8 Science-Based Health Benefits of Coconut Water

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2. May Have Antioxidant Properties

Free radicals are unstable molecules produced in your cells during metabolism. Their production increases in response to stress or injury.

When there are too many free radicals, your body enters a state of oxidative stress, which can damage your cells and increase disease risk (3).

Research on animals exposed to toxins has shown that coconut water contains antioxidants which modify free radicals so they no longer cause harm (4, 5, 6, 7).

One study found that rats with liver damage showed significant improvement in oxidative stress when treated with coconut water compared to rats that received no treatment (6).

In another study, rats on a high-fructose diet were treated with coconut water. Free radical activity decreased, as did blood pressure, triglycerides and insulin levels (7).

So far, no studies have investigated this antioxidant activity in humans.

SUMMARY
Coconut water contains antioxidants that protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.

3. May Have Benefits Against Diabetes

Research has shown that coconut water can lower blood sugar levels and improve other health markers in diabetic animals (8, 9, 10).

In one study, diabetic rats treated with coconut water maintained better blood sugar levels than the control group (9).

The same study also found that the rats given coconut water had lower levels of hemoglobin A1c, indicating good long-term blood sugar control (9).

Another study noticed that providing coconut water to rats with diabetes led to improvements in blood sugar levels and reductions in markers of oxidative stress (10).

However, controlled studies are needed to confirm these effects in humans.

Nevertheless, with its 3 grams of fiber and a digestible carb content of only 6 grams per cup (240 ml), coconut water can easily fit into a meal plan for people with diabetes.

It’s also a good source of magnesium, which may increase insulin sensitivity and decrease reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes (11, 12).

SUMMARY
Studies on diabetic animals suggest that coconut water may improve blood sugar control. It’s also a good source of magnesium, which may increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.

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