18 impressive coconut water benefits and side effects

Introduction 

Coconut water benefits are it’s a sweet natural drink with low calorie and pleasant taste. Because of its high in nutrients and minerals, this is also known as “Sports Beverage”. Coconut water is basically a liquid juice of the endosperm of Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.). Water in coconut begins to form around 2 months after the natural opening of the inflorescence.

The coconut tree because of its versatile properties is known as “Tree of life”. It not only provides food and drinks but also fertilizes the soil and feeds for animals.

In India, the use of coconut in Ayurveda is documented since ancient times. The best time to harvest a coconut for drinking is at age 6-7 months, just as the jelly-like endosperm begins to form. At this stage, the water has maximum sweetness and low acidity.

Interesting facts: During World War II, coconut water was used instead of saline solution during emergency surgeries.

Medicinal Uses

Coconut water is effective in the treatment of kidney and urethral stones. It is readily accepted by the body, therefore, is excellent for oral rehydration. Manage the body’s natural fluid level hence acts as an isotonic solution. Maintain proper blood pressure, circulation, kidney and liver functions (1).

Nutritional value of Coconut water

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the water of tender coconuts is a clear liquid, sweet, and sterile. It is composed of unique chemicals such as electrolytes, enzymes, amino acids, cytokine, phytohormones, and other components are as follows (2).

CompoundAmounts per 100 g.
Water94.99 g
Energy19 kcal
Protein0.72 g
Total lipid (Fat)s0.20 g
Carbohydrates3.71 g
Dietary Fiber1.1 g
Sugar2.61 g
Vitamins
Folates3 µg
Niacin0.08 mg
Pantothenic acid0.04 mg
Riboflavin0.05 mg
Thiamin0.03 mg
Vitamin B-60.03 mg
Vitamin C2.4 mg
Minerals
Calcium24 mg
Copper0.04 mg
Iron0.29 mg
Magnesium25 mg
Manganese0.14 mg
Phosphorous20 mg
Selenium1.0 µg
Zinc0.10 mg
Sodium105 mg
Potassium250 mg

Health benefits of Coconut water

1. Energy Drink

The benefits of coconut water are similar to sports drinks and help in rehydrating the body after exercise (3). Coconut water causes less nausea, fullness, and no stomach upset and also amazing in taste.

2. Controls hypertension

A research study suggested that consuming nutrient-filled coconut water significantly decreases systolic and diastolic blood pressure and control hypertension (4).

3. IV (Intravenous) Therapy

Coconut water can also be used for intravenous hydration and resuscitation of critically ill patients in remote regions of the world. However, further study needed before intravenous coconut use (5).

4. Dengue patient

Coconut water is good for healing from dengue. As the water of coconut is rich in many vitamins and minerals mainly Potassium. Drinking coconut water in dengue therefore good for the body ion replacement.

5. Weight loss

Coconut water has anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory effects. It contains sugar, inorganic ions, vitamins, amino acids, and phytohormones which may alter gut microbiota and helped to overcome the obesity and inflammation caused by the high-fat diet (6).

6. Healthy Liver

The hepatoprotective activity of coconut water is because of its antioxidant property. Coconut water prevents carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced liver damage (7).

7. Improves Digestion

Coconut water is rich in electrolytes, therefore, can be used as an oral rehydration solution for diarrhea patients. It also contains sugars, fiber, proteins, antioxidants vitamins, minerals such as potassium, magnesium.

Another interesting property of coconut water is that it reduces or destroys intestinal worms (8). Therefore is highly recommended for those who are suffering from gastrointestinal tract problems.

8. Healthy Heart

Drinking coconut water is very beneficial for the heart. It contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, L-arginine which is known to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Along with this coconut water also reduces cholesterol levels in the heart and aorta and recovered from myocardial damages (9).

9. Controls cholesterol

Coconut water helps in reducing the cholesterol level from the serum of different tissues like the liver, heart, aorta, and kidney (10).

10. Anti tumorous

Coconut water is rich in bioactive phytohormones such as zeatin, kinetin, and their derivatives. These bioactive compounds have antiproliferative properties and is effective in inhibiting the growth of human liver cancer (11).

11. Anti-diabetic

Coconut water contains magnesium which has a hypoglycemic action. It decreases blood glucose levels and reduces oxidative stress induced by alloxan. Thus is antidiabetic in nature (12).

12. Beneficial after Menopause

Coconut water contains estrogens, testosterone, and various phytoestrogens which may help to prevent body weight gain following menopause. Young coconut water could help to prevent the development of early menopausal osteoporosis (13).

13. Prevent Kidney Stone

Coconut water consumption prevents kidney stones by inhibiting crystal deposition in renal tissue. It also helps in reducing the number of crystals in the urine, increases urinary potassium, chloride, and citrate. Furthermore, coconut water also protected against impaired renal function and the development of oxidative stress in the kidneys (14).

14. Antimicrobial properties

Lauric acid and triglycerides present in coconut water are effective against various bacteria and viruses. Thus provide strength to the body’s immune system.

15. A healthy drink for Pregnant women

Coconut water is rich in nutrients and minerals. Drinking coconut water during pregnancy helps in increasing the amniotic fluid and also gives the unborn baby strength and vitality.

16. Relieve menstrual pain

Coconut water helps in conquering irregular or painful menstruation because of the potassium present in it.

17. Antioxidant

Coconut water also possesses antioxidant properties which protect against oxidative damages. It is a promising source of natural antioxidants, as indicated by their high contents of alcohols, ketones, lactones, aldehydes, and esters content and its therapeutic usage against different pathological conditions (15).

18. Anti-aging

Coconut water is a rich source of zeatin, kinetin (free base and riboside) which has strong anti-aging effects on human skin, reducing the risk of developing degenerative and age-related diseases (16).

Side effects of coconut water

1. Hyperkalemia

It is a condition where the potassium level of the body gets higher than that of the normal level. As coconut water is rich in potassium therefore diabetic patients or persons having a renal impairment and on potassium retaining medication should avoid drinking too much coconut water (17).

2. Allergy

The person with sensitization or allergy to peanuts or tree nuts was not more vulnerable to be sensitized or allergic to coconut (18).

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