Help Your Heart: 71% of Those Who Drank This Lowered Their Blood
by Joseph Mercola: The
#1 Cause of Accidental Death in the US – Are You at Risk?
- Water from
young, immature coconuts offers a long and growing list of health
benefits, distinct from the benefits of its counterpart, coconut
water is a powerhouse of natural electrolytes, vitamins, minerals,
trace elements, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients,
and is low in sugar, but pleasantly sweet
- It’s great
for post-exercise rehydration, but also has anti-inflammatory
properties, protects your heart and urinary tract, is a digestive
tonic, improves your skin and eyes, supports good immune function,
and can even help balance your blood glucose and insulin levels
water is the richest dietary source of cytokinins, plant hormones
that have anti-cancer, anti-aging, and anti-thrombolytic benefits
coconut water is isotonic and sterile (upon coming out of the
coconut), it is very similar to blood plasma and has been used
intravenously in emergency situations for more than 60 years
I have long
been a fan of coconut
oil as one of the most health promoting of all plant-based fats.
I have spent
nearly 15 winters in Hawaii where fresh coconuts off the tree are
comes from the "meat" of the coconut.
I'd like to share a little information about coconut oil's best
friend: coconut water.
If you've ever
picked up a fresh coconut in the grocery store and shaken it, you've
heard the liquid sloshing inside this is coconut water.
water and coconut milk come from coconuts, but they are not the
Versus Coconut Water
milk, known in Malaysia and Indonesia as "santan" and as "gata"
in the Philippines, is a thick liquid made by grinding up coconut
meat and then diluting it with plain water. Coconut milk is
a rich source of healthy fat, protein, and energy and is often used
in cooking, especially in Asian cuisine.
is comprised of about 50 percent fat/protein and 50 percent water,
and this is what you commonly see in cans in the Asian section of
your grocery store.
water, on the other hand, is a clear, light, refreshing liquid
(95 percent water) extracted from young, green coconuts that have
not reached maturity. These look much different than the brown
hairy ones you commonly see in the produce section they are
white, smooth, and pointed on one end, flat on the other.
When you can
find them, young coconuts will be in the refrigerated produce section
because they are perishable.
is the liquid part of the endosperm (kernel) of the coconut fruit.
When coconuts are immature, the endosperm is semisolid and jelly-like.
As the coconut matures, the endosperm becomes more solid and fibrous,
developing into the firmer coconut meat with which you are familiar.
As the coconut matures, the water inside is replaced by more coconut
"meat" and air, so it's best to harvest the water when the coconut
It turns out
that BOTH the "meat" and the liquid of coconuts are nutritional
coconut water "noelani," which means "dew from the heavens." Many
tropical cultures prize coconut water above all other beverages
due to its rehydrating and health renewing properties. Not only
is coconut water good for you, it's good for plants too, having
been traditionally used as a growth supplement in plant propagation.
As a result of the rich volcanic soils and mineral-rich seawater
in which coconut palms grow, coconut water's nutritional profile
is very impressive.
- Rich in
natural vitamins (especially the B vitamins), minerals, and trace
elements (including zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur,
and manganese). Vitamins are necessary for the enzymatic reactions
your cells need in order to function.
- Full of
amino acids, organic acids, enzymes, antioxidants,
- Rich source
of electrolytes and natural salts, especially potassium and magnesium.
- Light, low
calorie and nearly fat-free, as well as low in sugar
but pleasantly sweet contains about a fifth of the sugar
of other fruit juices, like apple or grape juice, as well as containing
a little fiber to moderate absorption.
- Rich in
cytokinins, or plant hormones, which have anti-aging, anti-cancer,
and anti-thrombolytic effects in humans.
also has an alkalizing
effect on your body, which can help correct the cumulative effects
of acidifying foods that make up most diets today. For a complete
nutritional profile, refer to the tables
at the Coconut Research Center site. The list of health benefits
of coconut water is impressive, and growing by leaps and bounds
with each new scientific study.
Abundance of Health Benefits
every one of these areas is beyond the scope of one article, but
I would like to touch on a few of the most impressive areas where
coconut water may give your health a boost. According to Bruce Fife,
author of Coconut
Water for Health and Healing and one of the leading coconut
experts, scientific research and clinical observation have shown
coconut water to have the following broad-spanning health benefits:
(water and electrolytes)
(rich in potassium and magnesium); helps regulate blood pressure,
improve circulation, reduces plaque formation
reduces swelling in hands and feet
abnormal blood clotting
in kidney function (preventing and dissolving kidney stones,
balance blood glucose and insulin levels
tonic (rich in enzymes); feeds friendly gut flora
for constipation and diarrhea
skin health (elasticity, age spots, wrinkles), improves wound
eye health (cataracts, glaucoma)
good immune function; antimicrobial (contains monolaurin)
Balance from Mother Nature
are inorganic compounds that become ions in solution and have the
capacity to conduct electricity. They are important for electrical
signaling and of course your brain, heart, muscles and nervous
system are all bioelectrical systems. Your cells use electrolytes
to maintain voltage across their membranes and carry electrical
impulses to other cells.
water balance and blood pH depend on your body's proper electrolyte
balance, and you can suffer severe medical problems if your electrolytes
fall out of balance.
water is one of the richest natural sources of electrolytes and
can be used to prevent dehydration from strenuous exercise, vomiting,
or diarrhea. You lose electrolytes (especially sodium and potassium)
when you sweat, which must be replenished with food and water intake.
