Everything You Need to Know About Coconut Water!
Coconut water has been rising in popularity lately! As such, you may be wondering “is coconut water healthy?” If you want to learn whether this is a genuinely useful super food or just another health related fad, this article has all the information you need.
Would you like to know more about the nutritional values of coconut water and learn why coconut water is good for you? If you’ve already been using it, you’ll be happy to know this really is something you can drink regularly, since it’s an enjoyable product with many proven health benefits.
Read through this in-depth article and you’ll get all the relevant information, including details on what the best brands of coconut water are, some of its typical uses, how it’s made, and where you can buy this product. We also made sure to include a section on the maximum recommended amounts you should consume, as well as many other useful details… and even some pieces of interesting trivia – for example, you’ll learn why some coconut water turns pink and why that’s quite all right.
There is a lot to know about this topic! Read through carefully, bookmark this article and take the time to absorb all this information since it will prove useful to your health and well-being.
What is coconut water good for?
Before we start looking into the nutritional aspects of coconut water, let’s start by tackling the question which is likely foremost in your mind: “Is coconut water healthy”? If so, what exactly are the benefits of coconut water?
Also known as coconut juice, coconut water is actually a perfect (and quite natural) sports drink, since it is very hydrating as well as being rich in key minerals like potassium and magnesium - which partly accounts for its beneficial effects, both in terms of reducing inflammatory response in the body as well as keeping blood sugar in good balance.
Drinking organic coconut water will help you reduce your blood pressure if it’s too high, which in turn will be a preventative measure towards reducing your risks of having a heart attack. There is research suggesting that coconut water should also be useful in helping cancer patients recover from their treatments, and its nourishing properties are correlated to a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative conditions.
While the very best coconut water is that which has been freshly extracted from a green coconut which has just been picked up from a coconut tree, this is a luxury only available to certain people who live in tropical areas. If you do not live in a country whose climate is suitable for growing coconut trees, you may find that imported green coconuts are often available in specialized markets – if you can find them, you may retrieve fresh coconut water from the hollow inside the coconut. It’s worth noting that mature coconuts have little to no water inside, since it is replaced by meat as the fruit ripens.
When you have no access to green coconuts, relying on packaged coconut water is your next best option. In this case, choosing the right supplier matters, as you want to ensure you get a high quality product whose processing is done in the best possible way, with no preservatives added (we have a section further down elaborating on this topic).
Coconut water nutrition and health benefits
To get a clear picture of the benefits of coconut water, let’s consider the nutrients available in this natural coconut drink, whose main content is actual water. It’s far for plain water though, since it features an interesting selection of nutrients and minerals, along with some very interesting compounds called cytokinins which may actually hold medical value.
At this point, you already know that coconut water has potassium and magnesium; two vital minerals that help reduce blood pressure and relieve stress, as well as reducing inflammation and improving your mood and energy levels. Additionally, tender coconut water also features a good amount of copper, another mineral which plays a key role in maintaining a healthy metabolism.
Asides from its rich nutritional content, coconut water is also a great source of antioxidants, a collection of substances which is known to help reverse the effects of aging as well as helping your body repair itself, reducing the odds of developing serious diseases like cancer. There are also some very special yet little known compounds called cytokinins; these represent a special class of plant hormones which has been recently raising scientific interest, as they seem to hold some promise as a potential anti-cancer agent.
From a nutritional standpoint there are many positive aspects in coconut water, as it’s essentially a natural mix of water and several key nutrients. However, it’s worth noting that being nutritious means it’s bound to pack some calories… so the question naturally arises: how many calories coconut water? A surprisingly moderate amount, actually: about 190 calories per kilo. Even though its flavor is delicious, the actual amount of sugar in coconut water is relatively low, meaning it can be a great option for anyone who is looking for a healthy alternative to sodas or processed juices.
How to get the best coconut water available?
At this point, you’re probably quite aware of the benefits of coconut water - so if you’ve been looking to find new natural ways to improve your nutrition, drinking coconut water is indeed a great option for people looking to use their diet to improve their general sense of well-being as well as for health management. So where can you get the best quality coconut water, and what types of coconut water are typically available on the market?
As we mentioned early in this article, the very best option is raw coconut water which has been freshly extracted from a tender coconut (also known as a green coconut). Fresh coconut water has the highest quality, since the coconut shell makes for a sterile environment that will keep the contents fresh for a long time. So if you want the best possible coconut water, try to get hold of some whole green coconuts and once you crack it open you will be able to enjoy the most natural coconut water hydration possible (well, asides maybe from climbing a coconut tree and picking your own coconuts).
You may also find related processed products and derivatives such as coconut water powder, which can be useful if you’re in a pinch or want to get a form of coconut water that can be store for a long while. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that such a product heavily counters the entire notion of making natural and healthy choices – after all, it’s not too different from a processed nutritional supplement such as magnesium or potassium pills. So for best results, aim for getting actual coconut water whenever possible, which ideally should be packaged by nature itself inside actual green coconuts.
