Some incredible health benefits of coconut water

Some remarkable properties that make coconut water a nutritional powerhouse

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By Alex

Coconut water

Coconut water is a beverage that has been talked about a lot lately. Why? Refreshing and pleasantly flavored, it possesses numerous beneficial properties. Let’s explore them all in this in-depth look.

What is Coconut Water?

Coconut water is the clear, transparent, and translucent liquid found inside green and unripe coconuts.

Gluten and lactose-free, it is low in calories and fat but rich in minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus, as well as vitamins like B and C.

On average, about 1 scant cup of this water is obtained from one green coconut.

Difference between Coconut Water and Coconut Milk

Many tend to confuse these two products, but they are distinct. Coconut water is the semi-transparent liquid naturally occurring inside the coconut. It is low in fat and calories, containing many minerals.

On the other hand, coconut milk is obtained by squeezing the grated pulp of the mature fruit. It is white, dense, and creamy, with a significantly higher calorie content of about 200 calories per 100 ml.

Taste of Coconut Water

It has a pleasant taste, sweet with a slightly acidic undertone, resembling the aroma of hazelnuts.

Nutritional Values

It provides approximately 20 calories per 100 ml, with the following breakdown:

  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Proteins: 2 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Vitamin C: 2.4 mg
  • Potassium: 250 mg
  • Sodium: 105 mg
  • Adequate amounts of calcium and magnesium

As we said before, it is gluten and lactose-free.

Properties of Coconut Water

In recent times, coconut water has gained widespread attention for being more than just a tropical refreshment. Packed with a myriad of beneficial properties, this clear, transparent, and mildly sweet liquid extracted from green and unripe coconuts has become a popular choice for those seeking a healthy and natural beverage alternative.

Let’s delve into the remarkable properties that make coconut water a nutritional powerhouse.

  • Hydration and Isotonic Nature: One of the standout features of this beverage is its isotonic nature, mirroring the nutrient-to-fluid ratio found in human blood. This characteristic ensures that the nutrients it contains are efficiently transported to the intestine and subsequently to the cells, aiding in rapid hydration. For individuals engaged in physical activities or sports, coconut water serves as a natural isotonic beverage, replenishing lost fluids and electrolytes.
  • Low Calorie and Fat Content: It is a guilt-free indulgence, especially for those watching their calorie and fat intake. With minimal calories and no fat, it stands out as a refreshing alternative to sugary beverages, making it an ideal choice for those focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • Rich in Essential Minerals: It is also a rich source of essential minerals, including potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. Potassium, in particular, plays a crucial role in maintaining proper heart function, regulating blood pressure, and supporting muscle and nerve function. The combination of these minerals contributes to overall well-being and helps prevent deficiencies.
  • Vitamins Boost: Not just a source of minerals, this water also contains essential vitamins, such as vitamin B and vitamin C. These vitamins contribute to energy metabolism, immune system function, and the maintenance of healthy skin, providing an additional nutritional punch to this natural elixir.
  • Antioxidant Properties: This beverage boasts antioxidant properties, combating the harmful effects of free radicals in the body. Antioxidants help neutralize oxidative stress, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases and supporting overall cellular health.
  • Metabolism Boost and Weight Management: For those on a weight management journey, this drink proves to be a valuable ally. Low in calories and fat, it stimulates metabolism, promoting an active and efficient calorie-burning process. Additionally, its natural sweetness can satisfy cravings for sugary drinks without compromising health goals.
  • Electrolyte Balance and Exercise Recovery: As a natural source of electrolytes, this elixir aids in maintaining the body’s electrolyte balance. This makes it an excellent choice for post-exercise recovery, helping prevent dehydration, muscle cramps, and fatigue commonly associated with intense physical activity.
  • Digestive Health: It supports digestive health with its fiber content, aiding in smooth digestion. It can be beneficial for individuals dealing with digestive issues, contributing to a healthier gut environment.
  • Skin and Hair Benefits: Beyond internal health, it has external benefits too. It is known to purify the hair, contributing to hair health and shine. When consumed regularly, it also promotes softer and more luminous skin, acting as a natural tonic that may help alleviate skin imperfections.
  • Diabetic-Friendly: For individuals managing diabetes, it can be a suitable choice. It has been linked to lower blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes, making it a potentially diabetic-friendly beverage.

Benefits of Coconut Water

Considering its diverse properties, it is ideal for replenishing fluids and salts lost during sports, preventing muscle cramps.

It benefits everyone by refreshing and rehydrating, serving as a natural energizer for those experiencing fatigue, improving conditions for those recovering, supporting immune defenses, enhancing digestion, regulating heart rate, improving circulation, maintaining body hydration, promoting softer and brighter skin, and acting as a natural tonic useful for acne and skin imperfections.

