HEALTH BENEFITS OF COCONUT WATER
Coconut water refers to the delicious clear liquid found inside young green fresh coconuts. Coconut water has been enjoyed for centuries by communities that have come to live on and rely upon coconuts for their incredible nutritional benefits. Today, the beverage has become a popular drink in modern society all over the globe for many of the same reasons. Indeed, medical professionals agree that coconut water has unique life-giving properties. Here at Vikasa, we’ve got coconuts in plenty! During a Signature Yoga Vacation in our tropical paradise, you’ll have many opportunities to delight in this natural island treat.
Coconut water contains enzymes, antioxidants, electrolytes and phytonutrients that have been shown to yield an array of health benefits. From lowering inflammation and blood pressure, to aiding digestion and weight loss, coconut water is one of nature’s most simple and profound gifts. Not only is coconut water a healthy beverage choice, it is also delicious, making it a favorable choice to cool down and rehydrate with.
Pure coconut water contains no artificial additives or sweeteners, is cholesterol free, and 99 percent fat free. According to USDA information, coconut water is low in carbohydrates and naturally occurring sugars, and has approximately 46 calories per cup. It contains multiple vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals including potassium, zinc, selenium, calcium, magnesium, iodine, sulfur, manganese, ascorbic acid and B vitamins.
Electrolytes, Exercise & Hydration
Coconut water is a natural isotonic drink that provides many of the same benefits as formulated sports drinks yet in their natural form. Electrolytes are minerals that play several important roles in the body, these include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and potassium. These minerals occur naturally in the fluid of the coconuts.
Coconut water may in fact be the perfect beverage for restoring hydration and replenishing electrolytes lost during exercise. Studies have found that coconut water has similar hydrating properties to regular water and popular sports drinks, yet coconut water has been shown to cause less nausea, fullness and stomach upset than other beverages consumed after exercise.
Furthermore, coconut water is also natural, free from added sugar, artificial ingredients and food colourings and is also lower in carbohydrates and sugar compared to sports drinks, making it a preferred choice for those watching their weight.
Anti-Aging and Beauty
Coconut water has been shown to promote smoother, more youthful-looking skin. 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, reduce the risk of age-related diseases and can even slow down the development of cancer cells.
Applied topically coconut water may even help to reduce acne, cellulite, eczema, stretch marks, wrinkles and age spots. It also moisturizes the skin from within and can help to balance oil levels in the skin.
Emergency Blood Transfusions
One of the most fascinating facts about coconut water is that it is incredibly similar to human plasma, and can be used in emergencies to quickly rehydrate the human body if administered intravenously. It is not uncommon to be used in this way in third world countries, and was also commonly used during World War Two, siphoned directly from the nut to provide emergency transfusions for wounded soldiers.
It is also used in extreme cases for dehydration-related ailments such as cholera and gastroenteritis. Do note this is for emergency situations only and should be administered by a professional medical practitioner.
Regulates blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol
Research shows that coconut water can improve blood circulation, lower elevated blood pressure, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. One study showed that patients given coconut water for two weeks showed lower blood pressure levels than those who were administered regular water. The potassium in coconut water has been shown to have the ability to counteract the effect of sodium in the body and can help lower blood pressure. The high level of electrolytes in coconut water have also shown to improve recovery times for those patients who has already had a heart attack.
Good for digestive and urinary health
For centuries, coconut water has been used to treat a range of digestive and urinary ailments including stomach flu, dysentery, indigestion, constipation, intestinal worms, bladder infections and malfunctioning kidneys. As a natural diuretic, it is said to prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones. Coconut water has also been shown to reduce bloating and nausea and can be extremely beneficial for those suffering from dehydration caused by digestive issues including vomiting and diarrhea.
Cleansing / Detox
Coconut water is an ideal beverage to replace fluids and help remove toxins from the body. The fat content in coconut water is extremely low and it also suppresses appetite due to its rich nature. Coconut water is often used by people cleansing or detoxing as it is a good way to stay hydrated, energized and nourished without the need for solid food. Its natural cleansing nature also supports and removes toxins from the liver and kidneys. Because of its high concentration of fiber, it aids in digestion and can help prevent indigestion and acid reflux. If you’re looking for some serious toxin removal, take a look at our signature VITOX program.
Reduce Stress and Muscle Tension
The electrolytes found in coconut water can also help relieve stress and muscle tension in the body. Calcium and magnesium are critical nutrients that help soothe muscle relaxation and these are found in abundance in coconut water. For athletes, enjoying coconut water after strenuous activity can assist the body to unwind and recover, just as an Epsom salt bath would do.
Do note that some brands of coconut water on the market add sweeteners or additional flavors that change the nutritional qualities of the coconut water. Do check the Nutritional Facts label and ingredients when purchasing store-bought coconut water. Better yet, enjoy a fresh coconut wherever possible. At Vikasa we are lucky enough to live on an island that is renowned for its abundance of coconuts! What better way to enjoy the health-giving properties of coconut water than at the Vikasa Life Cafe?!
About the Author
Kelly is a passionate writer and raw/vegan chef who combines her love of writing with her forays into health and wellness. Kelly has traveled and worked extensively across the world in health resorts, detox centers, raw food restaurants and wellness retreats, sharing ways to live simply, mindfully and sustainably.
Her work is regularly published in print media and online, as well as her own website, ‘Raw By Nature’ which offers vibrant nourishing recipes and information about plant-based living. A gypsy heart and lover of nature, Kelly finds inspiration in the world around her and translates her visions into whimsical stories and edible creations.