated with coconut water is important for shiny and healthy hair.
Coconut water is packed full of nutrients, and either drinking it or applying it directly to the scalp can help hair to grow more quickly and the hair follicles will also be reinforced to prevent breakage. If your hair is in need of a little more hydration, you can dilute a cup of coconut water with three cups of distilled water and rinse after shampooing for added shine and moisture.
6. Coconut Water Helps To Regulate High Blood Pressure
Hypertension is a condition that is affecting a growing number of people in the United States due to the growing problem of obesity, added to the fact that the average Western diet is very high in sodium. Coconut water is a fantastic source of potassium, which helps to counteract sodium in the body and lower blood pressure levels.
However, since coconut water can help to lower blood pressure, it is important to talk with your doctor about your current treatment plan if you plan on utilizing coconut water to lower your blood pressure, as you do not want to interact negatively with any current medications you are taking. If you have issues with low blood pressure, talk with your doctor before utilizing the other benefits of coconut water.
7. Coconut Water Helps Athletes Recover
Sports drinks can be a great option for athletes to recover after a strenuous workout, but are often full of high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients. (3) Coconut water is a great alternative to sports drinks, as it is full of electrolytes such as magnesium and phosphorus to help the body recover, as well as potassium to help prevent muscles from cramping and spasming. Coconut water also has more protein than sports drinks, which is an important part of building muscle and burning fat.
8. Coconut Water Helps Ease the Pain of Migraines
Everyone from time to time has experiences with headaches, which can sometimes be caused as a result of lack of proper hydration. Utilizing coconut water can be a good way to get more water into your diet, and prevent headaches.
However, approximately twelve percent of Americans suffer from regular migraine headaches, which are so intense that some people are unable to function in their normal daily routine when they are suffering from one.
It is estimated that fifty percent of adults have had a migraine at some point in their lives. (4) While no one is truly sure why some people are more likely to get migraines than others, it is believed that increasing the levels of magnesium in your diet, a nutrient that is abundant in coconut water, can help to relieve the frequency and severity of migraines.
9. Coconut Water Helps Lower Bad Cholesterol
Millions of Americans suffer from high levels of cholesterol, which, if left untreated can lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. While studies are very preliminary in humans, recent studies are showing that adding coconut water to the diets of those who suffer from high cholesterol can be just as effective as popular prescription drugs for lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol. Also, intake of coconut water shows improved tissue and serum lipid parameters. (5)
Of course, it is important to treat your high cholesterol in a variety of different ways, through exercise, through a healthy diet, and through prescription drugs if your doctor deems it necessary.
10. Coconut Water Helps Prevent Dehydration Caused by Digestive Problems
Diarrhea is an uncomfortable condition that leaves the sufferer frequently running to the bathroom. While diarrhea in and of itself is usually not serious, it can indicate an underlying disorder, particularly when it is chronic. Such conditions include irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s Disease, and both of these disorders benefit from increasing fiber in the diet, which coconut water is a good source of.
11. Coconut Water is Good for Replenishing Lost Fluids Through Vomiting and Diarrhea
If you are suffering from chronic diarrhea or even have an acute case that is particularly taxing on your system, you run the risk of dehydration from the excessive loss of fluids, which in turn presents a whole other set of problems if fluids are not replenished. Coconut water is a fantastic option to help prevent dehydration from occurring. It works just as well as regular water to rehydrate the system, but has additional nutrients, electrolytes, and calories to keep the body healthy, which is particularly important when your stomach may be too upset to eat. It is also a natural option, and is not overly processed unlike other drinks that may help prevent dehydration.
12. Coconut Water Kefir Provides Valuable Probiotics
Probiotics, generally found in fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, are essential for maintaining a healthy gut and having a balanced immune system. While coconut water is generally consumed fresh, it is possible to enjoy it fermented by making it into kefir. The resulting product is more tangy than the original, but still retains a coconut undertone. This drink is fantastic for those who are unable to tolerate kefir made from dairy products, or are looking for a different option.
13. Coconut Water Provides Essential Antioxidants
Coconut water is a drink that is very high in antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E. While antioxidants have been a buzzword in food recently, but few people understand why it is so important to consume antioxidants.
Cancer is a scary diagnosis no matter who you are, but there isn’t a true understanding of why it happens to some people and not to others. It is believed that oxygen molecules turn into harmful free radicals, which wreak havoc on the body, leading to cancer, as well as heart disease and problems with the immune system and memory. Antioxidants are agents that are found in food that help to control the formation of free radicals before they continue to do damage throughout the body.
14. Coconut Water Can Be Beneficial For Diabetics and Prediabetics
There are millions of people in the United States that suffer from diabetes and prediabetes, and that number has been growing rapidly for a number of years. While there are not any current studies that show that coconut water directly helps to treat diabetes, there is plenty of evidence that coconut water can help to treat some of the side effects as well as the initial causes of diabetes by reducing diet-induced insulin resistance and its associated complications. (6)
Diabetes, particularly type two diabetes, can be directly caused by obesity as well as cause weight gain in patients who have already developed the disease. Diabetes can also play a part in heightened blood pressure.
Sufferers of both obesity and hypertension can find some relief with coconut water. Coconut water is lower in sugar, and is generally safe for those with diabetes. It is essential to only consume unsweetened coconut water to ensure you are not getting artificial sweeteners, which can be hard on the body, especially for diabetics.
However, it is always important to consult with your primary physician or dietician to ensure that your diet is balanced and healthy.
15. Coconut Water Keeps the Urinary Tract Healthy
Coconut water is a fantastic tool for keeping your urinary tract healthy and free of infections. (7) Coconut water is a diuretic, which means that it increases the body’s production of urine. This keeps the tract healthy and clear.
Furthermore, it is an antimicrobial drink, which can help to remove bacteria and viruses that are already causing problems. There is even studies that are showing that coconut water can help the kidneys stay free of kidney stones as well as helping to pass existing kidney stones.
It is important to consult your doctor if you are having concerns about your urinary tract health. If left untreated, urinary tract infections can migrate into the kidneys and cause kidney infections, which are much more serious and can cause lasting damage to your kidneys and your entire body.
How to Incorporate Coconut Water Into One’s Diet
Coconut water can be used in a variety of ways to utilize all of the different health benefits. Many people find that they enjoy coconut water as a base for their smoothies as opposed to using milk or fruit juice, providing a lower calorie option while not compromising on nutrition.
Others have found that substituting coconut water in many different recipes, such as oatmeal, soups, and for steaming vegetables, offers more nutrients and a more unique flavor than plain water.
However, it is very important to choose your coconut water wisely. Coconut water should not have any added flavors, artificial colors, or sugar, otherwise many of the benefits will not be as potent.
How To Make Homemade Coconut Water
In order to ensure you are getting the full benefits of coconut water without compromising the integrity of the water, it is possible to make coconut water at home. While coconuts can be notoriously difficult to work with, there are many recipes, such as this one, that provide tips on how to make homemade coconut water that does not compromise the benefits of this wonderful drink.
Coconuts, coconut milk, and coconut water have been consumed by those living in tropical areas for hundreds of years. They have reaped the above benefits and more, living long and healthy lives in part due to their diet rich in coconuts. While coconut water is not a cure all and should not replace an adequate amount of fresh water daily, it undoubtedly has properties that are beneficial for your entire body, and can be utilized in many different ways.