Coconut Water; Types, Nutritional Value, Uses, Coconut Water Health Benefits

Coconut water
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Coconut water is the clear liquid inside coconuts (fruits of the coconut palm). In early development, it serves as a suspension for the endosperm of the coconut during the nuclear phase of development. As growth continues, the endosperm matures into its cellular phase and deposits into the rind of the coconut pulp.[1] The liquid inside young coconuts is often preferred to the liquid of a ripened coconut.

Nutritional Value of Coconut Water

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 79 kJ (19 kcal)
Carbohydrates
3.71 g
Sugars 2.61 g
Dietary fiber 1.1 g
Fat
0.20 g
Saturated 0.176 g
Monounsaturated 0.008 g
Polyunsaturated 0.002 g
Protein
0.72 g
Tryptophan 0.008 g
Threonine 0.026 g
Isoleucine 0.028 g
Leucine 0.053 g
Lysine 0.032 g
Methionine 0.013 g
Cystine 0.014 g
Phenylalanine 0.037 g
Tyrosine 0.022 g
Valine 0.044 g
Arginine 0.118 g
Histidine 0.017 g
Alanine 0.037 g
Aspartic acid 0.070 g
Glutamic acid 0.165 g
Glycine 0.034 g
Proline 0.030 g
Serine 0.037 g
Vitamins Quantity%DV
Thiamine (B1)
3%

0.030 mg

Riboflavin (B2)
5%

0.057 mg

Niacin (B3)
1%

0.080 mg

Pantothenic acid (B5)
1%

0.043 mg

Vitamin B6
2%

0.032 mg

Folate (B9)
1%

3 μg

Choline
0%

1.1 mg

Vitamin C
3%

2.4 mg

Minerals Quantity%DV
Calcium
2%

24 mg

Copper
2%

0.04 mg

Iron
2%

0.29 mg

Magnesium
7%

25 mg

Manganese
7%

0.142 mg

Phosphorus
3%

20 mg

Potassium
5%

250 mg

Selenium
1%

1 μg

Sodium
7%

105 mg

Zinc
1%

0.10 mg

Other constituents Quantity
Water 95 g

[3]
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

Uses /Health Benefits of Coconut Water

Did you know that coconut water was able to save many lives during the World War II?

