It took me awhile to jump on the coconut water bandwagon, but it has become my latest food obsession. I am officially on board – and ordering them in bulk!
I don’t believe there is one food or superfood that is a “cure-all”, but that it takes a whole, healthy diet outlook to heal. But I’ve read quit a few articles lately from “dieticians” bashing coconut water that were just silly.
So let’s give coconut water a fair trial here today, ladies and gentlemen of the court.
What is Coconut Water?
Coconut water is the clear water in young thai coconuts. These are different from the brown, hairy looking ones that we usually see in supermarkets. Young thai coconuts are green and smooth on the outside, but this has been chopped off by the time you buy them so they will have a white fleshy outside, a pointed top and flat bottom (like in the pic above). It will be stored in the refrigeration section as it can spoil.
“Dew from the Heavens”
Coconut water contains a variety of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, growth factors, and other phytonutrients.
Since coconuts are grown near the sea, the roots have access to a continual supply of mineral rich salt water. These minerals are absorbed by the roots and find their way into the fruit of the coconut. For this reason, coconut water is a good source of the major minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
It also contains a variety of trace elements such as zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur, manganese, boron, molybdenum, and others. All derived from volcanic soils and seawater from which the coconut palms are grown. All of these minerals are in the form of electrolytes so they are easily absorbable by the human body. Many of the health benefits attributed to coconut water can be traced to its mineral content.
Coconut Water is…
- particularly rich in potassium, an essential nutrient; one 8-ounce cup of coconut water has more potassium than a banana.
- the richest natural dietary source of cytokinins, which have an anti-aging effect on human cells and tissues
- known for its therapeutic effect on the urinary and reproductive systems. It is reported to clear-up bladder infections, remove kidney stones, and improve sexual vitality
- known as a heart tonic and is used to strengthen the heart and improve circulation in Jamaica
- is very similar to blood plasma and has been used intravenously in emergency situations for more than 60 years
- has been used extensively as a treatment for cholera, dysentery, influenza, and other infectious diseases that promote dehydration
- effective for dehydration and heat stroke, as well as after vomiting to restore fluids
- some claim it is effective in cleansing intestinal parasites
Fresh is best
I have tried coconut water from a can and a carton before, and it didn’t do anything for me – I didn’t like the taste and found no benefits. After a while I got up the courage to try fresh coconut water, and it tasted amazing. Like, the best thing I’ve ever drunk. And I felt so good after it. That to me is enough proof that fresh coconut water, straight from the coconut is the only way to go – if not just for the taste alone.
With beverage giants PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Co both in the coconut water market now, I wouldn’t trust any coconut water in a can or carton. They must add preservatives to keep the shelf life (instead of fresh coconuts which are refrigerated), who knows what enzymes + nutrients are left alive by the time it gets to you, and they may also be adding other artificial ingredients and added sugar – and they don’t even have to put that on the label.
My favourite thing coconut water is good for: Headaches
One day, I got a headache. We had some coconuts in the fridge, since they are my new favourite thing. I instinctively grabbed a coconut out, drank it away (boy, they go down easy when you’re thirsty or not feeling to good. Or anytime). A little bit later I realised how much better my headache was, I barely felt it anymore! Anytime I feel a headache coming, especially one that is cause by dehydration or too much salty food, I crack open a coconut and feel relief within 15 – 20 minutes.
Instead of alcohol, soda, coffee – Have a Coconut
When we go to social gatherings, I sometimes feel out of place drinking nothing while everyone else is sipping away at beer and wine. Which is every time we go out, because let’s face it, here in Australia we have a culture of drinking. So these days, I take a coconut and sip away on that!
Natures Sports Drink
Dr Bruce Fife says compared to gatorade, coconut water contains more essential electrolytes, less sugar, and does not have any of the chemical additives found in commercial sports drinks.
How to Open a Coconut
I use this little coconut opener tool. It drills a hole into the top of the coconut, and then you just insert a glass or stainless steal straw. Easy!
Scoop Out That Coconut Meat
And let’s not forget the jelly-like meat inside the coconut! Grab a butchers knife, and make three or four cuts at the top of the coconut for a triangle or square opening. Use a spoon to scoop out the “meat”. You can then use it in smoothies, or create a yummy dessert with it!
The Verdict: Decide for yourself!
Give it a go, and see how you feel when you drink it. That’s the only verdict that counts!
And remember, fresh is better – skip the cans and bottles and go for the real thing.