Coconut water not only tastes great, it’s also a good natural remedy for high blood pressure. Drinking coconut water can lower blood pressure in people with prehypertension, as well as those with diagnosed high blood pressure. Coconut water can also boost the effectiveness of antihypertensive treatments.
Coconut water lowers blood pressure
Coconut water is a clear liquid obtained from immature green coconuts. It’s not the same as coconut milk, which is squeezed from the white ‘meat’ of a mature coconut.
Coconut water is a rich source of potassium (312mg/100g) which is present at concentrations that are three times higher than that of sodium (105mg/100g). Potassium helps to lower blood pressure by flushing excess sodium salt from the body via the kidneys. Kidney cells swap potassium for sodium so efficiently that, for every two potassium ions they absorb, they lose three sodium ions.
As excess sodium is flushed into the urine, it carries water with it through the process of osmosis. This reduces fluid retention and helps to lower a high blood pressure in a similar way to some diuretic drugs.
Coconut water also provides useful amounts of calcium and magnesium which have blood pressure lowering effects, plus l-arginine (133mg to 300 mg/L) an amino acid which forms nitric oxide in blood vessel walls. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to dilate so that blood pressure falls.
How effective is coconut water for high blood pressure?
Only one small study has investigated the benefits of drinking coconut water in 28 people with hypertension, in Trinidad and Tobago. Of these, 60% were taking hypertensive medication.
The results showed that drinking 300ml coconut water twice a day, for two weeks, lowered a high blood pressure more than in a similar group of people who drank plain bottled water or a diluted fruit juice (known as mauby).
In those drinking coconut water, a reduction in systolic blood pressure was recorded in 71%, with an average fall of 4mmHg. The largest systolic reduction seen was 17 mmHg.
In 29% of cases, diastolic blood pressure also fell (by 7mmHg and 9mmHg) but overall there was no significant change.
In those drinking the combination of coconut water plus the fruit juice, systolic blood pressure fell by an average of 43%, and diastolic pressure by 57%.
While this is just one small study, it does show that drinking coconut water is more beneficial than drinking plain water.
So, if you are cutting back on alcohol or drinks containing caffeine, both of which can cause blood pressure to rise, or if you are simply looking for a more refreshing drink than plain water, switching to coconut water is an excellent and tasty choice.