  • Promotes Cardiovascular Health – For a healthy heart, you need to eat nutritious food and exercise regularly. And now, you can add drinking coconut water to the list. Studies have shown that coconut water can reduce the risk of heart attacks, lower blood pressure, and hypertension (4). Tender coconut water, preferably fresh, can be had once a day to improve cardiovascular health.
  • Improves Metabolism – You probably know that improved metabolism means that you end up burning more calories. While there might be many things slugging your metabolism, coconut water isn’t one of them. In fact, it can give your metabolism quite the boost. One of the crucial things required for the proper metabolism of carbohydrates and fats into energy is manganese (5). This is why coconut water, a good source of manganese, helps improve metabolism.
  • Prevents Kidney Stones – Prevention of kidney stones is one of the most effective health benefits of coconut water. Kidney stones can cause a lot of pain and may result in serious health issues. Drinking coconut water can help in preventing them. Kidney stones occur when there is an accumulation of crystals in your kidneys that should have been flushed out through urine. Research has shown that coconut water reduces the number of crystals deposited in the kidneys, which significantly reduces the occurrence of kidney stones (6).
  • Aids Digestion – It is common knowledge that ingesting fibers is essential for your digestive system to function properly. Coconut water is rich in fiber, which is why it helps with your digestive system. The water a single coconut yield contains about 9% of the amount of fiber that is required by your body in a single day (7).
  • Prevents And Treats Dehydration – Dehydration occurs when the water content in your body drops. It is usually a result of not drinking enough water or losing water through excretion. Coconut water keeps you hydrated, which is why a lot of athletes use it as a post-workout drink. When you are dehydrated, you don’t just lose water; you lose essential salts and nutrients as well. Coconut water, which has high water content and is rich in nutrients, helps replenish your body (8).
  • Helps With Muscle Cramps – Muscle cramps can happen due to many reasons, and coconut water helps ease the discomfort. According to studies, potassium deficiency can result in muscle spasms. A diet rich in potassium ensures that your muscles stay in perfect order (9). Excessive exercising can also cause muscle cramps, which can be eased by the consumption of electrolytes. Coconut water, which replenishes lost water and potassium, can be a perfect substitute for any energy drink (10).
  • Strengthens Bones – Although our bones are made up mostly of calcium, we need some nutrients to maintain bone strength and density. There have been several studies about the impact of coconut water on bones. The results have been favorable (11). Coconut water contains a significant amount of calcium that is necessary for healthy bones. It also has magnesium that builds bone strength.
  • Reduces Bloating – Bloating is usually gas-related. But it can also be caused due to high sodium intake, which coconut water can reduce. Coconut contains a high amount of potassium, which helps counteract the effects of sodium (12).
  • Aids Weight Loss – Weight loss is one of the most amazing benefits of drinking coconut water. Consuming empty calories is one the main reasons you tend to put on weight. Aerated drinks and other sugary drinks can make you pile on calories and leave you feeling hungry. If you are seeking an alternative, coconut water is an excellent substitute. Coconut water is a good source of dietary fiber (13). Fiber does not get digested by your body, so it stays in your system longer and keeps you feeling full. This is why you rarely feel hungry, and eat less.
  • Helps With Diabetes – Wondering if people with diabetes can have this sweet and delicious drink? Research says yes! Certain studies have concluded that the water from mature coconuts can have an antidiabetic effect (14). People with diabetes are very susceptible to excessive blood clotting, which puts them at risk (12). Not only does coconut water help reduce blood sugar, but it also prevents the occurrence of blood clots.
  • Lowers Blood Pressure – Coconut water has a direct effect on blood pressure. Studies have shown that it can help in lowering blood pressure and hypertension. It also reduces cholesterol and prevents blood clots. Coconut water exhibits antithrombotic effects, which means it helps prevent blood clots (15). It also reduces cholesterol, which can have an enormous impact on your blood pressure by clogging up your arteries (16).
  • Treats Diarrhea – Coconut water is a must-have liquid for those suffering from diarrhea. It will prevent the need for hospitalization by replacing the fluid loss from the GI (Gastrointestinal) tract (16). Interestingly, this humble liquid has a higher osmolarity than that of the WHO recommended ORS solution due to the presence of essential chemical compounds such as amino acids, minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids. Being very low in sodium and chlorides, but high in sugars and amino acids also make coconut water a well-balanced fluid replacement for diarrhea.
  • An Electrolyte Replacement – Coconut water is also a workable short-term replacement for human blood plasma (16). 100 ml of coconut water contains about 250 mg of potassium and 105 mg of sodium that help replenish electrolyte deficiency in the patient’s body. This is the sole reason why coconut water was popular during the World War II.14. A Detoxifier. We all know that detoxification is an important process for the proper functioning of our body. This process helps flush out harmful components from our organs, making us healthy from the inside out. Our body is capable of cleansing and detoxing on its own, provided it has all the essential nutrients and hydration, and coconut water contains every required nutrient including potassium and sodium.
