Coconut water is starting to show up on store shelves and with it have come advertisements for coconut water products. Since coconut water is a new product in the American marketplace, a lot of people have been wondering what it is, how it’s different from coconut milk, and why you should drink it.
Part of what confuses people about coconut water is the name. No, it isn’t water with added coconut flavoring! Coconut water is the liquid that is inside a coconut. If you were to cut a coconut in half, you would see a thin layer of shell, a thick layer of flesh, and then a large hollow area full of coconut water. Coconut water is all-natural and cutting open a coconut is all you have to do to get it. This is very different from coconut milk, which is more familiar to most consumers than coconut water. Coconut milk is usually sold in a can, and it isn’t really something you would drink. It’s frequently a formula ingredient, especially in Thai cuisine, and especially in curries. In order to get coconut milk, which is thick and creamy, the flesh of the coconut must be pressed somehow. Generally, it is pressed immediately after being boiled in water. The result is part water and part coconut flesh which has a fair amount of fat in it in the form of coconut oil. Coconut water is not at all the same, and it is actually fat-free.
Coconut water is an extremely healthy drink that offers a variety of benefits. It is low in calories, lightly flavored, refreshing, and it consists of the essential electrolytes that your body needs in order to function well. Ounce for ounce, it is more potassium-rich than a banana. It also contains significant amounts| of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. This makes coconut water an excellent, all-natural alternative to sports drinks. By drinking coconut water, you can get the electrolytes that your body needs in order to stay active without drinking all the added sugar, artificial flavoring and coloring and preservatives that are in processed sports drinks. Not only does coconut water include electrolytes, but it also is a good source of iron. For active women who are frequently concerned about getting enough iron in their diet, coconut water is clearly the healthy choice.
Last but not least, coconut water is a whole food. You can drink it right out of the coconut, with no processing required. It is full of nutritional vitamins and minerals, guilt-free, and delicious — and all of that comes straight from nature. Coconut water… wonderful just as it is.