Written by Karen Rollins

Health benefits of coconut water

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The humble coconut provides us with milk, jelly and a husk but one of its greatest gifts is water.

Coconut water has recently become highly sought after and trendy in some parts of the world but in several Caribbean islands its health benefits have been known for centuries.

It’s loaded with nutrients and minerals which are important for a healthy diet and has even occasionally been used as an intravenous rehydration fluid when medical saline was unavailable.

Here are some of the benefits of coconut water:

Low sugar

Compared to some other drinks, such as fruit juices and energy drinks, there is less sugar, and therefore less calories, in coconut water.

In fact, in 100ml of fresh coconut water extracted from the nut you’ll find about 2.7mg of sugar or about 19 calories. However, some branded versions have as much as 3g to 6g per 100ml, so make sure you read the label’s nutritional contents before you purchase.

Contains potassium

Coconut water has more potassium than a medium banana. Approximately 185mg of potassium is contained within a 100ml serving of coconut water.

Potassium is essential for a healthy heart and good skeletal and muscular function. It’s also known to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension by counteracting the effects of sodium that can cause blood pressure to rise.

However, there are plenty of potassium-rich foods that are probably cheaper than coconut water like potatoes, kidney beans or spinach.

Rich in nutrients

Coconut water contains five essential electrolytes: calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium.

One serving of coconut water will also provide about 11% of your daily copper requirements.

Coconut water’s unique composition means it is easily absorbed by the gut and is therefore suitable for people with dietary issues such as food allergies or irritable bowel syndrome. It also has a high concentration of fibre which reduces the occurrence of acid reflux and aids in the prevention of indigestion.

Source: BBC Good Food

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