|(Photo by Easa Shamih (eEko))|
Coconuts are amazing. Which other fruit has so much to offer: delicious meat, fatty milk, almost magical oil, and of course mineral rich water. Coconut water isn’t just a delicious drink. Like the coconut itself, it’s got much more to offer than the obvious.
What is Coconut Water?
Coconut water is the clear liquid inside young green coconuts. As a coconut matures, it loses water and becomes more meaty. You can still drink the water that you find in a mature coconut, but it’ll contain hardly any potassium, iron, and Vitamin C relative to the water from a young coconut. The taste of the coconut water will also vary depending on the age of the coconut.
Why Drink Coconut Water?
“It’s a natural isotonic beverage with the same level of
electrolytic balance as we have in our blood. It’s the fluid
of life, so to speak,” says Mr. Morton Satin, Chief of FAO’s
Agricultural Industries and Post Harvest Management
Coconut water is 95% water. But it also contains the electrolytes sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphate as well as small amounts of many essential amino acids. This makes it nature’s sports drink – an all natural electrolyte replacement. Compared to sports drinks, coconut water does a great job of rehydrating, and should be sufficient for the average active person. Competitive athletes may wish to increase the sodium content, as coconut water has less sodium than a typical sports drink. All those minerals and electrolytes also make coconut water a great hangover cure. In fact, coconut water contains the same 5 electrolytes found in human blood – it gets used intravenously when conventional hydration fluids are unavailable. Coconut water is also said to have a myriad of health benefits including: reducing risk of heart disease, improving digestive disorders, improving thyroid function, and helping with urinary infections and kidney stones.
Buying Coconut Water
Coconut water is also simply a delicious beverage. You can drink it directly from a green coconut, or buy it bottled from your grocery store. You can also add coconut water to your smoothies, or combine it with water in recipes to add flavour. The only real downfall, other than its cost, is that it does contain some sugar. So unless I need to replace electrolytes, I only consume it occasionally as a treat. I still can’t get over how delicious it tastes. I’ve tried a few different brands, and my favourite is Taste Nirvana (especially the one with the coconut “pulp” in it). Flavor-wise, it blows all the other stuff out of the water (pun intended), and it comes in glass bottles. I just wish it was organic. Other than buying an actual green coconut (the ones my Whole Foods sells aren’t organic), the best alternative nutrition-wise seems to be to buy the raw, unpasteurized stuff (for food safety, they use a heat-less high pressure process). The local Whole Foods sells some by Organic Lives – it’s in the freezer section (unfortunately bottled in plastic).
Do you drink coconut water? What’s your favourite?