Coconut water has become a popular health drink, but is it really a great healthy drink? Once the facts are revealed, you might be surprised by the answer.
Although it’s easy to forget, coconuts are… nuts. Nuts, as well as seeds and grains, contain a chemical called phytic acid (or phytate). This chemical interferes with gut absorption of important minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. It even prevents these nutrients from being absorbed from other foods when they’re consumed with coconut (or other nuts).
As nuts go, coconuts have less phytic acid, but there’s more than a tiny bit. You want to get all of the nutrients you can from your food, so it’s best not to go crazy with coconut and coconut products, except for coconut oil. Coconut oil doesn’t contain phytate, because phytic acid isn’t oil soluble.
With that said, it can negatively affect the immune system in 2 ways, one of which is specifically related to nutrition. Less zinc availability leaves the immune system very imbalanced and vulnerable.
Nuts, including coconuts, also contain imbalanced protein. The amino acid content of nuts is not best for humans (or even for your dog or cat). The disproportionate amino acids can cause problems for the immune system.
If you insist on drinking coconut water, or eating coconut frequently, you can decrease the effect of the nutrient-inhibiting, or anti-nutrient, chemical in coconuts, by consuming coconut products with high vitamin C foods. This won’t make it possible to completely avoid the nutrition interference, but it will help a lot.
As far as the amino acid imbalance, you can try to balance it out a bit by consuming the coconut water with a meat meal. Meat has more balanced protein, which can help to minimize or prevent the protein issues. However, meat is also the best source of zinc, so you’ll want to definitely make sure vitamin C is well represented in the meal or in your drink.
You deserve to be mo better!