Coconuts have been with us since the dawn of time but now the celebs, led by Madonna, cannot get enough Coconut Water to quench their thirst for healthy living and detoxing.
The Benefits of Coconut Water
The likes of Rebecca Romijn, Demi Moore and Madonna are supposedly in love with Vita Coco (http://www.vitacoco.com/). Whilst Vita Coco may be healthy for us, given that it often comes with a 12 month shelf life, I cannot help but think (as with fruit smoothies) that the best way is totally fresh from the green coconut and not a carton. Unfortunately green coconuts don’t grow on trees in the UK…I have seen them for sale in Whole Foods Stores though!
It is the green coconut (typically 7 months old) that is used for its water as oppose to the hardened and old brown version (which contains all of the juicy coconut meat!).
Coconut water from these green coconuts is known to (amongst many other things):
- Offer a natural isotonic beverage that hydrates the body – it contains natural electrolytes such as potassium;
- Promote weight loss and boost energy levels; and
- Cleans our digestive systems, which is why many detox plans include it.
When I was in Brazil…
When I was in Brazil a year ago, I lived off fresh coconut water or agua de coco as they call it. I remember walking down the Rio sands and seeing coconut bar after coconut bar. If there was one thing I could have brought back with me, it would be a lifetime supply of green coconuts!
I remember drilling holes and drinking out of these when I was a kid but now I know there are green ones too! Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Coconuts have far more to offer than just healthy water!
Coconut palms are called the ‘tree of life’ in India, a country which knows how to use each and every part of the coconut! Coconuts may contain large amounts of saturated fat but they are medium chain triglycerides which can actually aid the calorie burning. I previously talked about why fats are good for us. Coconut oil is great to use in cooking because the heat will not denature the fats, and therefore the health benefits are retained. Coconut oil can also be used as a great moisturises for the body.
Coconut water is expensive but if you can afford it then I say go for buying green coconuts and do it yourself. Desiccated coconut meat can be good but try to avoid the bleached varieties. I also use organic coconut milk in lots of cooking and sometimes for breakfast. It is high in calories though so don’t go OTT.
For further reading, I can suggest a great post by Mark Sisson on all kinds of coconut products.