Super Foods: Coconut Water
Tall palm trees bearing coconuts is a quintessential image of tropical Caribbean islands. Yet more than just an iconic figure, coconut trees are a vital and life enhancing part of daily living. The uses for this amazing plant are multiple, but for now I’m focusing on the juicy, delicious water contained within the tender coconuts. For anyone unfamiliar with it, coconut water is the water from a young coconut and is not the same as coconut milk from the mature ‘nuts’ which I recently wrote about as being in my all-time favourite food list!
A young coconut is often referred to as a ‘jelly coconut’ on account of the delicious slippery food to be found inside. The sweet water is naturally filtered and acts as an instant re-hydrator, nourisher and detoxifier of the body. I definitely subscribe to the philosophy of ‘a jelly a day to keep the doctor away’. Well actually more than one if possible!
So what makes me so hyper-excited and enthusiastic about this seemingly simple tree seed? (Yes actually the coconut is not a nut at all but a seed) Well as a natural health advocate, I have found that coconut water is an essential part of an optimally healthy lifestyle. For instance, the water is a natural diuretic making it useful for treating urinary infections, kidney and urethral stones and cases of mineral poisoning. Drinking a few coconuts provides a laxative effect and so is a useful colon cleanser which has been shown to kill intestinal worms. The high potassium and electrolyte levels of the water make it a perfect isotonic sports drink which is useful for providing energy and aiding recovery from high exertion. And the list continues…Drinking coconut water regularly has been shown to lower blood pressure, aid weight loss, enhance sexual virility, boost energy levels and fortify the immune system. I said at the beginning that I was not advocating bathing in coconut water but actually it can be applied directly on the skin to cool sunburn, prickly heat, and measles and is also squirted into the eye to help with infections. Most amazingly of all, coconut water is a sterile formula that is the closest thing to blood plasma and in emergency situations blood transfusions have even been done with coconut water! So you see coconut water is more than a drink – it’s a marvelous and ingeniously, intelligent aspect of nature that deserves a lot of respect!
In herbal medicine the shape of a plant often gives clues to its healing properties or effects. The shape of the coconut has been likened by some to the shape of a woman’s breast. Yes take a look and notice the similarity – it appears that the coconut is actually the breast of Mother Earth made to nurture us after weaning from our own mothers milk. In fact the water contains many of the same nutrients as breast milk including lauric acid and is suitable for weaning babies and as a medicine for digestive irritations.
With all its cleansing properties, coconut water is also incredibly useful for periods of fasting. For many years I selected a few special times of the year where I would cleanse my body by fasting for 3 days on just plain water. Whilst this was a beneficial process, I sometimes felt that the process was quite harsh and left me feeling listless and lacking in energy. When I switched to fasting on coconut water a whole new world was opened up. Not only could I cleanse my body but I was also being supplied with essential nutrients and could skip through 3 days of no food with gentle ease and felt vibrantly rejuvenated afterwards.
For me the best way to enjoy coconut water is from a freshly picked coconut. It can be opened with a sharp knife or machete by peeling off the top layers and creating a small hole to drink from. It’s best to put the coconut straight to your mouth rather than have the intervention of a plastic straw which, to me, makes it taste different and is an unnecessary piece of disposable waste. If the coconuts are in abundance and you wish to store a few, the water can be poured into a container and left in the fridge but it is highly perishable and advisable to only keep it for one day.
I also use coconut water to mix with fruit smoothies to give them an extra delicious sweetness and consistency. The food of the coconut, which is often referred to as ‘meat’, can interestingly be used as a meat substitute. By taking the thicker type of jelly and marinating it in spices it can be served as an unusual but nice, savory accompaniment to a meal.
Yes, the wonders of coconut water could fill a book but you won’t experience the benefits just by reading about them. So take a break and go get yourself a coconut to drink, I think I’ll join you!
– Terry Henri online payday loans no credit check
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