Coconut Water during Periods

Coconut WaterThe menstrual period or just a period is a regular discharge of blood and mucosal tissues from the uterine lining through cervix and vagina. It usually happens every month.

Periods happen after each menstrual cycle in which pregnancy doesn’t occur or when an egg hasn’t been fertilised and attached to the walls of the uterus.

Then the thickened uterine lining that grew to support a possible pregnancy is released. A period usually lasts around 4 – 8 days.

The menstrual cycle is an essential physiological rhythm governed by interacting levels of progesterone, estradiol, follicular stimulating, and luteinizing hormones [1].

On average, the researchers estimated that women have 450 ovulations during a lifetime. Their estimates assume that from menarche to menopause, 96 % of menstrual cycles were ovulatory [2].

Periods – more often than we think – bring a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. According to the studies, up to 80 % of women experience some symptoms before menstruation, including acne, tender breasts, bloating, tiredness, migraine, and mood swing.

And nearly three-quarters of women suffer from period pain or menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) or abnormal bleeding [3].

There are many ways to help with periods problems. Their treatment will depend on their severity, frequency or nature. If the symptoms are mild, most women prefer natural remedies to prescription medications as herbs cause fewer side effects.

Such remedies are more accessible as eating some plants you can provide all necessary phytoestrogens, that are similar to estrogens, a group of sex hormones promoting development and maintenance of female characteristics in the human body.

Of course, it is essential to speak with a doctor if your symptoms are causing serious concern.

Coconut is a well-known phytoestrogenic plant. The findings show that it is rich in phytoestrogens (42 μg/100 g wet weight) in comparison with other fruits and vegetables [4].

Coconut water or coconut juice, the clear liquid inside immature green coconuts, is highly valued due to its nutritional and therapeutic properties.

According to 2014 research published in Journal of Current Trends in Clinical Medicine & Laboratory Biochemistry coconut water contains a complex blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, antioxidants, enzymes, health-enhancing growth hormones, and other important nutrients [5].

On the basis of its composition, coconut water is an essential product to be taken during menstruation. The brochure on facts about the value of coconut water during periods was shared among girls in the countries where coconut is a natural plant, under the auspices of UNICEF and educational services [6].

Today’s preservation technologies protect the fresh flavor and nutrient content of coconut water, making this healthy drink available to consumers throughout the world [5].

These facts raise urgent questions concerning the usage of coconut water during periods. Let’s answer them and help women get benefits from this natural remedy as solving monthly problems is necessary to live fully and not feel any discomfort.

Does coconut stop menstruation?

Coconut water does not stop menstruation. Its phytoestrogens help to regulate the menstrual cycle. According to the studies, the consuming of phytoestrogenic plants does not change the overall cycle length [7].

But coconut water has other valuable properties affecting heavy menstruation. Vitamin C and iron do help reduce bleeding during the periods.

Thus, Vitamin C can help ease heavy menstrual bleeding in some women, mainly when it is caused by fragile blood vessels. Vitamin C is beneficial in strengthening these delicate blood vessels, and it makes them less susceptible to damage.

Besides, Vitamin C helps the female body absorb iron keeping it in a biologically available form and protecting it from oxidation in the gastrointestinal tract. In this way, Vitamin C prevents iron-deficiency.

Also, according to the data of the National Amenia Action Council, heavy menstrual bleeding is a common cause of iron-deficiency anemia.

Thus, consuming coconut water which contains iron, helps with this problem [8].

Does coconut water delay periods?

Coconut water does not delay periods. It is known that the usage of a progesterone-estrogen combo pill can delay the periods if you skip taking the pill.

But you should realise that coconut water phytoestrogens are not in a sufficient amount to postpone the beginning of menstruations.

Besides, the product contains zinc that is involved in hormonal balancing and help stimulate ovaries making your periods regular. Also, zinc is effective in easing severe menstrual cramps to allow many women to continue their daily routine.

Besides, the mineral possesses anti-inflammatory properties as well as it helps fight menopausal symptoms, including mood swings and lack of concentration [8].

Is coconut bad for menstruation?

Coconut water is not bad for menstruation. It contains a number of minerals that are essential to ease unpleasant menstrual symptoms, including magnesium and potassium.