Because coconut water naturally contains so many electrolytes, it's
been called "Nature's Gatorade."
has five electrolytes your body needs:
The most important positive ion (cation) inside your
cells; potassium regulates heartbeat and muscle function; coconut
water contains 295 mg, which is 15 times the amount in
the average sports drink
The most important positive ion in fluid outside your
cells, and also the one most depleted with exercise, as you lose
sodium through sweat and urine
important for maintaining the electrical potential of your cells,
proper muscle function, and preventing calcium overload
Plays important roles in bone health, but also in transferring
energy throughout your body, helping your muscles contract, and
regulating nerve function (partners with calcium)
Important for bone health (partners with phosphorous)
The ONLY "Sports
Drink" I Recommend
For most average
exercisers and athletes, sports
drinks are not only a waste of your money, but more importantly,
can actually worsen the health of most who use them. Less than
one percent of those who use sports drinks actually benefit
from them. Most sports drinks are loaded with things you DON'T
want, like refined sugars, artificial colors and chemicals, none
of which are in natural coconut water.
If you exercise
for 30 minutes a day at a moderate to high intensity, fresh,
pure water is the best thing to help you stay hydrated. It's
only when you've been exercising for longer periods, such as for
more than 60 minutes, or in the heat, or at extreme intensity levels,
where you are sweating profusely, that you may need something more
than water to replenish your body.
water, coconut water is one of the best and safest option to rehydrate
yourself after a strenuous workout. If you need the electrolytes,
it will provide them. If you don't need them, then it certainly
won't hurt you. And as you're learning, coconut water has a mountain
of other health benefits in addition to rehydration, which no commercial
sports drink in the world can provide. Depending on how much salt
you've lost through sweating, you might even add a tiny pinch of
Himalayan salt to your glass of coconut water.
study in 2007 found sodium-enriched coconut water to be as effective
as commercial sports drinks for whole body rehydration after exercise,
with less stomach upset.
is sterile when it comes out of the coconut, and extremely similar
in composition to human blood plasma. These unique properties make
it so completely compatible with the human body that it can
be infused intravenously into your bloodstream. Physicians have
actually used coconut water successfully as an IV fluid for more
than 60 years, especially in remote regions of the world where medical
supplies are limited and it has saved many lives. You can appreciate
how safe and beneficial this natural beverage is, if it can be used
Secret Fountain of Youth Revealed!
most important nutritional constituent in coconut water more
beneficial than the electrolytes vitamins and minerals and amino
acids is something you've likely never even heard of: cytokinins.
are phytohormones, or plant hormones. These hormones regulate the
growth, development, and aging of a plant. Coconut water has been
an important horticultural resource, used in the propagation of
several plants, including orchids and traditional Chinese medicinal
herbs. The cytokinins found in coconut water support cell division,
and thus promote rapid growth.
But what does
this have to do with humans?
have actually been found to exert an anti-aging
effect on human cells and tissues. When human cells are exposed
to cytokinins, aging slows down considerably. Cells treated with
cytokinins don't undergo the normal degenerative changes, so they
don't "act their age." Researchers have suggested that if you consume
a diet rich in cytokinins, you may experience anti-aging effects
and have less risk for degenerative and age-related diseases. And
coconut water is the richest natural dietary source of cytokinins.
have also been found to have anti-thrombolytic properties so may
lower your risk for blood clots. But coconut's heart benefits don't
stop there. They have also been shown to have
to Bruce Fife:
cell growth, cytokinins prevent the mistakes that may lead to the
development of cancer. Normal cells are kept healthy while cancerous
cells are programmed to die, preventing them from growing and spreading.
Subsequently, the anti-cancer effects of cytokinins have been well
Your Heart and Urinary Tract
of mineral ions, especially potassium, in coconut water have been
found to help
prevent heart attacks. And coconut water has been found to have
blood pressure benefits. In one
study, 71 percent of people who drank coconut water experienced
lower blood pressures.
have been found if you have problems with urinary stones. Dr. Eugenio
Macalalag, director of the urology department of the Chinese General
Hospital in the Philippines, reported that coconut
water was effective in treating his patient's kidney and urethral
stones. He reported that his patients who drank coconut water
two to three times a week experienced a significant reduction in
stone size and expulsion, eliminating their need for surgery.
Chemical and Environmental Considerations
The most common
variety of coconut being grown today for harvesting coconut water
is a high-water yield dwarf hybrid variety that CAN be heavily fertilized
and sprayed with pesticides.
This makes it very important for you to select organic
coconut water and organic fresh coconuts.
It is important
to make sure the coconuts and coconut products you purchase are
certified organic and sustainably raised. Regular coconut palms
grow to be 80 to 100 feet tall, and because workers have to climb
up and pick the coconuts, more manageable dwarf varieties have been
cultivated that average about nine feet tall. There are environmental
concerns as well, related to the intense market demand for coconuts
and their products.
to Josefine Staats, the founder of KULAU Coconut Water:
palms are often cultivated in industrial-style monocultures geared
towards efficiency. But plantation economies with the sole focus
of maximizing their yield often severely damage fragile ecosystems.
There are a few (who profit), but many others are left to deal with
the ecological consequences."
SO Much More
Than a Sports Drink
is one of Nature's perfect foods it is hard to say enough
good things about it. It's the perfect replacement for juice or
soda. Please remember to read the label, to make sure it's as pure
and unprocessed as possible. Of course, drinking it fresh from the
coconut, as opposed to bottled, is the ultimate choice.
I'd like to
close with a quote from Jean Yong (et al), who published a comprehensive
review of the potential impact on human health of this amazing
discovery of other medicinal values of coconut water signifies a
good potential in improving human health. Better insights and understanding
of the functions and properties of the individual components of
coconut water will, therefore, help us to better utilize this marvelous
and multidimensional liquid with special biological properties from
So next time
you're searching for a cool, refreshing after-workout beverage,
crack open a coconut and experience its rejuvenation for yourself!
2011 Dr. Joseph Mercola
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