The coconut fruit consists of a hard outer shell, coconut water, and coconut flesh, also called coconut meat. Coconut water is a sweet translucent fluid that is drunk straight from young green coconuts. Coconut milk is a processed by-product made by grating the flesh of the mature brown coconut and then simmering it in hot water. The two are often confused but they are not the same. Here are the benefits of drinking coconut water from the young green coconuts locally known as madafu.
Coconut water is a source of low-calorie hydration. It is a great substitute for drinks like soda and juice which are generally high in calories, sugars, and carbohydrates. It’s also free of fat and cholesterol.
Rich in electrolytes
Coconut water could easily be the perfect beverage for restoring hydration and replenishing electrolytes lost during exercise. It contains natural electrolytes making it a better natural alternative to sports drinks. It also has fewer carbohydrates than many sports drinks. Electrolytes are minerals that play several important roles including maintaining proper fluid balance. Some vital electrolytes include potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium.
High in potassium
Coconut water is a great source of potassium which many people don’t get enough of in their diet. Potassium helps remove extra sodium from your body through urine. Potassium also helps lower blood pressure with research showing that coconut water can help lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. For this reason, you should avoid it until you speak to your doctor if you have blood pressure issues. You should also avoid it before surgery because it could affect your blood pressure levels.
Coconut water can help lower blood sugar levels and other markers in people with diabetes. It’s a great source of magnesium which may increase insulin sensitivity and decrease blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
Aids in bone health
Coconut water has calcium which most people don’t get enough of. Calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth. Calcium deficiency can lead to issues like low bone density, and weaker bones.
Kidney stone prevention
Coconut water may help prevent kidney stones. This is because staying hydrated is the key to preventing them. Plain water is a good choice, but coconut water is vastly more effective.
May support heart health
Drinking coconut water may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Coconut water also supports heart health by lowering blood pressure in people with high blood pressure courtesy of its potassium content.
For many people, coconut water is an acquired taste. If you don’t like how it tastes there are other ways to consume it besides drinking it straight from a young coconut. Some ways to add coconut water to your diet include:
- Blending it with fruit to make a smoothie
- Flavouring it with another drink like pineapple juice
- Using it instead of milk or cream for your curries
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