Being low in calories and fat, coconut water stimulates metabolism, making it more active and helping combat abdominal bloating.

How to Consume Coconut Water

The most natural way is to drink it directly from a green coconut by inserting a straw into the soft part. Alternatively, for everyday life, coconut water in bottles or tetra packs is widely available in well-stocked stores. However, it is essential to ensure it is 100% coconut water without added sugars or other flavoring agents.

Daily Consumption

The ideal daily amount to enjoy its beneficial properties and replenish minerals is 300-500 ml. This drink should be part of a healthy and balanced diet, not as a substitute for natural water or meals.

Where to Find Coconut Water

It is found inside green and unripe coconuts. Packaged coconut water is available in well-stocked supermarkets and ethnic grocery stores. It can also be purchased online from specialized retailers.

coconut water

Duration of Coconut Water

Before consuming packaged coconut water, it’s important to shake the container well. Once opened, it should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within 3-4 days.

How to Store It

Coconut water extracted directly from the fruit can be refrigerated for a maximum of 3-4 days. Ideally, it should be consumed immediately for optimal freshness.

Uses of Coconut Water

Beyond being a refreshing beverage, this water can be used to add an exotic touch to puddings, smoothies, and yogurt. It is also perfect for preparing alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, smoothies, homemade slushies, and popsicles. Its sweet taste complements dishes with fish, tofu, vanilla, mint, and other tropical fruits such as papaya and mango. It can enhance the flavor of exotic curry-based dishes and breakfast porridge.

Recipes with Coconut Water

Here are a few delicious recipes that incorporate this healthy ingredient.

Coconut Water and Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • Fresh fruit for topping

Instructions:

  • Mix chia seeds with coconut water and sweeten with honey or maple syrup.
  • Stir well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Before serving, stir the pudding and top with fresh fruit.
  • Enjoy a nutritious and energizing coconut water chia seed pudding.

Coconut Water Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup mango chunks
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • Ice cubes (optional)

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Pour into a glass and enjoy this tropical and refreshing smoothie.

Coconut Pancakes

  • Sift 160g of flour, 100g of powdered sugar, and 2g of baking powder.
  • Mix the dry ingredients, then add 1 egg, 130ml of coconut water, and 15g of honey.
  • Whisk until smooth and homogeneous.
  • Grease a small pan and, when hot, pour a ladle of batter.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  • Serve pancakes with jam, syrup, fresh fruit, melted chocolate, or hazelnut cream.

Coconut Porridge

  • In 200ml of coconut water, add 50g of oat flakes and a tablespoon of flaxseeds.
  • Simmer on low heat for a couple of minutes.
  • Cool, then add chopped nuts, pureed half an apple, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Soft Coconut Water Cake

  • Sift 125g of all-purpose flour and 125g of oat flour with 12g of baking powder.
  • In another bowl, beat 3 eggs with 200g of whole cane sugar and a vanilla pod.
  • When fluffy, gradually add 130g of extra virgin olive oil and 130ml of room temperature coconut water.
  • Mix to achieve a uniform blend.
  • Finally, add the sifted flours and mix.
  • Pour the batter into a buttered and floured pan.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 40-45 minutes.

Non-Alcoholic Coconut and Mint Beverage

  • In 250ml of coconut water, add fresh mint leaves and the juice of one lemon.
  • Mix, and optionally add crushed ice.

Using Coconut Water for Hair

The hydrating power of water extracted from coconuts is beneficial for the scalp and hair. It is recommended for moisturizing and rejuvenating dry and stressed hair, especially after exposure to sun and salt.

What are the benefits for your hair? This water:

  • Hydrates and rejuvenates dry and dehydrated hair.
  • Tames frizzy hair without making it oily or heavy.
  • Acts as a natural anti-dandruff solution, alleviating dryness, itching, and reducing flakiness.
  • Imparts a pleasant fragrance.

You can also prepare a hair mask by combining 3 tablespoons of yogurt with 1 teaspoon of coconut butter. Mix and emulsify with coconut water until a thick cream is obtained. Apply along the lengths and leave on for about 1 hour, then rinse.

To reap the benefits, coconut water can be used as a final rinse after shampooing.

Precautions

Avoid in case of overweight, hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia, or renal insufficiency. Avoid excessive consumption to prevent an excess of potassium.

In conclusion, the properties of this water extend far beyond mere refreshment. From hydration to weight management, from essential minerals to antioxidants, coconut water stands out as a versatile and health-promoting drink. Incorporating this natural elixir into a balanced diet can contribute to overall well-being and vitality. So, the next time you reach for a beverage, consider the numerous benefits that a glass of this water can offer to support your health journey.

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