Why Coconut Water May Correct a Potassium Deficiency
The mineral potassium is in every cell of your body, and all cells, organs, and tissues require it for proper function. You may be one of many Americans afflicted by a potassium deficiency, but nature has an answer in the form of coconut water.
Imagine that your body is a scale. On one end you have the mineral sodium and on the opposite end, you have the mineral potassium. Ideally, you want these minerals to be at a healthy balance in your body, but the Standard American Diet typically tips the scale in favor of sodium. There is such a strong contrast between the two minerals that the right side of your body is potassium dominant, and the left side of your body is sodium dominant. Every person born is dominant in one of the two, but your body does have a natural balance. Many Americans may be deficient in potassium, but thankfully there are natural ways to align your internal scale back to a healthy balance.
Symptoms of potassium deficiency include:
- Muscle weakness, spasms, cramping, and tetany
- Muscle stiffness, aching, and tenderness
- Abdominal bloating, pain, and cramping
- Heart palpitations
- Frequent urination
- Extreme thirst
- Numbness and tingling
- Dizziness and fainting
The severe form of potassium deficiency, hypokalemia, may result in cardiac arrest if not treated. Muscles cannot contract properly without adequate potassium. Because the symptoms of potassium deficiency range in such a broad sense, many people may not be aware of their potassium deficiency or attribute their symptoms to other causes.
Coconut water is one of nature’s richest sources of potassium and as a food, our bodies will absorb it more easily than a supplement. Coconut water contains 600 milligrams of potassium. In Sanskrit, coconuts are called “Kalpa vriksha” which can be translated as: “tree which gives all that is necessary for living”.
Coconut water has been used during wartime and in third-world countries as a substitute for blood plasma. It has also saved the day in another emergency context: coconut water has been used for IV hydration because of its high electrolyte content.
Electrolytes are critical for healthy blood volume, heart health, and hydration. Coconut water contains five of the seven major electrolytes: Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, and Phosphate.
For active people, coconut water serves as a healthy alternative to Gatorade. It is high in electrolyte content and low in sugar. It also doesn’t contain artificial dyes.
Some other foods that are high in potassium include sweet potatoes, avocados, and bananas. Want a potassium food boost? Throw an avocado, coconut water, half a banana, and a handful of strawberries in a blender for a tasty and nutrient-rich shake.
What are some of the health benefits of potassium? I’m glad you asked.
Blood Pressure - Because potassium counteracts the effects of sodium it can help reduce high blood pressure.
Detoxification - Because potassium hydrates the body, it allows our kidneys to flush toxins from our system.
Prevent heart attacks - Because potassium relaxes smooth muscles, it can lower our risk of a heart attack.
Boost energy - Because coconut water gives us a boost of potassium, this, in turn, boosts our energy as fatigue is a symptom of potassium deficiency.
Weight loss - Because potassium assists our kidneys, we will not retain excess water which helps us to lose weight.
Regularity - Because potassium assists in muscle contraction, it helps to keep our bowels regular.
I like to get my Zico coconut water from Amazon by the case. I prefer mine chilled. It can always be added to smoothies too.
In conclusion, supplementing your diet with some food sources of potassium including coconut water would be a good idea especially if you eat the Standard American Diet which is high in sodium. Your body will thank you!
Here are some other great articles from EMaxHealth: The One-Ingredient Breakfast You Should Be Eating Every Day, These Vegan Foods End Arthritis Pain, and Get the Benefits of Turmeric with this Delicious Turmeric Latte Recipe.