  • Beneficial After A Prolonged Workout Session – Replace your energy drinks with coconut to stay hydrated even after a long work-out session. Coconut water is rich in essential potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium which helps natural replenishment of lost electrolytes in the body. Also, they assist in maintaining proper fluid balance (1718).
  • Balances pH Levels – Many toxins and chemical compounds present in the environment and foods make your body pH levels highly acidic which can eventually lead to joint pain, chemical sensitivity, heartburn, weight gain, diabetes, and immune deficiency. Coconut water has an amazing alkalizing effect which helps restore a healthy pH in the body. So, next time you face a disturbing acidity and heartburn, don’t think before sipping on this tasty drink.
  • Provides Instant Energy – Are you still relying on that bottled energy drink after a sunny day? Don’t. Because now you have a better reason to switch to coconut water instead. A glass of fresh coconut water contains about 5 mg of natural sugar that has better energy-boosting effects than that of energy drinks, at a much lower price (19). The same glass is also rich in about 294 mg of potassium, which is essential for energy production in the cells.
  • Cures Hangovers – Consume coconut water next time you go overboard with the alcohol. Having coconut water helps settle your stomach, reducing frequent urination and the urge to puke. It also helps provide the much-required hydration and nutrients that are lost courtesy alcohol. Also, the antioxidants present in this revitalizing drink fight oxidative stress that occurs due to too much alcohol in our system (20).
  • Relieves Headaches – Dehydration is one of the major triggers for headaches, and coconut water is touted to be one of the best natural remedies for instant hydration. Migraine patients have low levels of magnesium and coconut water with their high levels of magnesium helps reduce the frequency of migraine attacks (21).
  • Treats Alzheimer’s – Coconut water is being seen as one of the new possible treatments for neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. In one study, it was found that trans-zeatin, a cytokinin present in coconut water, has high prevention powers against brain cell damage. It also helps cure impairments in memory (22).
  • Healthy Alternative To Caffeinated Drinks – Having fresh coconut water in the place of your regular morning and evening tea is a good option. It keeps you energized for the day without compromising on taste. Containing only 19 calories per 100 grams. coconut water is also high in nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C.
  • Has Antimicrobial Properties – Coconut water has natural antimicrobial peptides that are effective in fighting harmful bacteria like E.coli, S. aureus, B. subtilis, and P. aeruginosa (23). While E.coli, the multi-drug resistant bacterium, is the universal inhabitant of the human digestive tract, B. subtilis and S. Aureus cause food poisoning. On the other hand, P. aeruginosa is a potent human pathogen that can be found in milk, milk products, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Boosts Immunity – Trust coconut water for an active immune system. Every 100 grams of coconut water contains 2.4 mg of vitamin C that is required for the production of antibodies to fight any foreign invasion. It also helps clean your body of the existent toxins and germs, making you healthy from the inside out. Coconut water also successfully beats cold viruses (2425).
  • Has Anti-tumor Properties – Many researchers have concluded that having coconut water regularly can help in the treatment of a tumor. Coconut water has yet another essential cytokinin gibberellins (GAs) that contain anti-tumor properties (2627).
  • Eye Health – Our body needs a significant amount of Vitamin B1 for an improved brain and eye health. It strengthens eye muscles and betters night vision (28). Every cup of coconut water contains around 0.7 mg of Thiamine (Vitamin B1), so you need to have two cups to meet the recommended daily requirement of 1.4 mg.
  • Relieves Stress – Office, traveling, family problems—a number of reasons can cause stress. Drinking a glass of fresh coconut water is a very refreshing method to kill high tension levels. Coconut water contains a fair amount of vitamin B5, B6, and folate, that help reduce stress levels (29). Folate (vitamin B9) also helps trigger the release of serotonin, the mood-boosting hormone (30).
  • Cures Insomnia Tired of battling sleeplessness? Try having coconut water before going to bed and watch yourself dozing off to sleep. This natural ingredient contains GABA, a neurotransmitter that has a relaxing, anti-convulsive, and anti-anxiety effect on the body, aiding a good sleep (31).
  • Boosts Memory – Fasten the learning process of your kids with the help of coconut water. Several studies have concluded that coconut water helps to increase memory owing to the presence of glutamic acid, an amino acid that is essential for improved memory retention and recall (32).
  • Treats Gallstones – Drink coconut water to flush out the accumulated gallstones from your body. Coconut water is rich in malic acid, which when paired with magnesium helps in the breakdown of gallstones.
  • Fights Depression – It might sound surprising, but coconut water is found to be useful in the treatment of depression. Coconut water has a high magnesium content (a whopping 60 mg per cup) that is clinically proven to fight symptoms of depression (33). Having this refreshing drink daily promotes a healthy state of mind, uplifting the mood.
  • Healthy drink For Pregnant And Breastfeeding Moms – Coconut water plays a crucial role in the overall health and development of the body during pregnancy. Regular consumption of coconut water helps address typical pregnancy discomforts such as fatigue, dehydration, muscle spasms, cramps, poor blood circulation, and blood pressure. Its soothing nature helps calm digestive tract, relieving morning sickness, nausea, acid reflux, and constipation. Coconut water contains a trace of lauric acid, an immune-boosting compound, which is also found in the breast milk (34). This is why breastfeeding mothers are advised to have a good quantity of coconut water.
