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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Nuts About Coconut Water


By guest contributor Gregory Schnese

Did you know a coconut isn’t a nut at all, but is a drupe? I know, that’s what I said. What’s a drupe? A drupe is a fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell. Aside from coconuts, some of my favorite drupes are coffee beans, mangos, olives, and pistachios. If this is news to you, you probably don’t know how healthy and wonderful a coconut, it’s water in particular, can be.

Coconut water is a popular drink, common in tropical regions. Its amazing taste and health benefits are extraordinary; I’m pretty sure it’s just a matter of time before coconut water becomes the latest fad in the U.S. too —you heard it here first.

Coconut water has many benefits, it’s...

Low in carbs
Low in calories
99 percent fat free
Contains no cholesterol

Hydration – Coconut water is an isotonic drink, which means it naturally contains the electrolytes your body needs to hydrate itself. This is why it is often referred to as “nature’s sports drink.” After a vigorous workout, there is nothing better than drinking some coconut water. Remember to start drinking water or coconut water before you feel thirsty. While you’re exercising, your body loses water through sweat (to cool you). Once you’ve finished, it’s important to hydrate yourself. To stay hydrated, I’ve tried many different sports drinks; now I drink coconut water. It’s by far my favorite because it tastes good and makes me feel great.

Calcium – Coconut water is a great way to get more calcium, this is especially important for women. An 8 ounce serving of coconut water contains more than 14 mg of calcium. (An 8 oz. serving of milk contains 300 mg of calcium)

Vitamins and Minerals - Jammed packed with vitamins and minerals, coconut water contains vitamin C, B6, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium and Manganese. Coconut water is rich in Arginine (283 mg per 8oz. serving) which is a heart healthy amino acid.

A word of caution here about arginine

Don't take arginine within 2 hours of taking drugs that dilate the blood vessels, such as nitroglycerin or sildenafil (Viagra). However, for most people the health benefits of drinking coconut water in moderate amounts(16 ounces per day)far outweights any risks.

Where The Sun Shines

Coconut water comes from young coconuts; typically grown in tropical Asia and Trinidad and Tobago—where the weather is oh so nice. As a coconut matures, most of the liquid (the coconut water) is absorbed into its flesh. Therefore, coconuts must be harvested while they are young and green. Have you ever seen a cartoon or movie where someone is stuck on a desert island, then they crack open a coconut and drink its water? Well, they’re drinking coconut water from young coconuts.

If you don't have any coconut trees growing in your backyard, you can still reap the benefits by taking a powerful L-arginine supplement, available online.

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