Best Way to Hydrate? Go Nuts!

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Coconuts, that is! Low in fat, carbohydrates, and calories, and with no cholesterol, coconut water has recently sky-rocketed in popularity as the new cure-all, got-to-have-it product. But is this all hype, or is it fact?

Known as the “water of life”, young coconuts are one of the highest sources of electrolytes in nature. Scientists have discovered that the molecular structure of coconut water is similar to human blood plasma, making coconut water a universal donor in emergency situations. As a matter of fact, in 1945 the Pacific battles of WWII, coconut water was siphoned directly from young coconuts and used as plasma transfusions for wounded soldiers.

Because of its high levels of potassium, higher than that of all sports drinks, coconut water is now being recommended as electrolyte replacements for people and athletes post-workout. However, there are some critics that say that because we sweat so much during workouts and lose mostly sodium, coconut water is not a sufficient replacement due to its low levels of sodium. All in all though, it appears to be much better than most commercial sports drinks because of its low sugar content as well. Another benefit of its high potassium content (a serving of coconut water is said to have approximately twice the amount of potassium as a banana) is its ability to help regulate blood pressure by counteracting the stimulating effects of sodium. This, in turn, helps to prevent related issues such as strokes, heart attacks, and hangovers.

Because coconut water also improves circulation, it therefore benefits detoxification in your body.  When your circulation is better, it allows for a better oxygen flow to your organs, especially your liver. As our liver is one of our biggest organs (next to our skin), and like the skin it acts as a filter for our body. Improved liver function therefore improves the detoxifying process in our body. I always recommend coconut water to my cleansing clients!

Its mineral content also makes coconut water a suitable remedy for muscle cramps, constipation, anxiety, PMS and many other common ailments. Coconut water can also benefit those with heart problems and high blood pressure.

Like most foods and nutrients that we consume, drinking coconut water directly from the nut is your best bet. You can purchase young coconuts from most health food stores. However, if you’re in need of a handier source, packaged coconut water is available at most groceries. As with any foods that are packaged, some of the health benefits are lost in the process. To get the best packaged coconut water available; make sure to choose to a brand that has as few added ingredients as possible.

So if you’re looking for the best way to stay hydrated in the summer heat, crack open a coconut (or a bottle) and enjoy!

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