  • Helps Battle Free Radical Damage – This refreshing drink also contains antioxidants that help scavenge free radicals that cause harm to our organ system (35). If left free, these radicals can start chain reactions in the body by robbing electrons which eventually leads to cell death.
  • Is Good For Babies – Give your baby essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, magnesium, iron, and manganese without spending much. The innumerable medicinal properties of coconut water fight microbes, relieving your baby of gastrointestinal problems like ulcer, indigestion, diarrhea, flatulence, and vomiting. This natural water also assists in the treatment of urinary tract infections and bilious fever.
  • Reverses Chemotherapy Damage – Coconut water helps in the speedy recovery of the damage done by chemotherapy. This natural water is rich in electrolytes that help oxygenate the blood which further helps restore the WBC count, ANC count, hemoglobin, and platelets. The antimicrobial properties of coconut water can kill microbes inside of cancer cells turning them back into normal cells.
  • Treats Constipation – Coconut water, being a natural laxative, is touted to be an excellent cure for constipation. It contains a high amount of dietary fiber that ensures stool formation (3637). Also, the cleansing property of this water regulates the bowel movement in the body.
  • Cures Crohn’s Disease – Patients suffering from Crohn’s disease lose a lot of body fluids due to severe diarrhea. Thus, providing them with a healthy dose of added electrolytes is a good option. And what can be better than a glass of coconut water? Coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes with added benefits of natural sugars and amino acids sans artificial coloring (38).
  • Alleviate Ulcerative Colitis – Tender coconut water with its healing properties is highly effective in treating digestive disorders like ulcerative colitis. Regular consumption of coconut water soothes the mucous membranes of the colon and the rectum, reducing the swelling in them (39). Here’s how you can consume it to relieve stomach ulcer:
  • Heals A Leaky Gut – Drink coconut water religiously to get rid of a leaky gut. It contains a good quantity of lauric acid that helps heal the digestive tract, relieving you of intestinal gas, and the Leaky Gut Syndrome (40). Being a  carminative, it also helps improve the nutrient absorbing ability of the digestive tract.
  • Reduces Fever One can make use of coconut water’s cooling and calming property to relieve burning sensations due to high fever (41). It also helps normalize the body temperature that goes up because of fever.
  • Cures Cholera – Coconut water is a boon to those suffering from cholera due to the high content of potassium and magnesium. It helps bring back the much-required electrolyte balance in the body (4243). For best results, squeeze the quarter of a lemon in a glass of coconut water and have it twice in a day till the symptoms subside.
  • Cuts toxin activity in the Liver – Many studies have confirmed that the hepatoprotective properties make coconut water an ideal ingredient for liver (44). Also, this natural water has powerful antioxidants that reduce the toxin activity in the liver.
  • Beneficial For Postmenopausal Symptoms – Having fresh coconut water daily can help cure the postmenopausal symptoms relieving you from the pain and discomfort (45).
  • Cures Acid Reflux, GERD, And Gastritis For a better stomach health, make sure you have one glass of fresh coconut water every morning and evening. Coconut water, being high in potassium and electrolytes, is beneficial in treating acid reflux, GERD and gastritis. It helps neutralize the excess acid in the stomach, soothing your pain.
  • Increases Libido – Did you know that coconut water can help you increase sex drive? Manuscripts and tales from Thailand and the Pacific nations give coconut water the reputation of being a potent aphrodisiac for both men and women (46).
  • Alleviate Glaucoma – Having coconut water is touted to be a natural remedy for glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye disorder where small blood vessels and the optic nerve gets damaged due to elevated pressure in the eye. Coconut water helps reduce the production of the aqueous humor by blocking adrenaline-like substances (47). This, in a way, reduces the pressure in the eye for about 2 and a half hours.
  • Treats Hypothyroidism – Coconut water is also beneficial in the treatment of hypothyroidism. It is a natural diuretic, thus supporting the proper functioning of the thyroid gland (48). Coconut water, being rich in healthy fats, also increases the body’s metabolic rate and helps in the energy production. All these factors eventually help cure hypothyroidism. With this, we wind up almost all the health benefits of this natural drink.
  • Moisturizes Skin – The key to great skin is proper hydration. The sun, pollution, and harsh soaps can strip your skin of its natural moisture, and leave it dry. Applying coconut water is a great way to hydrate your skin. Coconut water is a great moisturizer for every skin type (49). It is lightweight, so it hydrates your skin without making it greasy. A face mask made out of coconut water and lemon juice can be the perfect non-greasy way to infuse your skin with some much-needed moisture.
  • Reduces Signs of Aging – Wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots are bound to appear as your skin ages. But with proper care, these signs of aging can be delayed. If you are seeking a surefire way to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, you might want to give coconut water a try. Coconut water contains cytokines that help promote cell growth (50). This helps your skin repair faster, as well as reduce the damage that has been caused. Yogurt has lactic acid, a gentle but effective exfoliator (51). It helps improve the appearance of your skin by removing dead cells and moisturizing it, leaving it smooth and supple.
