By Oluwakemi Oladipo
It has been revealed that moderate consumption of coconut water can lower the risk of high blood pressure, reduce cholesterol level and weight control.
Dr Ochuko Erikainure, a nutritionist and biochemist, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday.
He said coconut water was rich in high electrolyte contents particularly, potassium which reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
“Studies have shown that coconut water has been used as a refreshing natural beverage.
“It is because coconut water is naturally enriched with antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, B vitamins, vitamin C and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and zinc.
“Coconut water can also be used for re-hydrating agent because it is much better than commercial sport drinks.
“Vitamin C in coconut water also plays an influential role which helps to reduce cholesterol level and weight control.
“Vitamin C, selenium, maganese and zinc make coconut water a potent antioxidant, thus protecting the cells against oxidative stress.
“Cytokines in coconut water protects against aging effects in cells and tissues which help to reduce the risk of developing degenerative and age-related diseases,” he said.
According to Wikipaedia, Cytokines are a broad and loose category of small proteins (~5–20 kDa) that are important in cell signaling. Their release has an effect on the behavior of cells around them.
Erikainure, however, cautioned that over consumption of coconut water could cause hyperkalemia.
“Hyperkalemia is an overabundance of potassium in the blood which can induce acute kidney failure, heart arrhythmia and coma.
“It is advised to consume moderately because excess consumption has also been shown to have laxative effect in the body,’’ he said.