Coolness In A Nutshell: A Look At The Health Benefits Of Coconut Water

Coolness In A Nutshell: A Look At The Health Benefits Of Coconut Water

It was not too long ago that coconut was demonised the world over as being bad for health

Chinmay RavalUpdated: Sunday, April 28, 2024, 09:56 AM IST
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It was not too long ago that coconut was demonised the world over as being bad for health – so much so that people started avoiding any dish made with coconut, believing it to be dangerous. On looking beyond the obvious it turned out that this was a result of an efficient misinformation campaign by the seed oil lobby, and fortunately for us the “anti-coconut wave” did not last more than a couple of decades.

Now we are back to giving coconut its due as a source of vitamins, minerals and wholesome nutrition. Particularly in the summer months, cool coconut water from a freshly-opened nut is among the first choices of the hot and thirsty.

Coconut water or nariyal pani is more than a thirst-quencher, however. Many of us already know that it is good for tackling dehydration; let’s have a look at the other benefits of this mighty wellspring.

Water lot of good

Energy Booster: It is useful to drink coconut water during and after a workout, as it is rich in minerals, electrolytes, and antioxidants that help to boost your energy level. Coconut water contains more potassium and electrolytes, less sodium, and fewer carbohydrates than many sports drinks.

Weight Loss Aid: Coconut water is often useful in weight loss management programmes, being low in calories and thus a great replacement for sugary drinks.

Managing Diabetes: Coconut water is a better choice for diabetics or individuals looking to reduce their consumption of added sugar, as it may help manage blood sugar levels and improve diabetes symptoms. It is a good source of manganese, which may increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.

Blood Pressure Management: Being rich in potassium, coconut water can help manage blood pressure, and even reduce chances of stroke. Drinking coconut water could also maintain good heart health, by managing cholesterol levels in the blood.

Digestion: Coconut water is rich in manganese that can help to regulate your bowel movements. It may prevent gaseous distension of the abdomen, constipation and acidity.

Kidney Stones: While your doctor will advise drinking a lot of water to flush out kidney stones, coconut water can go the extra mile as it can help prevent kidney stone formation when consumed in moderate amounts.

Combating Fatigue: If you are feeling “down” or lethargic due to heat or overwork, coconut water is the best remedy. As it contains minerals, electrolytes and antioxidants, it can help detoxify your body by providing hydration and antioxidants.

Urinary Problems: As coconut water is known to be a diuretic (increases urine output), it can be useful in flushing out toxins and helping you overcome urinary tract infection.

Precautions

Remember that coconut water contains potassium, and so if you have kidney disease, nephritis, or renal failure, avoid coconut water. In kidney failure, your kidney may not remove extra potassium, which leads to stagnation of potassium in the body. General practitioner Dr Hetal Panchal recommends that as a rule, if you have any underlying health condition, you should always check with your doctor before introducing anything new into your diet. For example, as coconut water is cooling, it might affect pregnant or nursing women, she says. Also if you are going to have surgery or you are recovering from surgery, avoid coconut water. Other cases also call for caution, such as cystic fibrosis which causes a decrease in the body’s salt levels.

(Note: Don’t confuse coconut water with coconut milk. Many non-Indians still think the term for coconut water is “coconut milk”, and this is a stark misnomer. Coconut milk is the extracted juice from the white flesh of the mature coconut, while coconut water is naturally present in tender coconut.)

Recipe

Coco-Orange Mocktail

1 cup fresh coconut water

1 cup fresh orange juice

1 cup sparkling water or soda

1 tsp honey or to taste

A few mint leaves

Mix all the ingredients together, and adjust the honey to taste if the orange juice is too sour. Garnish with a mint sprig and serve.

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