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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Benefits of coconut water

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Can Coconut Water Help You Lose Weight?

For years, coconut has been shunned by nutritionists and dieters alike for its high fat content. And for good reason: One cup packs 22 grams of saturated fat! But these days it’s popping up in water form everywhere, and fans say that not only can the drink help you lose weight, it’s also a natural healer, age eraser and more. Even Madonna has invested in a leading brand, and sales of coconut water are projected to double this year. So what is coconut water, and is it really worth shelling out $30 for a 12-pack? SELF brings you the facts.

It speeds your metabolism.

Helps Prevent Obesity by speeding up metabolism, providing an immediate source of energy with fewer calories than other fats. “This is an urban legend,” says Liz Applegate, Ph.D., director of sports nutrition at the University of California in Davis. “There is no valid research proving it.” Another, albeit contradictory, myth: Coconut water makes you fat. This bad rap came from coconut milk, which is made from pressed coconut meat and packs 445 calories per cup, most from saturated fat. The water (the fluid in young coconuts) has only 46 calories per cup. Of course, for a truly trimming sip, opt for zero-calorie water, coffee or tea.  People who consistently use coconut products, report a stronger ability to go without eating for several hours with no affects of hypoglycemia.

It makes you look younger.

Coconut water contains cytokinins, plant hormones shown to slow the aging process in plants and fruit flies, according to a study in Molecules. Alas, the benefits aren’t yet proven in humans. The search for the fountain of youth continues.

It’s nature’s sport drink.

It’s a fine postworkout chug for the average active Joe or Jane, but it falls short for hard-core athletes. The gist: When you exercise, you sweat out a lot of sodium and some potassium. You should replace both after intense workout sessions (more than an hour a day), so your muscles contract properly. Coconut water is a potassium powerhouse, delivering roughly 600 milligrams per cup, about 175 mg more than a banana does and 13 times what most sport drinks offer. “The problem is that it has only about 30 mg of sodium per cup; we lose much more than that during a long workout,” Applegate says. Thus, serious athletes may need a sports beverage with a higher sodium-to-potassium ratio, such as Gatorade or Powerade Ion4; lighter exercisers can rehydrate with whatever they like best, including coconut water or plain H2O.

It protects your ticker.

Diets high in potassium can help lower blood pressure and promote heart health, says Andrea Giancoli, R.D., spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Coconut water is a good source of the mineral, but it’s better to get it from whole foods like veggies (spinach, sweet potatoes) and lowfat milk, which supply additional heart-healthy nutrients such as fiber and vitamin D.

Improves Heart Health.

The coconut can improves heart health by providing healthy short chain and medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) that are essential to good hcoconut budealth.  Close to 98% of all fatty acids consumed are composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA), which are very different from MCFA that have no negative effect on cholesterol ratios and help to lower the risk of atherosclerosis and protect against heart disease.  Studies have shown that populations in Polynesia and Sri Lanka, where coconuts are a dietary staple, do not suffer from high serum cholesterol or heart disease.  Unlike other fats, the unique properties of coconut also contain a large amount of lauric acid, which is the predominant fatty acid found in mother's milk.

It’s a hangover helper.

There’s a reason the morning after is so painful: Alcohol dehydrates you, leading to nausea and headaches. Like any drink, coconut water refills your H2O stores, but plain water does the job just as well, notes Samir Zakhari, Ph.D., director of the Division of Metabolism and Health Effects at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. As for electrolytes, our kidneys preserve them when we drink alcohol, so there’s no need to replace them with coconut water. If the coconut taste lifts your postspirits spirits, go for it; but you can save cash (and calories) by turning on the tap.

Coconut water is also believed to be good for pregnant women.

1. Natural Electrolytes

Young coconut water enriched with electrolytes, chloride, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and riboflavin. As a natural isotonic mineral rich and have the same electrolyte with an electrolyte body, young coconut water is beneficial for rehydration and to restore stamina.

Pregnant mothers need more water than others. Dehydration during pregnancy can lead to various complications, including headaches, cramps, edema and even contractions that can lead to premature delivery.

2. Natural Diuretic

As a natural diuretic that sterile, young coconut water helped launch the clean urine and urinary tract. It is nutritious produce toxic substances from the body and prevent urinary tract infections, which are also quite common in pregnant women.

3. Anti Disease

Young coconut water contains lauric acid, acid that helps fight disease. Lauric acid contained in coconut water equal to that found in breast milk and has a characteristic antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral to maintain the health of mothers and babies from the virus such as herpes and HIV, giardia lamblia protozoa and bacteria chlamydia and heliokobater.

4. Assist Digestion

Coconut water is also believed to improve gastrointestinal function. During pregnancy, the placenta produces the hormone progesterone, which slows muscle contraction in the stomach until the digestion was slowed. Coconut water will help increase the speed of digestion.

5. Increase HDL

Young coconut water does not contain fat and cholesterol, but according to research to increase good cholesterol (HDL) in the body.

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