6. Coconut Water
Coconuts are fruit from the Cocos nucifera palm, and the entire plant can be used for many things like food, drink, oil fuel, rope, weaving, lumber, mulch, candles, darts, bowls and even a flotation device. Coconut palms produce fruit all year and can live for up to and over 100 years old. There are over 150 different species of coconuts found on 80 different countries across the world, but they only grow in tropical climates.
The coconut is botanically classed as a drupe, and the flesh and milky liquid inside contains a wide array of health benefits. Different forms of coconut, such as coconut oil and coconut water, have become extremely popular in recent times as the health benefits are further researched. Coconut water has been labelled ‘mother nature’s sports drink’, and is one of the tastiest ways to enjoy coconut. Coconut water contains 94% water and very little fat. Not to be confused with coconut milk, coconut water is full of nutrients like carbs, fiber, protein, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and calcium.
Coconut water contains antioxidants which can protect the body from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, and it’s also thought to reduce the risk of heart disease. Coconut water contains a substantial amount of electrolytes, so consuming it can help balance fluids in the body, boost hydration and lower blood pressure. Coconut water is an isotonic, which means it has the same osmotic pressure as our blood, so it can even be administered intravenously to rehydrate the body in extreme circumstances.
Coconut water can be enjoyed as often as possible, but if you’re drinking pre-packaged coconut water, buy organic when you can. Be sure to read the label to check that it hasn’t been processed or pasteurized as this can remove the nutrients. Look for coconut water that uses fresh juice instead of concentrate, and avoid any brands that have added flavoring or sweeteners, as they won’t contain the same amount of health benefits.