Here at The Pure Package, coconut is a favoured ingredient in our healthy meals delivered. We use coconut milk in some of our delicious Thai inspired dishes, and fresh grated coconut in our scrummy new breakfasts. We have spoken before of our love for coconut with its numerous health benefits, and today we focus on the hidden treat inside it: coconut water.
Coconuts in a tree – Photograph by David Ashleydale
Coconut Water Nutrition Information
Coconut water is the nutritious clear liquid inside the coconut fruit, known by the Hawaiians as noelani (pronounced no-way lah-nee) meaning “dew from the heavens”. It is extracted from the young green coconut, since the water is replaced by the white coconut flesh as it matures.
Coconut water is one of the purest forms of waters, and contains the same five electrolytes as human plasma! For this reason it is described by some as “the fluid of life”. During World War I, coconut water was widely used as a plasma alternative, since it is sterile and does no harm to the red blood cells. In medical emergencies is has been used intravenously when conventional hydration fluids were not available.
Coconut water contains more electrolytes than any fruit or vegetable. It is a good source of the minerals magnesium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus and potassium. In fact, a cup of coconut water has almost twice the potassium content of a banana. It is also rich in many trace minerals including zinc, selenium, manganese, boron and iodine, which are derived from the volcanic soils and seawater from which the coconut palms are grown. A good balance of electrolytes is vital in the human body for the optimal functioning of our muscular, cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems, as well as the correct balance of the body’s internal fluids.
Due to its high levels of electrolytes, coconut water is actually a better alternative to sports drinks, and can be used to help replenish and boost the body’s energy levels post-strenuous exercise. As an added advantage, it is also thought to help repair damaged muscle tissue too. In a recent study of male volunteers post-exercise, coconut water was found to cause less nausea and fullness, and to be easier to consume in large amounts than both sports drinks and plain water.
Drinking coconut water – Photograph by Soumit Nandi
Coconut Water Benefits
Coconut water is known to improve digestion. It helps aid the absorption of other nutrients, vitamins and minerals through the digestive tract. It contains lauric acid which our body converts into monolaurin. Monolaurin has great antiviral, antiprotozoal and antibacterial activity which can help to fight against gastrointestinal tract infections and parasites. Coconut water has also has been shown to have a therapeutic effect on both the urinary and reproductive systems. Studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of coconut water in dissolving kidney stones.
There seems to be no end to the health benefits of this super drink. Coconut water is also a rich source of the plant hormone cytokinin. Cytokinins work in the body to help regulate cell growth and development. Consuming cytokinins can help to slow down the signs of ageing by keeping skin cells plump and strong.
A coconut, ready to drink – Photograph by chotda
The best way to consume coconut water is from a fresh green coconut, picked straight from the tree, with the clear blue sea lapping at your ankles… If you do not have this to hand, then don’t worry, there are alternatives! There are several coconut waters available in shops, the most popular being Vita Coco 100% Pure Coconut Water. Cheers!
Are you a fan of coconut water, or know any interesting facts about this amazing drink? Would you like to see it feature in any of our healthy meals delivered? Let us know.