  • Helps Reduce Pigmentation There might be a number of products out there that claim to reduce pigmentation, but they are either ineffective or full of harmful chemicals. If you are seeking a natural alternative, coconut water can help with blemishes, tan, and discolored skin. Research has shown that vitamin C can help remove pigmentation (52). This is why coconut water, which is a naturally rich source of vitamin C, works well in reducing tan and blemishes (53).
  • Treats Skin Infections – Your skin is always susceptible to bacteria and fungi, and they can cause skin infections that may result in rashes or irritated skin. Coconut water can help you prevent and treat them. Tender coconut water has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic properties, which is why its topical application helps treat skin infections (54).
  • Helps Reduce Acne – If acne is the bane of your existence, you have probably tried a number of ways to get rid of it. One ingredient that is easy to overlook is coconut water. Yes, your favorite summer beverage can double up as a treatment for acne. Acne is caused when the follicles in your skin get clogged with oil, which is then attacked by bacteria to cause swelling (55). Due to the antibacterial properties that coconut water possesses, its application can help reduce acne (56). Honey is another antibacterial agent (57). It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce swelling and soothe your skin.
  • Cures Eczema – Coconut water is a great natural remedy for skin diseases like eczema. Having two to three glasses of this natural drink is a great way to hydrate your skin without running behind all the costly cosmetics. It is rich in essential nutrients like potassium, lauric acid, antioxidants, and cytokinins that helps maintain a youthful skin. Coconut water also helps balance the pH levels of the body. And all these factors indirectly makes coconut water an ideal treatment for eczema.
  • Works As A Natural Cleanser And Toner – I have a natural ingredient that works thousand times better without looting you. Yes, I’m talking about our beloved coconut water which when used as a cleanser and toner helps you get rid of the stubborn dirt and impurities of the day without causing any fuss. You can even add a few drops of lemon juice for added skin lightening effect.
  • Heals Skin Infections – Our skin is prone to the worst damage during the summers and the monsoons. Infections, random acne pop-ups, redness, itching—there are various ways in which our skin takes a hit.
  • Removes Sun Tan – Tired of using every brand available to lighten the dark tan marks? Why don’t you go natural for once? Coconut water when mixed with fuller’s earth (Multani mitti) makes the best tan-removal home remedy. Apply it on the affected area and let it dry before wiping it off with warm water. Use it thrice a week for two months and see it for yourself.
  • Hair Benefits Of Coconut Water – This might be the last benefit section, but it is in no way the least concerned one. Every woman complains about how she has been losing thousands of her beloved strands every day, and how she has been using the best product on the market to no avail. It is time you turned to coconut water. It is cheap, easily available, and highly effective when it comes to hair troubles.
  • Stimulates Hair Growth – The state of your hair often reflects the state of your overall health. Lack of certain nutrients can stunt hair growth or cause hair fall. Coconut water, a treasure trove of medicinal properties, helps provide nutrients that can help your hair grow. Potassium is an element that is essential for hair growth (58). Coconut water stimulates hair growth because it is a rich source of potassium (59).
  • Adds Shine – If you’re looking for an all-natural way to condition your hair and boost shine, you don’t need to look further than coconut water. Coconut water infuses your hair with moisture and deep conditions it (61). It leaves your hair bouncier, glossier, and shinier.
  • Controls Dandruff – Nobody likes a scaly, flaky, white scattered scalp. So it won’t be wrong to consider dandruff one of the most embarrassing conditions; especially when it is quite visible and you are wearing a dark shirt. Thankfully, coconut water has anti-fungal properties that help reduce the scalp itchiness and dandruff within no time (62). It also helps soothe the inflamed scalp, making it smooth and hydrated.
  • Treats Damaged Hair – Chemically fried hair. Those who like to dye their hair would easily relate to this term. Here, your hair looks as if they have been robbed of their natural moisture making it fried and wiry. Definitely unappealing. You can now make your red, brown, or even electric blue hair look natural with the help of coconut water. It helps tame the dry and frizzy hair without causing any more harm to the already damaged hair.
  • Prevents Hair Loss – Finding strands of hair circling your hairbrush can be quite a painful sight to watch. This is the stage that actually prompts you to act. Thankfully, nature has a solution for every problem. And here, we are talking about the great coconut water. This natural water can also help you address the serious issue of hair loss/alopecia by ensuring proper blood circulation in the scalp.

References

  1. www.fda.com/Raw
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_water
  3. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45153753?
  4. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3115/2
  5. https://books.google.co.in/books?
  6. http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/coconut_water_is_more_than_hydration
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC506488/pdf/brjopthal00359-0029.pdf
  8. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-coconut-water

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