Another type of coconut water than you may have seen or heard about is pink coconut water, which may sometimes appear like a clever marketing idea used to enhance the look of the product. Truth of the matter, that’s really not the case… although pink colored coconut water is arguably superior to the white kind! You see, some kinds of coconut water will actually turn pink in color when their exposed to air and sunlight. This only happens when the coconut features a unusually high amount of a chemical called “polyphenol oxidase”; incidentally, this is a natural antioxidant whose presence indicates a certain coconut water is particularly rich in nutrients! As a general hue, coconut water will be more nutrient-rich (also more sugary), the dark pink hue it turns when exposed to the outside of a coconut.
Additional uses of coconut water beyond your diet
Considering all the nutritional benefits listed so far, the benefits of coconut water should be clear to you at this point. But did you know this super food has some specific uses that go beyond everyday nutrition? If you want to know what is coconut water used for asides from its standard nutritional benefits, this section will give you the answers.
Coconut water is quite popular among pregnant women, since its contents provide a useful nutritional boost as well improving natural immunity and hydration levels. It’s also known to help ward off morning sickness during pregnancy, and its isotonic qualities will help pregnant women stay hydrated and thus increase amniotic fluid. If you’re wondering when to drink coconut water during pregnancy, you should know it’s safe and useful to drink at any stage of your pregnancy and beyond. Many parents also use coconut water for babies who can use a nutritional boost when phasing away from breastfeeding. You can drink coconut water every day in reasonable amounts, which is to say – just make sure you don’t substitute mineral water entirely for coconut water.
Another popular application involves using coconut water for skin beauty. Simply drinking this product regularly will make your skin look better by improving your body’s general hydration levels, but you can actually splash it directly on your face to instantly moisturize your skin and give it a fresh look. Some people also succeed in using coconut water to treat skin infections and allergies, which actually makes sense as features some effective anti-microbial compounds.
How much coconut water should I drink daily?
If you’ve been reading through this article carefully, you now know a lot about the health benefits of coconut water: it’s high in minerals like potassium, magnesium and copper, as well as several other health-promoting substances. It’s mostly made of actual water, and its naturally occurring electrolyte contents make it a perfect natural isotonic drink – meaning it contains a ratio of water, salt and sugar which is very similar to that in your blood plasma.
This makes coconut water a perfect drink for anyone who can use some effective re-hydration and extra vitamins and minerals, such as women during pregnancy and athletes. If you’re wondering when to drink coconut water, the best times are essentially whenever your body needs a little energy boosts, especially after intense physical activities. While these are the best moments to enjoy this natural tonic, coconut water is safe to drink at any time in the day, even right after waking up. This shouldn’t be surprising, since coconut water is essentially fresh water with a nourishing natural mix of minerals and other beneficial compounds!
Regarding the matter of “how much coconut water per day?” there is actually a recommended maximum intake, which correlates to how much potassium is safe to ingest in a single day. You see, potassium is one of the key nutrients in coconut water, and exceedingly high levels of potassium in your blood can indeed cause some unpleasant side effects – ranging from lightheadedness to potentially harmful irregularities in heart rhythm. To stay safe, your daily intake of potassium should be lower than 4,500 mg on any given day (this is the baseline for adults); to get this amount from coconut water alone, you’d have to drink somewhere between 10 to 15 cups in a single day. In short, drinking that much coconut water daily could prove harmful, but as long as you keep it down to a few coups you’ll unlikely experience negative effects.
It’s also worth to remind you once again which coconut water is the best – that which has just been extracted from a fresh coconut. Learning how make coconut water is as simple as learning how to open a coconut without wasting the water inside.
Where to buy coconut water?
As we approach the end of this article presenting all the benefits of coconut water, you now know exactly where does coconut water come from and what it is. You should also be feeling inclined to watching how coconut water is made with your own eyes, by getting hold of a tender coconut and figuring out the best way to crack it open. That is simply the best way to enjoy pure coconut water that is guaranteed to give you the most potential health benefits!
However, it’s not always practical (or even possible) to get hold of real coconut water by cracking open an actual green coconuts. In that case, you may want to try some of the coconut water brands which are typically available in supermarkets, these days. Even though producing this product is very straightforward, not all brands are the same since they have different packaging procedures and different approaches to adding chemical preservatives or even artificial sweeteners. As a general rule, you want to favor brands whose coconut water is as organic, untampered with and as close to the real thing as possible.
If you have never tried it, you may still be wondering exactly how does coconut water taste. People who naturally like this product will say it’s really refreshing and slightly sweet, with a nutty flavor. Not everyone instantly likes coconut water though, and some people seem to think it’s too salty or off-tasting. For some, it can be an acquired taste. If you feel its flavor doesn’t quite agree with you, keep in mind you can mix it up with other fruit juices or even add a bit of stevia or other healthy sweeteners – although if you’re drinking coconut water for health reasons, you should try to get used to its natural taste, since that is nature’s own formula and recipe.
It may also be worth pointing out that coconut water is not the same as coconut milk or coconut oil – those products are derived from the flesh of coconuts, whereas coconut water is the fluid stored inside the coconut, which gradually turns into flesh as the fruit ripens. Coconut water is close in fluidity to regular water, whereas the other coconut related products are much greasier; although they’re also quite healthy as well, they’re best suited for other uses unrelated to drinking.
When buying packaged coconut water from a new brand, make sure to read the packaging closely to ensure there are no chemical additives added into the mix and no sweeteners involved. You really don’t want to get used to taste sugar in your coconut water, especially if its natural weight loss benefits seem appealing to you).