Hey There! Today I wanted to talk about coconut water.
In the past, most people would have limited their consumption of coconut water to vacations in places where coconut trees are found, such as here in Florida, the Caribbean, or Hawaii. However, in recent years, they have become somewhat of a health food trend, and even mainstream grocery stores have started stocking their shelves with various coconut water brands. So what’s the hype all about? Is coconut water really all it’s cracked up to be? What health benefits can we expect to come from drinking it?
A Source of Potassium
Now, we all tend to think that the best source of potassium is generally bananas, which contain an average of 400 milligrams of potassium per fruit. But if you’re like me and bananas aren’t really aren’t your thing or just aren’t worth the carbs/calories it’s good to know that coconut water also contains this essential mineral. A four ounce serving of coconut water will provide you with about 200 milligrams of potassium. So, why do we want potassium anyway? Well, research suggests that potassium can help your body to rehydrate quickly and can also lower blood pressure in individuals with hypertension. Potassium is one of the “electrolytes” often touted in sports drink advertising.
It Contains Magnesium
Magnesium is an extremely important part of our diets, but only around 30 percent of people get their recommended daily dose. Low levels of magnesium can have negative repercussions on our bodies, such as low energy levels, or the development of health conditions such as osteoporosis, asthma, or even diabetes. I actually take a magnesium supplement as recommended by my doctor to decrease the frequency of my migraines.
A Natural Laxative (Yep, I’m going there. I’m a Mom.)
It’s good to bear in mind that coconut water is a natural laxative. While it may appear like a relatively clear liquid, it does, in fact, contain fiber. Unlike other fruit juices, it doesn’t lose this fiber through extraction and processing, as the liquid doesn’t have to be treated much once it has been poured from the coconut shell. This relatively high level of fiber means that if you do drink excessive amounts of the liquid, it could speed up your digestive process and act as a natural laxative. You can find out more about natural laxatives at Elephant Journal.
If you’re looking for a rehydration drink that has more flavor than water, but a low-calorie content, then coconut water may well be the way to go. An average 8 ounce serving of coconut water will contain just 42 calories. This is much less than many alternative juices or sweetened drinks, which often contain a lot more calories without any of the health benefits that coconut water has either. Coconut water has fewer calories than a lot of sports drinks with many of the same nutrients.
Dehydration is my biggest, most controllable migraine trigger. It’s important for my crazy life here in Florida that when I do get dehydrated (theme park days, running errands… it happens!) I replace both fluid and electrolytes. While I will grab a sports drink on occasion I try to avoid some of the ingredients in those. (Hello red dye and artificial sweeteners. Or half my day’s sugar!) So if I can I get coconut water instead. In fact, when we were stocking up for Hurricane Irma we made sure to include a case or two of coconut water!
Coconut water may actually be the ultimate thirst quencher and it comes hand in hand with various health benefits. It’s no wonder people have been going wild for it and demand has significantly increased. So, if you haven’t tried it before, now could be the best time to try it for yourself. You could find that it ends up a regular feature on your grocery list (and your storm prep list, right along with the bread and milk) and you reap the health benefits!
Have you ever tried coconut water? Any thoughts?
This was a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links. All opinions are, as always, my own. I am not a medical professional and the information provided in this post is not to be considered medical advice.