I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about the coconut water craze…and if you haven’t – I’m very glad you’ve joined the conversation! To be honest, I took note of the hype, but didn’t really stop to consider what it all was about. So I did some research – and that is what I’m about to share with you:
Let’s start at the very beginning…
What is coconut water?
Coconut water is a clear liquid that is extracted from the centre of an immature coconut. One that is still green and hasn’t turned brown yet ~ around 5-7 months old. Eventually, the coconut water turns into white coconut meat once it has ripened.
What does it taste like?
I myself had never tasted unsweetened coconut water, so I gave it a try:
A nutty, naturally sweet flavour – but not too sweet. I must mention that it reminded me of chocolate Romany Creams (I didn’t even know Romany Creams were coconut biscuits!).
What’s so fantastic about coconut water?
I did some research about the properties of this “magical water from the gods”, and came across some valid claims. However, I also came across a few that require a bit more research before being set in stone.
Before I continue, take note:
|NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION in 250ml|
What is Coconut Water Used For?
- Used as a sports drink: Okay so this was one of the more research-backed claims. Basically, coconut water contains high levels of electrolytes such as sodium, magnesium, calcium, and more specifically potassium (way more than bananas). Additionally, coconut water is said to be isotonic (same osmotic pressure) to blood – therefore, resulting in fast rehydration after strenuous exercise. It is also commonly used as a sports drink replacement because it contains hydrates just as well as your go-to sports drink – but is much healthier as it contains only natural sugars.
During strenuous exercise: Add a bit of sea salt to coconut water for added sodium. This will replenish electrolytes lost through perspiration.
During recovery: Add protein powder for a replenishing protein shake.
- Weight-Loss Aid: This is a simple one. Coconut can help you lose weight because it is naturally low in calories, contains no fat, and promotes a feeling of fullness. So replace sugary drinks like sodas (Coca Cola I’m looking at you!) with coconut water for a delicious low calorie beverage. The richness of its flavour will also leave you feeling satisfied! Try adding fresh fruits and some ice to it for added flavour (also keep reading for some coconut water recipes!).
- Hangover Buster: This is ground breaking! But it also makes sense…coconut water is a great source of electrolytes – making it a healthy hangover cure. This is because a hangover is the result of dehydration and a low level of glucose (your brain is starved of glucose). Coconut water contains both of these: electrolytes in the form of sodim, potassium, magnesium and calcium – as well as natural sugars to give you a boost. So instead of reaching for your good ol’ Powerade, reach for the coconut water that will sort you out in a jiffy!
- Aids Digestion: Coconut water is relatively dense in dietary fibre, making it a great way to treat some uncomfortable symptoms you may be having. It has been repoted that drinking around 1 ½ cups of coconut water softens stools – aiding the treatment of occaisional or even chronic constipation. Furthermore, coconut water has also been seen so relieve the symptoms of acid reflux and indigestion. It’s definitely worth a try!
Other Health Claims:
- Lowers Cholesterol: A non-human study found that coconut water lowered LDL cholesterol and total triglyceride levels. This was speculated to be related to the potassium, calcium, and magnesium content in the water.
- Prevents Kidney Stones: Another non-human study was done where coconut water prevented kidney stones from getting stuck in the urinary tract, prevented them from attaching to the kidneys, and also reduced crystal formation in the urine. According to the Mayo Clinic, kidney stones are small, hard mineral deposits made of calcium, oxalate and other compounds that form inside your kidneys.
- Fights Cancer: This relates to the cytokinin content in the coconut water. These are natural plant hormones that are believed to reduce the growth of cancer cells.
As from the above – I’m sure you realize the health benefits of coconut water are quite fantastic. There are countless easy and delicious ways to incorporate a little coconut water into your diet, from smoothies and juices to alcohol beverages. Surf the web and you’re sure to find something fun and tasty to suit your taste 🙂 Good luck!