Friday’s food: Coconut water

Yikes! It sure is hot out there!

Sweating and going about your daily life these days means you are losing a lot more than just water. You are losing electrolytes and minerals as well. Before you reach for that bottle of “sports drink” (read an ade that sounds a lot like alligator), take a look at coconut water. This natural alternative has no added sugars and boasts an impressive nutritional profile.

People who’ve lived in the tropical areas of the world are very familiar with coconut’s many uses. From leaf to root they make economical use of every part – everything has a purpose. I’ll catch you up on the benefits of coconut oil in a future post. Right now we’ll focus on the water.

Before we proceed, let’s get a few things straight. The coconut is the fruit and when you break it open, liquid will come out. This is called coconut water. The flesh can be scraped from the shell and grated. This grated pulp then has water poured over it, it is squeezed, and the resulting liquid is coconut milk. This is a very labor-intensive process. So much so, that as a child when I saw my mom doing this, I decided to give up ever making rice and peas (A Jamaican dish of tiny red beans cooked in coconut milk and water) as an adult. When I saw my first can of coconut milk I was overjoyed! Do not mistake the canned sweetened stuff intended for alcoholic drink mixes as the same thing. Disaster will ensue.

You can also get coconut water from immature green coconuts – the common source for the commercial coconut water you usually find at the grocery or health food store.

My favorite is O.N.E. brand. I like it plain but you might like it with mango, pineapple, or any of the other great flavors. OK, so it tastes pretty good…but how good is it for you?

Coconut Water Benefits Overview

At every stage of our lives, there are times when we become dehydrated, due to illness, medication, exercise, heat, pregnancy, aging and alcohol — causing us to lose the essential electrolytes found in our bloodstream. We need to replace them regularly to prevent headaches; muscle cramping; fatigue; and to help our heart, nerves and muscles to function optimally. O.N.E. Coconut Water contains all five electrolytes found in the blood, including calcium, sodium, phosphorous, magnesium and potassium.

O.N.E. Coconut Water is refreshing and delicious, and is a nutritional powerhouse, too. It’s a good beverage to consume at every stage of human growth and development. That’s why Health magazine named O.N.E Coconut Water “America’s Healthiest Beverage” for 2008.

Oh.

But don’t limit yourself to downing it as a sports drink alternative. Click here for some great tips on using coconut water in the kitchen.  Also, it makes a traditional Jamaican drink: rum and coconut water.

Coconut water: Myth or miracle – Huffington Post

History of coconut water

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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