Is Coconut Water the New Cure-All?

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Vitacoco 100% Pure Coconut Water

Coconut water has numerous health claims that promise many cures to health but the question is – is it really good as it is touted to be?

Coconut water is the clear liquid inside young coconuts and as the fruit matures the water is replaced by the “meat” of the coconut. It is different from coconut milk which is made from the pulp or “meat” of the coconut by adding water.   It has been a very popular drink in the tropics.  Naturally fat free and low in calories, the rave now is adding it to a variety of other drinks as a mixer.

The popularity of coconut water is booming as sales of Vita Coco, one of the major coconut-water companies, jumped from about $4 million in 2007 to $20 million in 2009.  Other food manufacturers have jumped on board by putting coconut water into a variety of other products and labeling the health benefits for its powerful antioxidants and electrolyte makeup.

The long list of  health claims include preventing cancers, slow aging, regulate blood pressure, promote smoother skin, lower cholesterol, prevent hangovers, break up kidney stones, promoting digestive health and curing a hangover.  This low calorie, fat-free beverage may have too many health claims to swallow for being pretty much water and right now the research is still limited.  However the there still are some great benefits of this magic drink including hydration and its electrolyte composition – which makes it a great beverage for a post workout to help rejuvenate the body’s loss of electrolytes after vigorous exercise.

Nutritional Value of Coconut Water

Coconut Water, 1 cup (240 grams) % DV (based on a 2000 calorie diet
Calories 46 2.3%
Calories from fat 4 6.0%
Total Carbohydrates 9 3.0%
Sodium (mg) 252 10.5%
Potassium (mg) 600 17.0%
Sugars (grams) 6 n/a
Protein (grams) 2 4.0%
Vitamin C (mg) 6 10.0%
Magnesium 60 15.0%
Selenium 2 3.0%

Source: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/cgi-bin/list_nut_edit.pl

It is a wonderful beverage that does contain nutrients and naturally low in calories so if you like the taste – enjoy it and even get creative by adding it to other drinks as well.

We will wait on more research for the other hot health claims but for now enjoy its refreshing nutrients.

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