Over the past few years, we’ve all heard the hype surrounding coconut water. Some shout “MIRACLE,” while others dismiss it as overrated. There has been a fair amount of controversy over this island fresh beverage. So what is the final verdict? Coconut water: fab, or flop?
Science is still debating this very issue, but until they come up with a clear answer, let’s take a moment to appreciate this refreshing sweet drink. There are after all, many reasons to go crazy for coconut water.
Here is my list of the top five benefits of coconut water.
1. A Source of Nutrients
You may be surprised to hear the list of vitamins and minerals found in this fruit. And yes, believe it or not, the coconut is no nut… it is a drupe fruit, meaning a stone fruit (much like nectarines, peaches, even blackberries and raspberries). One cup of coconut water contains fiber, Vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, and even protein! Best of all, unlike it’s cousin coconut milk (made by adding water to coconut meat), coconut water has very little fat. Making it a natural, flavourful, nutrient rich beverage you can enjoy guilt free.
2. Low Calories
In addition to being a good source of nutrients, coconut water is also very low in calories! Not something we see often in beverages with sweet flavours. Yet, in one cup of coconut water you will consume only around 46 calories. A drastic difference from any soda, pop, or concentrated juice you may find in the grocery store. Not to mention, the fact that this drink comes from a natural source, and unless otherwise refined or altered, it contains only natural sugars and carbohydrates (and very few at that).
A great deal of research is still being conducted on the effects of antioxidants in coconut water on living species. So far, scientists have discovered that the antioxidants found in coconut water may help neutralize oxidative stress and free radicals within the body (Oxidative stress is an imbalance of the body’s ability to detoxify the effects of free radicals through neutralization of antioxidants). The production of free radicals can increase when the body is injured or under stress. If too many free radicals populate the body, it may lead to cell damage and a heightened risk of developing certain diseases. Luckily, drinking coconut water appears to aid in the protection of cells from the damage caused by free radicals.
4. A Good Way to Hydrate After Exercise
Coconut water contains five key electrolytes: magnesium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, and a lot of potassium. This makes it the perfect drink to consume after a rigorous workout when your body is in need of hydration and has lost electrolytes. Although Gatorade and other sports beverages are popular in the gym, studies have shown that coconut water is Mother Nature’s take on Gatorade, and appears to be equal to these artificial drinks.
5. That Sweet Sweet Taste
We all know that water is the most important thing the human body consumes daily. You can survive 30 days without food but only 3 without water. When you are dehydrated, functions in your body and brain begin to slowly shut down. Drinking coffee, milk, juice, and pop is not comparable with sipping truly pure water. These other beverages tend to be high in fat, sugar, carbs, and artificial flavours and colours that do more harm than good. But although this knowledge is widely known, the problem remains; some people simply do not enjoy the taste of pure water. This is where coconut water comes to save the day. A clearly sweet, fruity, almost nutty flavour adds some interest to this beverage. When purchased from a natural, organic brand, this drink is a natural sweet treat. It can be consumed the same as water, or it can be added to smoothies and other recipes.
Love it or hate it, coconut water is a natural source of delicious vitamins and nutrients. It certainly won’t hurt to add a little of this beverage into your daily diet.
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