When you pick up a fresh coconut and shake it, the liquid you hear sloshing about inside is the coconut water. Young coconuts contain the most coconut water, and as they mature, this water thickens and absorbs into the meat of the coconut. Some people cook with coconut water, though most often it is enjoyed as a refreshing drink or as a healthy base for a smoothie.
Coconuts harvested for the coconut water, are usually gathered at around 5-7 months old, and each coconut will provide between 200-1000ml of coconut water. Coconuts harvested earlier than five months have a reduced nutritional profile - as well as a more bitter taste, whilst the water yield of older coconuts is significantly reduced.
Coconut water contains a host of vital vitamins and minerals, particularly the B vitamins, magnesium and potassium. Being light in consistency, coconut water is naturally very low in calories and is cholesterol free. Nevertheless, it is richer in nutrients than many other fruit juices. In fact, the nutritional profile is so close to that of human blood, that it has been used in place of blood plasma in emergencies.
100g serving of coconut water:
19 kcal, 1g protein, 0g fat, 4g carbohydrate, 1g fibre
In the Caribbean coconut water has always been recognised as a healthy and refreshing drink, but it is only fairly recently that it has increased in popularity in Canada. And with more research going into coconut water, it seems that more health benefits are being discovered too.
Coconut water is recognised to be extremely hydrating and a good source of replenishing electrolytes; which are lost through sweat, particularly when exercising. Several top athletes look to coconut water over sports drinks as it is a natural in reducing nausea and bloating.
If you suffer from poor digestion, then coconut water may ease your symptoms. It helps the kidneys to filter and eliminate toxins from your body. Following bouts of diarrhoea or sickness, coconut water is often good in rehydrating and replenishing the body with essential nutrients, therefore improving recovery.
The potassium in coconut water has been found to help with maintaining a healthy balance of cholesterol in the blood, and also in reducing high blood pressure, indicating that coconut water may also help to keep your heart healthy too.
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