Potassium is one of the essential minerals in the human body. It helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals. Potassium is also a significant mineral for females.

Low potassium levels may lead to menstrual cramps in some women. Also, it is prescribed to relieve bloating, breast tenderness and food craving that is associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Potassium-rich diet is recommended to women experiencing bouts of diarrhea during menstrual periods. In addition, it is helpful against fatigue and mood craving.

Potassium obtained from supplements may increase the risk of arrhythmia and heart disease. It is recommended to avoid potassium if you take diuretic medications for PMS.

Consuming coconut water has a significant benefit in comparison with supplements as you cannot exceed the necessary dosage of the mineral much. It means you are less likely to experience side effects as like stomach irritation or nausea [8], [9].

Magnesium is one more essential nutrient in the compositions of coconut water. It is difficult to exaggerate medicinal properties of the mineral as magnesium supports hundreds of chemical reactions in the body. Sometimes it is called a miracle mineral for menstruation.

The studies found that magnesium improves PMS symptoms, including abdominal cramps, tiredness and irritability [10].

Also, the mineral plays a vital role in brains and mood. It helps fight depression and some mental illnesses [11].

Additionally, magnesium may prevent migraines. Some studies suggest that the mineral may help even treat migraines, and it provides relief from an acute migraine attack [12].

To conclude, the benefits of coconut water during periods are apparent. But one crucial point to remember is that coconut water is not a common fruit juice.

Due to its well-balanced content and isotonic mineral composition, it is considered potential rehydration and drink with many medicinal properties [13].

But as other herbal remedies, you should not overconsume this product, especially if you are sensitive or take some drugs interacting with coconut water compounds.

References

  1. Draper CF, Duisters K, Weger B, et al. Menstrual cycle rhythmicity: metabolic patterns in healthy women. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):1-15. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-32647-0
  2. Strassmann BI. The Biology of Menstruation in Homo Sapiens: Total Lifetime Menses, Fecundity, and Nonsynchrony in a Natural-Fertility Population. Curr Anthropol. 1997;38(1):123-129.
  3. Whitaker L, Critchley HOD. Abnormal uterine bleeding. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2016;34:54-65. doi:10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2015.11.012
  4. Kuhnle GGC, Dell’Aquila C, Aspinall SM, et al. Phytoestrogen content of fruits and vegetables commonly consumed in the UK based on LC–MS and 13C-labelled standards. Food Chem. 2009;116(2):542-554. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.03.002
  5. Prabhakar Reddy E, Mohana Lakshmi T. Coconut Water -Properties, Uses, Nutritional Benefits in Health and Wealth and in Health and Disease: A Review. J Curr Trends Clin Med Lab Biochem. 2014;4(2):6-18.
  6. Trifold MHM .pdf. http://menstrualhygienegh.org/assets/resources/Trifold%20MHM%20.pdf. Accessed August 8, 2019.
  7. Burton JL, Wells M. The effect of phytoestrogens on the female genital tract. J Clin Pathol. 2002;55(6):401-407.
  8. Mayo JL. A Healthy Menstrual Cycle. Clin Nutr INSIGHTS. 5(9):1997.
  9. Bell B, Christie MJ, Venables PH. Menstrual cycle variation in body fluid potassium. J Interdiscip Cycle Res. 1975;6(2):113-120. doi:10.1080/09291017509359473
  10. Facchinetti F, Borella P, Sances G, Fioroni L, Nappi RE, Genazzani AR. Oral magnesium successfully relieves premenstrual mood changes. Obstet Gynecol. 1991;78(2):177-181.
  11. Serefko A, Szopa A, Wlaź P, et al. Magnesium in depression. Pharmacol Rep PR. 2013;65(3):547-554.
  12. Köseoglu E, Talaslioglu A, Gönül AS, Kula M. The effects of magnesium prophylaxis in migraine without aura. Magnes Res. 2008;21(2):101-108.
  13. Prades A, Dornier M, Diop N, Pain J-P. Coconut water uses, composition and properties: a review. Fruits. 2012;67(2):87-107. doi:10.1051/fruits/2012002
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