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Risks and Benefits of Coconut Water for High Blood Pressure

06/10/2010

Question:

I have high blood pressure. I have tried unripe green coconut water several times, and it has increased my pressure every time. But, I read an online article that said unripe green coconut water is good for High Blood Pressure. I have found the following information about salt (sodium) levels in green coconut water online: Sodium – 252 gm per 240 gm of coconut water and at another site--100ml of coconut juice contains -Sodium, 105 mg. Is this too much salt? Do you know exactly what percentage of salt there is in unripe green coconut water? Can you please explain to me if it is good or bad for high pressure?

Answer:

Coconut water contains 252 mg of sodium in one cup (240 grams).
That amount is about 11% of the Daily Value of one's sodium intake. The same amount has minerals that help protect from high blood pressure - 600 mg of potassium (17% Daily Value), 60 mg magnesium (15% Daily Value), and almost 60 mg of calcium (6% Daily Value).

One to two cups of coconut water may easily fit into a healthy diet of someone with high blood pressure, depending on the other foods that are consumed. I would encourage you to keep monitoring your blood pressure directly before and after you drink the product. Stop consuming the product if you see the trend towards higher blood pressure continue.

There is only one published research study that assess the effect of coconut water on blood pressure. It was a small study with 28 people that was published in 2005 in the West Indian Medical Journal. The group that received coconut water to drink every day saw a significant decline in their systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to those who received bottled drinking water. Although encouraging, this is hardly enough support to recommend coconut water for people with high blood pressure.

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Response by:

Julie  Kennel, PhD, RD, CSSD, LD Julie Kennel, PhD, RD, CSSD, LD
Director of Human Nutrition Dietetic Internship
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University