Coconut water provides various benefits for expectant mothers throughout pregnancy. The healthy drink contains several essential nutrients, dietary fiber and lauric acid, which helps protect your body from infection. Made from the fluid of a young green coconut, coconut water is naturally fat and cholesterol free. Coconut water can be purchased at health-food stores and most grocery stores. Talk to your obstetrician or midwife before trying coconut water if you suffer from nut allergies.
Coconut water is a solid source of a number of nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, folate and a number of B vitamins. Women who feel fatigued during pregnancy might benefit from the vitamin B-1 found in coconut water. Vitamin B-1 converts blood sugar into energy, which helps improve endurance and fatigue. Vitamin B-6 increases the serotonin levels in your brain, which helps regulate your moods, while folate, or vitamin B-9, contributes to your baby's growth and development. Your growing baby needs calcium to develop strong bones and a healthy heart.
Coconut water helps prevent dehydration by replenishing the body's electrolytes and salt. The electrolyte levels in coconut water are comparable to those in your body. The drink helps replace fluid and electrolyte levels in pregnant women who suffer from severe morning sickness. The low acidity level in coconut water helps relieves nausea and settle your stomach during early pregnancy. Drinking coconut water also promotes milk production, which requires hydration and a healthy supply of fluids. Although water is best as a hydrating drink, coconut water provides a healthy alternative when you crave something other than plain water.
The dietary fiber in coconut water might help resolve digestion issues women experience during pregnancy. Fiber creates bulk in the intestines, which helps relieve and prevent constipation. A fiber-rich diet also might decrease your risk of heart disease by reducing your cholesterol levels. Dehydration is a common cause of constipation during pregnancy. Drinking coconut water helps hydrate your body and relieve constipation. As a natural diuretic, coconut water increases urination, which helps prevent urinary tract infections that are common during pregnancy.
According to the Baby Center website, high levels of lauric acid found in coconut water help produce monolaurin, "a disease fighting fatty acid derivative." The antibacterial and antifungal properties of lauric acid protect your body against infection and strengthen your immune system. Drinking coconut water while breastfeeding also can improve the level of lauric acid in your breast milk, which helps protect your newborn against viral and bacterial infections.
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Fiber; February 2010rel="nofollow"
- American Dietetic Association: Is It What It's Cracked Up to Be?rel="nofollow"
- Baby Center; What are the Benefits of Drinking Coconut Water During Pregnancy?; May 2008rel="nofollow"
- March of Dimes; Vitamins and Minerals During Pregnancy; March 2009rel="nofollow"
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.