Coconut water is a natural beverage collected from the inner part of the coconut fruit. It is one of the world’s most versatile natural products due to its many applications. This beverage is fresh, delicious and free from artificial sweeteners and preservatives.
Coconut water has been a staple in the health-conscious community for a long time. It has proven beneficial for one’s overall health and is an excellent beverage for diabetes.
According to health experts, coconut water aids in managing diabetes and has the potential to reduce blood sugar. However, there have been concerns about its use for people with diabetes, as some believe it raises blood sugar levels.
Let us understand how coconut water affects blood sugar levels.
Coconut Water and Its Effect on Blood Sugar Levels
Coconut water has low sugar content and contains a reasonable amount of potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin C and L-arginine.
The low sugar content of coconut water does not significantly affect blood sugar levels. Moreover, its high potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin C, and L-arginine can increase cells’ sensitivity to insulin. Therefore, it helps manage blood sugar and is suitable for people with diabetes.
Studies show that coconut water reduces oxidative stress, reducing severe heart complications. In addition, daily consumption of coconut water can lower blood triglycerides, cholesterol, and liver fat.
The Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of food define how much a food will raise blood sugar levels. Here, the glycemic index of coconut water is 54 (low GI: 1 to 55, medium GI: 56 to 69, high GI: 70 and higher), and the glycemic load is 3. It means that coconut water is a safe choice for people with diabetes. However, drinking too much coconut water can have some drawbacks.
Although it doesn’t contain much sugar, it does have natural sugar, and consuming too much of it can cause the blood sugar level to go up quickly. Also, people with gestational diabetes, rheumatism, and chronic kidney disease should avoid drinking coconut water.
The HealthifyMe Note
Coconut water offers several benefits for people with diabetes, but one should consume it in moderation. Moreover, one should not add sugar or use bottled coconut water with added sweeteners, as it will increase the possibility of complications for people with diabetes. In addition, patients with diabetes should limit their daily intake of matured coconut water to 250 ml.
Benefits of Coconut Water for Diabetes
Rich in Antioxidants
When there is an excessive amount of free radicals, your body enters an oxidative stress stage, which damages your cells and raises your disease risk.
However, controlled trials have shown that coconut water contains antioxidants that could control free radicals, so they no longer cause harm. Several in-vivo studies have shown that coconut water’s antioxidant properties reduce oxidative stress and hyperglycemia.
Improved Blood Circulation
Patients with diabetes may experience circulation problems that can lead to vision issues and muscle spasms. To avoid these problems, drink coconut water, which can help improve blood flow in the body.
Healthy Source of Essential Nutrients
Coconut water contains numerous vitamins and minerals that help replenish electrolytes in the body. These electrolytes include potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and amino acids. These essential nutrients help regulate the body’s glucose use and keep blood sugar in check.
Boosts Metabolic Health
Coconut water has a lot of bioactive substances that promote metabolism and digestion, resulting in a faster breakdown of fat. Additionally, metabolic flexibility allows your body to properly use different energy sources, including glucose, ensuring stable glucose levels.
Healthy Tips to Consume Coconut Water
- Squeeze some lime juice into the fresh coconut water.
- Coconut water, aloe vera juice, and chia seeds make a refreshing drink for people with diabetes.
- The best time to drink it is on an empty stomach in the morning.
- Coconut water is a natural sports drink. You can drink a glass of coconut water before or after an intense workout, as it is a powerhouse of natural electrolytes.
- Diabetic patients should stick to 250ml of plain matured coconut water daily.
Natural vs Packaged Coconut Water
Natural coconut water is healthy and tastes delicious. However, you should avoid coconut water that has been sweetened, flavoured, or packaged.
That is because the body’s glucose levels will increase due to the added sugar. Furthermore, packaged coconut water frequently includes 4-5 teaspoons of sugar, an unneeded addition to the coconut water’s natural sweetness. Therefore, natural and fresh coconut water is always the best because it is organic and preservative free.
Natural beverages like coconut water, which is high in electrolytes, are an excellent source of hydration and benefit the body with overall goodness.
In addition, coconut water is generally safe for people with diabetes because it contains minimal natural sugar and a low glycemic index. As a result, it will prevent blood sugar spikes and, therefore, not provoke diabetes complications.