Did you know a coconut isn't a nut at all, but is a drupe? I know, that's what I said. What's a drupe? A drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell. Aside from coconuts, some of my favorite drupes are coffee beans, mangos, olives and pistachios. If this is news to you, you probably don't know how healthy and wonderful a coconut, its water in particular, can be.
Coconut water is a popular drink, common in tropical regions. Its amazing taste and health benefits are extraordinary; I'm pretty sure it's just a matter of time before coconut water becomes the latest fad in the US too - you heard it hear first.
Coconut water has many benefits, it's naturally:
- Low in carbs
- Low in calories
- 99% fat free
- Contains no cholesterol
Big Benefits, Small Container
Hydration - Coconut water is an isotonic drink, which means it naturally contains the electrolytes your body needs to hydrate itself. This is why it is often referred to as "nature's sports drink." After a vigorous workout, there is nothing better than drinking some coconut water. Remember to start drinking water or coconut water before you feel thirsty. While you're exercising, your body loses water through sweat (to cool you). Once you've finished, it's important to hydrate yourself. To stay hydrated, I've tried many different sports drinks; now I drink coconut water. It's by far my favorite because it tastes and makes me feel great.
Calcium - Coconut water is a great way to get more calcium, this is especially important for women. An 8 oz serving of coconut water contains more than 14 mg of calcium. (An 8 ounce service of milk contains 300 mg of calcium)
Where The Sun Shines
Coconut water comes from young coconuts; typically grown in tropical Asia and Trinidad and Tobago - where the weather is oh so nice. As a coconut matures, most of the liquid (the coconut water) is absorbed into its flesh. Therefore, coconuts must be harvested while they are young and green. Have you even seen a cartoon or movie where someone is stuck on a desert island, then they crack open a coconut and drink its water? Well, they're dirking coconut water from young coconuts.
Crazy Coconut Facts
If the health benefits weren't enough, these facts will make you fall for coconuts:
Sterile - The water inside a coconut travels through many fibers before it's stored inside. It takes almost 9 months for a coconut to filter each liter of water. This means that coconut water is sterile and safe to drink straight from the drupe!
Universal Donor - Did you know in World War II and The Vietnam War coconut water was used intravenously to prolong life when IV solutions were in short supply? It was injected directly to the blood stream to prevent dehydration because coconut water is similar to human plasma. But don't worry, it's not like drinking plasma.
Try Some Today
I usually grab my coconut water from Whole Foods. If you don't live by a Whole Foods, any healthy grocery store should carry it. You can buy a small bottle or can for about $2 or a large one for $5. If you haven't tried, it's time to give to coconut water a try.