DRY living and thin air is a reality residing in a semi-arid climate at 6000 ft elevation! Everything dries fast. Fruits spoil quickly. Plants always need water. So I hate to imagine what all this dryness is doing to my body!! Now and then, I get an annoying headache, which is the body’s way of telling me…you need fluids!! Drinking water has never been a favorite and playing catch-up to hydrate, often makes me feel bloated and nauseas. About a year ago my husband read about the benefits of coconut water. He bought a case and stocked the refrigerator. Initially, I wasn’t a fan but we did have a case, which offered many opportunities to establish that acquired taste. We now LOVE coconut water! It appears to hydrate faster than water and offers health benefits that plain drinking water does not. This post will share a few facts about coconuts, the health benefits of drinking coconut water, as well as suggestions on how to prepare this refreshing alternative with a tasty twist! Planning for HOT summer days…you might consider giving coconut water a try!!
Is it a fruit or is it a nut??
Coconuts come from the coconut palm tree and are considered a fruit. The seed is called a drupe and it is not a nut. The scientific name is Cocos Nucifera. However, “in the U.S. coconut is classed as a tree nut by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for labeling purposes.” The Coconut Allergy Guide In Europe, coconuts are classified as fruit. Although allergic reactions are not common, if you or any one of your family members suffer with food allergies or are allergic to tree nuts, as a precaution, you may consult with your physician. Reported coconut allergy symptoms from The Coconut Allergy Guide include the following, contact dermatitis being the most common. However, anaphylaxis to coconut is extremely rare.
- Skin reactions such as rash, hives or eczema.
- Gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Airway symptoms including wheezing, coughing, or a runny nose.
- Swelling, also known as angioedema, of the lips, tongue, or face.
- Severe reactions, called anaphylaxis, may occur, affecting multiple organ systems.
Coconut water (clear fluid inside the coconut) is harvested while the fruit is not yet ripe (still green), about 5-7 months in maturity. It takes about 10-12 months for a coconut to fully mature. As the coconut continues to age and ripen, the fluid transforms to the white meaty inner lining of the fruit.
Tropical countries, where coconuts are grown, have used this fruit to treat health issues for centuries and for this reason, the tree from which the fruit is grown is known as the tree that gives life.
Coconut water is a good source of fiber, vitamin C and several important minerals. 8 Science-Based Health Benefits of Coconut Water
- Carbs:9 grams
- Fiber:3 grams
- Protein:2 grams
- Vitamin C:10% of the RDI
- Magnesium:15% of the RDI
- Manganese:17% of the RDI
- Potassium:17% of the RDI
- Sodium:11% of the RDI
- Calcium:6% of the RDI
11 Surprising Benefits Of Coconut Water states… The mineral content includes calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. The vitamins found in coconut water include vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and folate.
Below is a health benefit summary combining reported findings from two online articles, Is Coconut Water Good For You, by Dr. Draxe and GO NUTS: 55 COCONUT WATER BENEFITS TO KEEP YOU SIPPING To date I have found most all studies conducted about coconut water benefits have been performed on animals, and such studies have yet to be conducted on humans.
- It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink.
- Great electrolyte replacement.
- Can lower blood pressure because of the high potassium that neutralizes the effects of sodium in the body.
- Can aid in weight loss.
- Boost energy and therefore, increased athletic performance.
- Reduce cellulite.
- Relax muscle tension because of its high amounts of calcium and magnesium.
- Coconut water contains antioxidants that protect cells from damaging free radicals
- Good for fighting infections.
- Shown to lower sugar levels in diabetic animal testing. Also a good source of magnesium, benefiting (lowering blood sugar levels) to those with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes.
- In animal testing reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels at the same effectiveness as statin drugs and further research is needed in human study.
- Treats Cholera.
- Protects the liver helping to cleanse and reduce toxins.
- Beneficial for postmenopausal symptoms or hormone replacement therapy
- Wound healing properties.
- It has a unique chemical composition of sugars, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and cytokinines – which have shown anti-aging and anti-cancer effects in research studies. GO NUTS: 55 COCONUT WATER BENEFITS TO KEEP YOU SIPPING
When compared to regular water and sport drinks, coconut water was one of the 3 drinks that did not produce a feeling of nausea and fullness, often experienced when drinking large amounts of fluid after rigorous exercise or participating in a sporting event. And, for this reason, more coconut water was consumed for lasting hydration.
I am now drinking coconut water regularly; consuming 2 – 3 each 11.1 oz cartons daily, an amount I never consumed with regular water. Headaches are now rare and chronic leg and foot cramps are gone. My skin looks so much better, too! The best health proof of coconut water is how YOU feel and the benefits YOU notice after regularly consuming this natural fruit water.
Coconut Water Recipes
Coconut water is good on its own merit, cold from the fridge. For added flavor and perhaps as a summer refreshing drink without alcohol, below are some suggestions. If you are wondering what brand is best, it’s truly personal preferences because pure coconut water should all be the same (no added ingredients). My favorite is Vita Coco. At the grocery store the cost is $1.99 for the small 11.1 oz carton. A 12 pack of this same size at Sam’s Club is $13.98…BIG price difference!!
Coconut Lemon Water– pure and simple
Coconut water taste best served cold. The other day I added freshly squeezed lemon juice, ½ lemon. Oh my gosh…a lemonade flavor without having that sugar after taste! This is a thirst quencher, unlike some drinks that actually make you feel more thirsty after the initial feeling of being refreshed! Adding just lime juice didn’t work as well for me. Another option is to make ice-cubes using raspberries or blueberries, grated fresh ginger root, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and coconut water for each cube, in an ice tray. I added a few cubes to my coconut water, letting it sit for about 5 minutes. SO refreshing!! The only recipe I found online that isn’t filled with sugar or alcohol, is noted below.
Lemon Lime Coconut Quench by Meghan Telpner
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1½ cups coconut water
- ½ cup water (or more depending on desired concentration)
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp grated ginger root
- Sea salt to taste
- Add lemon and lime juice to blender.
- Add coconut water, water, honey, ginger and sea salt into blender.
- Drink up with a smile or keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.
You can stay wonderfully hydrated with added minerals and vitamins simply by including coconut water to your daily regiment. This mega-electrolyte and natural alternative to regular water offers potential health benefits ranging from anti-aging to heart health, digestion aid and fighting infections! When drinking coconut water, keep it simple without adding surgery syrups or alcohol. Coconut water has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes and I am grateful this tree of life has made its way from the tropical islands to our grocery store shelves. This summer, stay hydrated, grab this healthy alternative, and pass the coconuts sharing this awesome find to friends and family, while you enjoy a refreshing glass, too!