Coconut water has evolved as a great beverage with multiple benefits over the years. From being our humble ‘Nani ka nuska’ to our quintessential natural beverage, coconut water is known to be rich in several nutrients needed to keep us fit & healthy.
So, let’s find out 5 benefits of this tasty & healthy refreshing natural beverage:
- Source of several nutrients: Coconuts grow on large palm trees known scientifically as ‘Cocos Nucifera. Despite the name, the coconut is botanically considered a fruit rather than a nut. Coconut water is the juice found in the centre of a young, green coconut. It helps nourish the fruit.
As the coconut matures, some of the juice remains in liquid form while the rest ripens into the solid white flesh known as coconut meat. The water in the coconut forms naturally in the fruit and it contains 94% water and very little fat. Coconut water should not be confused with coconut milk, which is made by adding water to desiccated coconut meat. Coconut milk contains about 50% water and is very high in coconut fat. Coconuts take 10–12 months to fully mature. Coconut water typically comes from young coconuts about 6–7 months of age, though it’s also found in mature fruit.
An average green coconut provides about 0.5–1 cups of coconut water.
One cup measuring 240 ml contains 46 calories. It is rich in:
- Carbs: 9 grams
- Fibre: 3 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Vitamin C: 10% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 15% of the RDI
- Manganese: 17% of the RDI
- Potassium: 17% of the RDI
- Sodium: 11% of the RDI
- Calcium: 6% of the RDI
- Coconut water is mostly found in young coconuts and is a good source of fibre, vitamin C and several important minerals.
- Helps in controlling diabetes: Many researchers have shown that coconut water can lower blood sugar levels and improve other health conditions in people suffering from diabetes. Coconut water has 3 grams of fibre and digestible carb content of only 6 grams measuring 240 ml per cup. Coconut water can easily fit into a meal plan for people with diabetes. It is also a good source of magnesium, which helps in increasing insulin sensitivity and decreases blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
- Prevents kidney stones: Drinking enough fluids is important to prevent ourselves from ‘Kidney Stones’. Although plain water is a great choice, studies suggest that coconut water can be even better. Kidney stones form when calcium, oxalate and other compounds combine to form crystals in our urine. These can then form stones. However, some people are more susceptible to developing them than others Researchers believe that coconut water helps in reducing the free radical production that occurs in response to high oxalate levels in urine. Hence, including a glass of fresh coconut water in your diet can be of great health benefit.
- Beneficial post working out: Coconut water is considered to be the perfect beverage for restoring hydration and replenishing electrolytes lost during any exercise. Electrolytes are minerals that play several important roles in our body, including maintaining a proper fluid balance. They include potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium. Some studies have found that coconut water helps in restoring hydration after working out better than water and equal to high-electrolyte sports beverages.
- Source of hydration: Coconut water tastes slightly sweet with a subtle, nutty flavour. It is also known to be low in calories and carbs. The water is freshest when it comes directly from the coconut. Simply press a straw into the soft part of a green coconut and start drinking its delicious juice. We can even store coconuts in our refrigerators and consume them within two to three weeks of purchase. Coconut water is a great hydrating natural beverage that is of utmost importance in tropical countries like India. This tropical liquid can be used in smoothies, chia seed pudding, vinaigrette dressing or substituted for plain water whenever we crave a bit of natural sweetness. It is known to be rich in sodium & potassium which helps us beat the dreadful summer heat maintaining the electrolyte balance of our body.
Coconut water is a delicious, nutritious and natural beverage that plays an important role in keeping us healthy. It benefits our heart, blood sugar, kidney health, electrolyte levels, weight loss and acts as a great source of hydration for our body and provides us with a great deal of energy to withstand the scorching summers in our country.