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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Health Benefits of Coconut Water


Coconut water is the juice in the endosperm of young coconut.

The water is actually obtained by opening a tender, green, healthy, and undamaged coconut. Inside, it's liquid is sweet and sterile and composed of unique chemicals such as sugars, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, amino acids, cytokine and phyto-hormones. 

Young and slightly immature coconuts harvested when they are about 5-7 months of age for the drink. Any nuts younger than five months of age tend to be bitter in taste and devoid of nutrients.

Health Benefits of Coconut Water
  • Cardiovascular Health : Coconut water helps improve blood circulation, lowers high blood pressure levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues. It is also said to control your blood sugar levels.
  • Reduces Blood Pressure : A disproportionate level of electrolytes can result in high blood pressure. Because coconut water contains an adequate supply of each, it can be used as a balancing mechanism.
  • Kidney Stones : Due to its minerals content (Potassium and Magnesium), coconut water is beneficial to a person suffering from kidney stones. This water also acts as a diuretic as it increases the flow and production of urine. It recommend to drink coconut water every alternate day as it can reduce the size of kidney stones and even help eliminate them.
  • Boosts Hydration : The ingredients in coconut water are way more effective at hydrating the human body than those of sports and energy drinks. During rigorous exercise or extended periods of physical activity, the human body loses mineral-rich fluids. Coconut water serves as an excellent replacement medium. Despite very light consistency, its water has much better composition of minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc than some of the fruits like oranges. Coconut water is a natural isotonic drink that provides many of the same benefits as formulated sports drinks, including the electrolytes calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and potassium but in their natural form. The minerals are plant based where as sports drinks, spring water and tap water are all metallic based. 
  • Improve Digestion : Due to its high concentration of fiber, it aids in the prevention of indigestion and reduces the occurrence of acid reflux. Coconut water is composed of many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA-polymerases etc. These enzymes help in the digestion and metabolism.
  • Vitamins : Coconut water is also a good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that the human body requires them from external sources to replenish. It is low in fat though rich in vitamins and the potassium level is twice the amount found in bananas.
  • Compatible with Human Blood : Coconut water's chemical profile is so similar to blood plasma. As it is isotonic to human plasma, coconut water can be used in severe emergencies to quickly rehydrate the human body.
  • Help to maintain Sugar Level : It is excellent drink for diabetics as it is good in nutrients required by diabetics to keep their sugar levels in control. Coconut water's helps increase HDL (good) cholesterol, reduces plaque formation, moderates sugar absorption and improves insulin sensitivity. Regular consumption of coconut water increases the metabolism rate which helps to burn sugar a lot faster.
  • Weight Loss : The fat content in coconut water is extremely low. It also suppresses the appetite because of its rich nature. It's cholesterol free, fat free, low in carbohydrates and naturally occurring sugars.
  • Anti Aging : Coconut water contains cytokines and lauric acid, the two important elements which are used in the process of cell growth and their regulation. It is a natural source of cytokinins, a group of plant growth hormones that help regulate cell growth, development and ageing. Rich in potassium, antioxidants and lauric acid, cytokinins are said to balance pH levels, strengthen and hydrate connective tissues and even reduce the risk of age-related diseases. Cytokinins has an anti-aging effect on human cells and tissues. When human cells are exposed to cytokinins, aging slows down considerably. Cells treated with cytokinins don't undergo the normal degenerative changes.
  • Alkalizing Effect : Coconut water has an alkalizing effect on your body which can help correct the cumulative effects of acidifying foods that make up most diets today.
Coconut Milk and Coconut Water

In mature coconuts, the endosperm solidifies and thickens to form a white edible kernel. Coconut milk is obtained by grating and grinding this kernel with water and passing it through a sieve. Coconut milk is very different from coconut water as this is very high in fat content. 

Coconut milk comprises of about 50 percent fat/protein and 50 percent water whereas Coconut water is a clear, light, refreshing liquid (95 percent water) extracted from young, green coconuts that have not reached maturity.

How to Drink
  • Enjoy the coconut drink without any additions.
  • Iced coconut water can be a refreshing drink.
  • Fresh water can be made special drink adding lemon slices, mint leaves, orange zest, etc.
Coconut water can be consumed at the start of each day to foster the balance of these electrolytes. Drink it in the morning for some extra energy or to rehydrate you after a long night's sleep

Drink it in the afternoon to get you out of a slump or after working out to replenish lost electrolytes. 

Once a coconut is cut open, the water should be consumed quickly as exposure of coconut water to air can result in loss of nutrients. The fresher the coconut water, the better. Once exposed to air and warm temperatures, it rapidly ferments and loses its nutritional value.
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