Coconuts are native to Asia and the Pacific Islands. Coconut water (or coconut juice), is the clear liquid found in young green coconuts. Lately, it has been popping up everywhere! It is naturally fat free and sweet, and you can get it fresh or canned.
Coconut water is not to be confused with coconut milk, which is made from coconut meat and is higher in calories and fat. Coconut water contains water, sugar, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals. You can even blend smoothies with coconut water or drink it after a workout to rehydrate.
Per 1-cup serving, coconut water provides 46 calories and 9 grams of total carbohydrates (6 grams of which are sugar). There are 1.7 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of fat per serving. Did you know that coconut water also has fiber? One cup has 2.6 grams of fiber, or 10% of your Daily Value for fiber!
Coconut water contains more potassium per serving than a banana, delivering about 600 milligrams per 1-cup serving, versus 362 milligrams in a small (6") banana. Potassium is especially important for regulating the function of muscle cells in the heart. High potassium is called hyperkalemia and can cause irregular heartbeat, temporary paralysis, tingling of the hands and feet, and cardiac arrest. The Dietary Guideline for American adults is 4,700 milligrams, making a 1-cup serving of coconut water almost 13% Daily Value. If your doctor has advised you to limit potassium in your diet, you may want to limit or avoid coconut water. If you have chronic kidney disease, you should speak to your health care provider to determine how much potassium you should consume on a daily basis. This will depend on your weight, medications, kidney function, and your health history.
Coconut water also contains 252 milligrams of sodium per 1-cup serving or 11% Daily Value. It is advisable to limit coconut consumption if you have chronic kidney disease or are trying to limit sodium in your diet.
Other vitamins and minerals
Coconut water provides vitamins, making it a nutritious drink option. One serving of coconut water provides 5.8 milligrams of Vitamin C in addition to folate, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, and Vitamin B-6. Coconut water also provides minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.
Coconut water is a safe, healthy beverage for most people however, those with kidney disease should limit consumption of foods that are too high in potassium, including coconut water.
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