Thursday, September 13, 2012

Koo Koo for Coconuts!

Quick, name a drink that is a nutrition heavyweight, tastes great and comes in its very own sterile and portable container. If you said coconut water, you’re right! Not to be confused with coconut milk, which is the product of grinding and squeezing the flesh of mature coconuts, coconut water is the clear, light liquid found inside young green coconuts. In places like India, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean, one can buy young coconuts from street vendors, drop a straw into the big fruit and enjoy the delicious and refreshing water right on the spot!

Lucky for us, coconut water has recently become wildly popular here in the United States, making it much easier to come by. Walk into any supermarket or convenience store, and you will most likely see at least one brand of coconut water available. Sales are exploding, and with good reason. Often touted as nature’s sports drink, it is a far superior choice to the unnaturally colored science experiments that line the beverage shelves of supermarkets. Hawaiians even have a special name for the yummy drink – “dew from the heavens.”

Here are the currently known benefits of coconut water:

It is packed with simple sugar, electrolytes, and minerals that perfectly replenish hydration levels in the body. Especially great after a strenuous workout!

Research studies suggest that cytokinins (like kinetin and trans-zeatin) in coconut water showed significant anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects.

Coconut water aids in digestion and metabolism because of its many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, and  RNA-polymerases.

It is a very good source of B-complex vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential because the human body requires them from external sources.

Because coconuts grow near the sea, they have continual access to mineral-rich salt water supplies, which enables them to absorb the water through their root systems. This makes coconut water a rich source of the major minerals potassium, calcium and magnesium, in addition to the trace elements iodine, zinc, sulfur, selenium, sulfur, manganese, boron and molybdenum.

Wow, that’s a lot of scientific language to describe such a modest looking fruit, don’t you think? But now that you know all the wonderful stuff it contains, don’t worry about the fancy words. Just go get yourself some coconut water and enjoy, knowing that you are doing your body good!

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