Coconut Water in Diabetes- Is It Good for Diabetes?

Is coconut water in diabetes suitable to drink? Coconut water is a sweet thin liquid extracted from young green coconuts. 

This extract is an elixir that you can drink anytime and anywhere. Coconut water is fresh, clean, and does not contain artificial sweeteners or preservatives.

Two essential salts, potassium and sodium, are present in coconut water. It is also rich in iron, zinc, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, copper, and essential amino acids.

Diet for diabetes can be complicated because there are many things to do and not to do. 

In this post, we will try to know that is coconut water good for diabetes and how much to consume to manage diabetes and maintain a stable blood sugar level.

What Nutrients are Present in Coconut Water?

Several healthy nutrients are present in coconut water. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one cup (240 gram) of coconut water contains: 

  • 228 g water  
  • 6.26 g total sugars                                 
  • 45.6 kcal energy
  • 8.9 g carbohydrate                                                   
  • 1.73 g protein                                           
  • 0.48 g total fat                                                
  • 2.64 g total dietary fiber                                  
  • 57.6 g calcium                                    
  • 0.69 g iron                                             
  • 60 mg magnesium                                             
  • 48 mg phosphorus                                       
  • 600 mg potassium                                             
  • 252 mg sodium                                         
  • 0.24 mg zinc                                      
  • 0.096 mg copper                                        
  • 0.341 mg manganese                                                        
  • 5.76 mg vitamin C                                             
  • 0.072 mg thiamin                                              
  • 0.137 mg riboflavin                                                       
  • 0.077 mg vitamin B-6                                          
  • 7.2 µg folate
  • 2.4 µg selenium                                        
  • 0 µg folic acid       

Is Coconut Water Good for Diabetes?

Coconut water can lower blood sugar and retinal damage caused by diabetes and acts as medicine or a nutrient in treating diabetes and its complications. [1]

Not much research on the effects of coconut water on diabetes is available there. 

However, several animal studies show that consumption of coconut water can improve glycemic levels. In a study, diabetes-inducing drug alloxan was injected into rates and given mature coconut water for forty-five (45) days. [2]

Blood glucose, hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c), and oxidative stress were significantly improved in coconut-treated rates compared to controls. [3]

The researchers link these findings to high levels of potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin C and L-arginine in coconut water, all of which help improve insulin sensitivity. [4]

So, coconut water in diabetes can help a patient. 

However, most of these studies used matured coconut water, which is much fatter than young coconut water. Therefore, it is not known whether ordinary coconut water can have the same effect. 

Although unsweetened coconut water is a natural sugar source, it is a better choice than other sweetened beverages and has little effect on blood sugar levels. 

Also Read: Benefits of Molasses and Apple Cider Vinegar

Is Coconut Water Good for Diabetics to Drink?

How can coconut water in diabetes help a diabetic patient? Coconut water can help in diabetes in the following way.

It Possesses Essential Nutrients

Various vitamins and minerals are present in coconut water that help restore the body with electrolytes. A wealthy quantity of magnesium, potassium, sodium, calcium, and iron are present in coconut water. These nutrients aid keep your blood sugar in balance. It is also high in fiber. 

Magnesium, potassium, calcium, and zinc are considered essential for glucose metabolism homeostasis. [5] 

Has Low Glycemic Index 

Tender coconut water has a low glycemic index. It contains very low natural sugar, so it does not increase glucose levels. 

Many studies have confirmed the health benefits of choosing foods with a low glycemic index. These benefits are beneficial in the dietary treatment of diabetes mellitus. [6]

A low glycemic index diet increases the prevention of coronary heart disease in healthy and diabetic individuals. [7]

Thus coconut water in diabetes can help maintain a healthy glycemic index. 

Boost up Metabolism

Coconut water is excellent for speeding up metabolism. Best of all, its carbohydrate composition is relatively low and provides a feeling of fullness, which helps control hunger and improves digestion.

Coconut water is low in calories and light in the stomach. It is rich in bioactive enzymes, known to improve digestion and speed up metabolism. The body quickly breaks down fat due to faster metabolism. 

A study on rats showed that administration of coconut water inhibited the increase in total cholesterol (very-low-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein), cholesterol and triglycerides but increased high-density lipoprotein. [8]

Tissue fat levels such as liver, heart, kidney, and aorta levels were significantly reduced in coconut water treated rates. [9]

Improves Blood Circulation 

People with diabetes have circulatory problems that lead to vision problems, muscle cramps, and kidney failure. Coconut water improves blood circulation, restores blood circulation in the body, and prevents issues problems due to poor circulation.

People who eat much dietary fiber seem to have a much lower risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and some digestive tract diseases. [10]

A high intake of the fiber reduces blood pressure and serum cholesterol. Soluble fiber high intake improves blood sugar and insulin sensitivity in non-diabetics and diabetics. [11]

Help Weight Loss

BMI (Body mass index) is linked with diabetes and insulin resistance. Weight gain and body weight are critical factors in the developing and proliferation of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. [12]

Obesity can cause blood sugar problems. In addition, people with diabetes often experience unusual weight gain. Coconut water contains low calories and is rich in bio-enzymes that aid digestion. 

Everyday consumption of coconut water will help reduce the number of calories you eat.

Five to seven (5-7) percent weight loss and regular exercise can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. [13]

A Rich Fiber Source

Coconut water is rich in dietary fiber that helps control sugar levels, lowers blood cholesterol in the body, and improves the health of people with diabetes. Consuming a fiber-rich diet can help you manage your diabetes.

High intake of dietary fiber, especially soluble more than recommended by the American Debates Association (ADA), enhance glycemic control, reduces high insulin levels, and reduces blood lipids in type 2 diabetic patients. [14]

It also helps maintain a healthy gut. Fiber is also beneficial in maintaining a healthy weight.  

How much coconut water should you drink a day?

Coconut water is low in sugar, so water from coconut is a good option if you want to drink a refreshing beverage that does not negatively affect your blood sugar level. However, take it within the limit of 1 to 2 cups (240–480 ml) every day.   

Conclusion

Coconut water is natural and delicious. Tender coconut water is excellent in minerals, vitamins, and fibers but has low sugar content. However, don’t go for sweetened coconut water because it can increase calorie intake and blood sugar levels.

Animal studies have shown that intake of mature coconut water in diabetes can lower blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C levels.

So if you are looking for a refreshing drink that will not hurt your blood sugar, coconut water is recommended.

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