(Natural News) If manna indeed exists, it may be in the form of coconut water. Science is now validating the mythical reputation of the refreshing beverage, concluding the drink to be a powerhouse of amazing health benefits, from increased hydration to lowered blood pressure. Here are some evidence-based benefits that you should take note of:
Provides immediate hydration — Researchers of a 2000 study concluded coconut water to be a safe and highly effective medical resource in resuscitating critically ill patients by providing superior hydration. Coconut water used as an intravenous hydration fluid is noted to provide potent benefits in many third-world countries. Many nutritionists say that coconut water is an ideal rehydrating agent in countries where medical supplies are not freely available.
Lowers blood sugar levels — Coconut water is sweet, in every sense of the word. The slightly sweet beverage has been shown to lower blood sugar levels, especially among diabetics. A 2012 study posited that coconut water contains several biologically active compounds and antioxidants that work together to reduce oxidative stress, particularly those caused by diabetes.
Manages cholesterol levels — Nutrients found in coconut water display lipid-lowering effects. A 2008 study showed that coconut water may reduce the manifestation and severity of the health impacts associated with a high-fat diet. When compared to the lipid-lowering drug lovastatin, coconut water displayed similar, if not better, results with no side effects.
Lowers blood pressure — Drinking coconut water regularly for two weeks can lower blood pressure by up to 24 points (mmHg) systolic and 15 points (mmHg) diastolic. One study found that 74 percent of patients who regularly drank coconut water had significantly reduced blood pressure readings after only a few weeks.
Prevents brain deterioration — An animal model concluded that coconut water can prevent the decline of brain estrogen (estradiol) levels in ovariectomy-induced menopausal rats. These effects were also associated with a decrease in beta-amyloid plaque — a major contributing risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
Protects against bacteria — Coconut water contains three novel antimicrobial peptides that display powerful inhibitory activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
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Coconut water is also a great sports drink alternative. Studies are now showing sports and energy drinks to be unhealthy as they contain high amounts of sugar and toxins. These beverages are marketed to be “healthy” fluid replacements after a vigorous sports activity; but while refreshing, are actually harmful in the long-run. Coconut water, on the other hand, is extremely safe and good for you.
Ways to incorporate coconut water into your diet
Ideally you should drink coconut water by itself, but there are other ways you can consume this healthy beverage. (h/t to WellAndGood.com)
Iced coffee — Replace your artificial sweeteners with coconut water and enjoy a cold brew with a slightly sweet taste.
Muesli — Try soaking oats overnight in coconut water. Add fruits to the oats in the morning.
Slushes — Blend your favorite fruits with coconut water. Add a touch of honey for a sweeter taste.
Curry — You can try swapping coconut milk with coconut water to lighten heartier curries for the summer months; all without taking anything away, taste-wise!
Popsicles — You can freeze coconut water with some of your favorite fruits to create a yummy treat.