Monday, July 12, 2010

Nature's Gatorade

by: Victoria Dolby Toews, M.P.H

Coconut Water, called “Nature’s Gatorade,” may be one of the healthiest ways to quench your thirst.
If you haven’t tried coconut water, this is your summer to go nuts. This sweet liquid poured straight from the hollow centers of baby coconuts (not to be confused with the thick, rich coconut milk derived from mature coconut meat) is making a splash on the health scene. And for good reason.
“Think of coconut water as ‘nature’s Gatorade,’” suggests Los Angeles-based dietitian Ashley Koff, R.D., as it replenishes potassium and other electrolytes lost through sweat. Coconut water’s electrolyte balance is just what our cells require for intracellular hydration, which means that the water actually goes inside the cells to optimize cellular function instead of simply staying outside the cells, which is common when the diet contains too much salt, Koff explains.
Local people living in areas with coconut palms have enjoyed coconut water for hundreds of years as a refreshing beverage, but it wasn’t until the 1940s that scientists began to take a closer look at the science of coconut water. Today, studies reveal that drinking coconut water helps keep high blood pressure in check and protect against heart attacks. In addition, scientists recently discovered that coconut water lowers cholesterol as well as the prescription drug lovastatin in rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet.
“Among other things, coconut water helps with headaches, sports performance and recovery, diarrhea-induced dehydration, hangover prevention, pregnancy and birthing, and digestive wellness,” adds Koff. Best of all? Coconut water is now readily available in the United States; you’ll find it in bottles and tetra paks containing 100% coconut water. While coconut water is naturally low in sugar and calories, you can also find a little extra sweetness in brands blended with tropical juices, with flavors such as mango, pink guava, pomberry and limon.

Get Quenched With Coconut Water: 3 Ways

Crazy for Coconut Smoothie
2 frozen ripe bananas
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup coconut water
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Kiwi-Coconut Water Pops
Let the kids help make these summer-fun favorites. With a sorbet-like flavor, they also make a healthy after-dinner treat.

10 strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 gold kiwi, peeled and sliced juice of 1/2 lemon
3 fresh mint leaves
2 cups coconut water
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and puree. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher, then pour into ice cube trays or molds, and freeze. Makes 6 servings.

Workout Fuel
Drink a few glasses of this before, during and after a strenuous workout. Loaded with electrolytes, this drink is also high in vitamin C, iron and calcium. It also pairs nicely with fish, shellfish and Japanese food.

2 gold kiwis, peeled
One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cup coconut water
Pinch of sea salt
4 cups of still water
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher. Serve cold or at room temperature. Makes 4 servings.

These are 3 common brands of Coconut Water available in Health Food Stores along with some grocery stores.

Article from June 2010 issue

1 comment:

  1. Wow I love this info I'm going right now to pick me up some.


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