Be it from a natural coconut at the street vendor, in packed bottles at the supermarkets, or online as a health supplement, coconut water in recent years has seen a big boom in the market in terms of its consumption.
Coconut water is basically the liquid that pours out when you crack open a coconut. It contains many essential nutrients including minerals, vitamins and fiber, and protein.
Coconut water forms naturally in the fruit. It contains 94% water and very little fat. Many people confuse it with coconut milk.
Coconut milk is made by adding water to grated coconut meat. It contains about 50% water and is very high in coconut fat.
Coconut water is also a natural electrolyte drink that works wonders for your hydration. Many sports people prefer consuming coconut water due to its unfiltered nutrition benefits and cost-effectiveness.
Coconut Water Nutrition Facts
The nutritional benefits of coconut water cannot be undervalued. It is one of the most nutritious and hydrating beverages in trend.
Loaded with almost all the major nutrients required by the human body for nourishment, coconut water is a proven go-to drink without any preservatives and added health benefits.
The nutritional information of coconut water provided by USDA itself proves its vast popularity and positive health results.
An average green coconut provides about 0.5-1 cup of coconut water.
One cup coconut water which is roughly around 245 ml contains 44.1 calories of 100% coconut water.The other nutrient values are as follows-
- Carbs- 10.4 grams
- Fiber- 3 grams
- Protein- 0.5 grams
- Vitamin C- 24.3 mg
- Magnesium- 4.7 mg
- Manganese- 0.5 mg
- Potassium- 404 mg
- Sodium- 63.7 mg
- Calcium- 7.2 mg
Coconut water provides about 10 grams of carbohydrate with one cup serving.100% coconut water contains about 9 grams of naturally occurring sugar.
Some brands of coconut water are artificially administered with extra sugars. If you want to avoid them, make sure you check the labels and then only proceed.
Vitamins and minerals
Coconut water is an excellent source of vitamin C, with around 24 mg per cup serving. That’s around 32% of the RDI for women and 27% for men.
It also contains-
- B vitamin thiamin (about 8% of RDA)
- Potassium (404 mg or 16% of adequate intake for women and 12% for men)
- Manganese (0.5mg or 28% of adequate intake for women and 22% for men).
Coconut water also contains small amounts of magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, and copper.
Coconut water contains a small amount of protein in general, roughly about 0.5-2 grams. But this amount can be modified by fortifying the drink.
There is usually little to no fat (less than 1 gram) in coconut water, but some brands may contain a small amount of fat.
Coconut milk contains a lot of fat so make sure you do not confuse coconut milk with coconut water.
Health Benefits and nutritional values of coconut water
- Prevent kidney stones
Proper fluid and electrolyte balance is extremely important to prevent kidney stones. It’s recommended to consume optimum water but coconut water has plus advantages here.
Kidney stones form when calcium, oxalate, and other compounds combine to form crystals in your urine. These can cause stones.
Coconut water prevents crystal formation from sticking to the kidneys and other parts of the urinary tract. It also reduces the number of crystals formed in the urine. However, more research is needed for authentic outcomes.
- Improves heart health
Drinking coconut water may be helpful to reduce heart disease risk. A study concluded that coconut water helps in reducing blood cholesterol and liver fat.
The coconut water was also proven to be helpful in reducing the level of triglycerides. However, the human trials for these findings are yet to be investigated further.
- Reduce high blood pressure
Coconut water may be great for controlling blood pressure. According to a human study, coconut water improved systolic blood pressure in almost 71% of participants.
Additionally, coconut water contains a very rich amount of potassium which helps in lowering blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
Coconut water is also known to show an anti-thrombotic activity and prevent the formation of blood clots.
- Excellent hydration properties
Coconut water is slightly sweet with a subtle, nutty flavor. It has very low carb and calorie content as well.
The hydrating properties of coconut water are excellent. It acts as a natural electrolyte drink that fulfills the requirement of essential electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and calcium.
If you wish to look for coconut water that is artificially fortified like energy drinks and sports drinks, you need to be cautious regarding its sugar and fat content.
Coconut water nutritional values can also be used in smoothies, chia seed pudding, vinaigrette dressing or substituted for plain water for more health benefits.
- Benefits against diabetes
Research has shown that coconut water can lower blood sugar levels and improve other health markers in diabetics.
It is also claimed that coconut water had lower levels of hemoglobin A1c, indicating good long-term blood sugar control.
With a carb content of only 6 grams per cup, coconut water can be used as a diabetic hydration drink without hesitation.
It is also a good source of magnesium, which may increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
However, controlled studies are needed to confirm these effects in humans.
Coconut water home remedies
- Coconut water spray
Coconut water has the properties of being a natural moisturizer and thus proves as a great leave-in conditioner even for oily strands.
You can create your own coconut water spray with ingredients you already have at home. All you have to do is mix coconut water (choose the fresh-out-of-the-shell version) and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle.
Coconut water hydrates the hair while leaving a nice fragrance. With the acidic nature of apple cider vinegar added, hair gives out a smooth and detangling effect.
- Anti-aging coconut face mask
The vitamins in coconut water have been shown to decrease the rate of skin aging by allowing cells to restore and repair themselves more effectively.
The cytokines proteins in coconut water are responsible for encouraging cell growth and cell activation, while Vitamin C helps to protect against sun damage giving complete skin hydration.
For making an anti-aging face mask at home, mix the coconut water with honey and you can easily apply it to your face with cotton. This mixture gives a hydrating and plump effect on the skin.
- Coconut gel for sunburnt skin
To reduce the redness and itching due to sunburn inflammation, coconut water acts as the best hydrant.
Mix the Vitamin E-rich coconut water with aloe vera to create a gel-like paste that’ll employ phytochemicals to heal a sunburnt skin quickly.
- Acne-fighting coconut face mask
Coconut water has antibacterial properties because of its lauric acid content and thus serves as a great fit for reducing acne.
Mix coconut water with turmeric and avocado to create a paste that can be applied to the skin. Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, is also a powerful applicant for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
If your face is acne-prone or situationally breaking out, this mask might be the best for you without needing any artificial add-ons.
Coconut water, as a whole, is one of the best nourishing and hydrating beverages out there. Naturally, it has a great nutritional value and can work wonders for the overall health of a person.