These days there’s a new fitness and health craze popping up everywhere you look – Dukan Diet, Chia Seeds, Sugar Free, Gluten Free and now, one that we can’t stop talking about (well drinking); coconut water. Madonna’s drinking it, Matthew McConaughey is drinking it and now everyone else wants some too. But being bombarded with so many different options can often be confusing, and it’s difficult to decide whether it’s really for you. To help sort the facts out, we gave coconut water a try and learnt a little more about this “miracle nectar.”
While we here in Australia have only just started hearing about coconut water, people throughout Asia, the Pacific and South America have been drinking it for centuries. Even in World War II, coconut water was used as a replacement in blood transfusions, due to its similarities to human plasma. Coconut water, which is not to be confused with coconut milk, is the clear, fresh juice harvested from the inside of a young green coconut.
With any new fad, the most important thing is taste – and it definitely tastes great. It’s cool, sweet and refreshing – perfect served chilled, on its own, or mixed with something a little naughtier for a treat in the summery months ahead.
It’s also really good for you – packed with calcium, magnesium and more potassium than a banana, many athletes are choosing coconut water as a natural alternative to sports drinks. Despite its sweet taste, it’s naturally low in sugar and filled with hard to get minerals such as zinc, selenium, iodine and ascorbic acid. Plus with only around 60 calories per serving, it’s the perfect guilt-free sweet treat.
People have claimed to see a multitude of benefits from regularly drinking coconut water: weight loss, clear skin, extra energy and even managing blood pressure. However, you shouldn’t forget that this is still a new fad, and so not a great deal of research has been done to confirm these results but what comes from nature is usually pretty good for us.
Good coconut water is sourced directly from young green coconuts and unlike coconut milk/cream that is derived from the meat of mature coconuts, coconut water is the pure, clear liquid that is only found in young coconuts 6-9 months old.
Despite this, the nutrients packed in the coconut water means that you’ll undoubtedly benefit from it in some way. And it’s a wonderful, refreshing and healthy treat that it feels particularly rewarding after a long and grueling yoga class. We love Kokomo, H2Coco and C Coconut Waters. We recommend you stick to organic where you can and make sure it doesn’t include any additives, preservatives and especially not reconstituted coconut, don’t buy if it says that in the ingredients. Most coconut waters are below the 5gm / 100gm sugar which is a good thing and although we do love the flavoured waters, such as H2Coco’s Pommegranate & Acai and Pineapple (seriously good yum factor), the fruit flavours are reconstituted fruit juice and up the sugar content a touch, so don’t drink them in abundance, just as a treat now and then.
On it’s own coconut water is lovely but it’s also an amazing addition to smoothie, cocktails and healthy recipes. Below is a recipe for a healthy, hydrating and refreshing minty smoothie created by Sarah Wilson (in conjunction with Kokomo Coconut Water), from I Quit Sugar fame, and who we are big fans of and follow.
The smoothie includes:
- 1 cup Kokomo coconut water
- ½ avocado
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- Juice of one lime
- 1 teaspoon of chia seeds
- Handful of lettuce or baby spinach (for some bonus greenery) Ed – we like adding Cos lettuce.
- A small handful of ice cubes
- ¼ teaspoon of stevia granules (optional)
With coconut water popping up in every local supermarket, there’s no reason not to give it a try. If you have nut allergies, remember to check with your GP before trying it.