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Coconut water for lower blood pressure


health-benefits-of-coconut-waterIn the famous calypso song Coconut Woman, the singer croons…“Get your coconut water, It’s good for your daughter…”

While there’s ample truth in that, coconut is good for the rest of the family too. The song continues:

“Coco got a lot of iron, Make you strong like a lion.”

I’m not sure if there is enough evidence to prove that coconut water could indeed make you as strong as a lion, but researchers are singing praises of coconut water’s many health benefits.

Coconut water is the ultimate thirst quencher and offers a tasty alternative to water. People all over the world drink it for its unique taste and its ability to refresh the body almost instantly. The water is obtained by opening a tender, green, healthy and undamaged coconut. Each coconut may contain about 200 to 1000 ml of water depending upon type and size.

The refreshing water is a storehouse of natural healthy sugars, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, amino acids and phyto-hormones that give the drinker a wide range of health benefits.

Health benefits of coconut water

Oral rehydration: In many tropical regions, coconut water is often given to patients with diarrhea to help replace fluid loss from the body. The ingredients in coconut water are more effective at hydrating the human body when compared to the ingredients in sports drinks and energy drinks.

Help protect your liver from ‘chemical death’

Thanks to modern living almost everything you consume has a toxic edge. Drinking water, processed foods, drugs, even the air you breathe contains chemicals that could end up in your liver and damage it. This can lead to health issues like poor digestion, body aches, weakness, poor skin and even a foggy brain.

The good news is, with a little help, your liver can heal itself. To see how you can help protect and nourish your liver, Click Here.

In fact, the composition of tender coconut water is quite similar to what the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends for its ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution). In addition to the salts and sugars in the ORS, coconut water has amino acids, enzymes, minerals and fatty acids.

Each glass of coconut water contains 290 mg of potassium and only 5 g of natural sugar. Which means each glass contains twice the potassium content of most sports drinks and about a quarter the sugar content. Add the fact that there is a lot less sodium, you’ll know why doctors all over the world consider coconut water better than sports drinks.

Reduces blood pressure

Coconut water finds itself high on the list of home remedies for high blood pressure. One of the causes for high blood pressure is an imbalance of electrolytes in the blood.

Because coconut water contains an adequate supply of minerals and salts, it can help counter this imbalance. Modern researchers say the potassium content in coconut water plays a huge role in lowering blood pressure. Both potassium chloride (seen in supplements) and potassium citrate (seen in foods) can help lower blood pressure. Potassium helps balance out the level of sodium in your blood and keeps your body functioning properly.

In one study, reported in The West Indian Medical Journal, researchers noted that consumption of coconut water resulted in a reduction of systolic pressure in 71 percent of the participants and a reduction in diastolic pressure by 29 percent. As promising as this is, more studies need to be done to give a proper answer to the question of how long does it take for coconut water to reduce blood pressure?

The American Heart Association urges patients with high blood pressure to eat according to DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). Now all the vegetables in the DASH diet are rich in potassium. As the potassium in coconut water will function much the same as the potassium in DASH vegetables, it’s a great idea to drink coconut water for controlling blood pressure.

Nature’s digestive doctor

Because of its soothing effects on the stomach and intestinal lining, some are calling coconut water “nature’s gastroenterologist.” If you, or anybody you know, is suffering from indigestion or acid reflux, coconut water’s rich fiber content and natural enzymes can help you get back on your feet.

When you have a GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) attack, sipping coconut water every hour helps a lot. This can be continued all through the day as it does not have any side effects. Coconut water also improves digestion and metabolism via bioactive enzymes. Its electrolytic effect also helps the absorption of food and efficacy of drugs. It is also known to help soothe intestinal pain and spasms. There is also a lot of talk about coconut water being able to cure more serious intestinal illnesses such as Crohn’s disease. Add to the list, it helps relieve constipation and improve intestinal function.

While these are the three main health benefits, there are other uses and benefits of coconut water too. I’ll touch on them briefly here…

Brain health: Its high content of electrolytes mean coconut water acts a fuel for the brain and muscles. The nerve signal is a coordinated movement of sodium and potassium ions across the nerve cell membrane. A deficiency of potassium can cause improper functioning of the nervous system, so drinking coconut water can ensure proper nutrition to the nerve cell membrane.

Kidney health: Coconut water is a natural diuretic and hence increases the flow of urine; this helps prevent urinary tract infections and cools the body. The high potassium content in coconut water may also prevent or at least slow down renal disease. By increasing potassium intake, you can help lower urinary calcium excretion. This can play an important role in preventing osteoporosis (loss of bone).

Diabetes management: Low serum potassium can cause glucose intolerance. By increasing potassium intake – drinking coconut water – we can prevent the development of diabetes.

Heart health: Studies show that a reduction in serum potassium increases the risk of lethal ventricular arrhythmias in patients with ischemic heart disease, heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy. This is one of the reasons, many cardiologists in tropical countries recommend drinking coconut water to their heart patients.

Immune health: Coconut water contains high levels of lauric acid which is what is used by the body to make monolaurin – a fatty acid that helps fight disease. Lauric acid also has anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties, which help you protect your body against infection.

Drink it as you need it

Benefits of this all-natural, uncommonly nutritious beverage are great: Coconut water is an excellent way to quench your thirst, boost hydration and increase your intake of important vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. While most people have no reason to fear coconut water, coconut is actually a tree nut. So many people who are allergic to tree nuts might develop allergic reactions after drinking it.

And one last thing, coconut water is to be consumed fresh from young coconuts. Any nuts younger than five months of age tend to be bitter in taste and devoid of nutrients. In contrast, mature coconuts contain less water. Coconut milk obtained from coconut meat, should not be confused with coconut water.

Coconut water is best when consumed right after cutting it open. If it is left open for some time, it loses all its beneficial nutrients and can no longer be considered a healthy drink.

Drinking bottled or canned coconut water is the most convenient way to get these nutrients, but if you’re going on a holiday to sunny climes, get your coconut water straight from the tender fruit. It’s heavenly. And if you’re with a loved one, try two straws – it makes for a romantic picture (good for the heart).


Related Reading:

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7 natural ways to lower your blood pressure

Think of a balloon filled with water to such an extent that it is firm, tense and almost at breaking point. Now what happens if you add a little more water? The water exerts more pressure on the balloon wall, it bursts at its weakest point, and all the water gushes out. Find out how it’s the same with your body.