While doctors may be quick to write a prescription for blood pressure medication if your numbers are a little high, research shows coconut water is a highly effective natural remedy for lowering blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
A study published in the West Indian Medical Journal looked at whether coconut water and mauby (a tropical drink made from buckthorn tree bark) were effective in treating high blood pressure. Researchers tested the blood pressure of twenty-eight individuals for two weeks without treatment, and then again for two weeks during treatment.
Participants were divided into four groups: one control group received only bottled drinking water; one group received coconut water; one received mauby; and the last was given a combination of coconut water and mauby. Each participant drank about 10 ounces of their assigned formula twice daily.
Although it's easy to tell the difference between drinking water and coconut water or mauby, none of the participants knew exactly what they were drinking or that it could have an effect on their blood pressure.
The findings revealed interesting results. In the coconut water group, 71 percent of participants showed a marked decrease in systolic blood pressure and 29 percent showed a significant decrease in diastolic pressure. The group drinking mauby or the combination of coconut water and mauby also showed significant improvement.
The group drinking ordinary water actually showed an increase in systolic pressure in 57 percent of the participants, with no significant change in diastolic pressure.
Coconut Water: Nutrition and Hydration
These results may be explained by coconut water's unique nutritional content. Coconut water is rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. All of these nutrients are linked to health benefits, including lowering high blood pressure. They also make coconut water an excellent way to hydrate your body without depleting vital minerals. Many health-conscious athletes choose coconut water over commercial sports drinks to replenish water, minerals and glycogen lost during heavy exercise.
The best coconut water is found in fresh young coconuts, which are green in color. This coconut water is fresh and raw, retaining its natural benefits in the purest form. Young coconuts can often be found in health food stores and international markets, but of course are most readily available in tropical regions. Commercial packaged coconut water is available as well, but these products are processed and pasteurized, and should be considered inferior to fresh coconut water.