Sri Lanka is known for its golden sands, lush jungles and crystal blue waters. And while this stunning island nation is known for much of its locally grown produce-boasting everything from gorgeous tea fields to rare superfood-herbs like turmeric and cinnamon—its visitors remember it best, perhaps, for the refreshing king coconut water (or “thambili”, as it’s known to locals).
This sunset-colored fruit is native to Sri Lanka, and has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine for its health benefits. And while it has always been a staple drink in Sri Lankan culture (offered everywhere, from tiny wooden stalls to five-star hotels), the nutritional benefits of king coconut water have slowly been carving a name for themselves in worldwide discourse as well. It’s a great replacement for water in most drinks and smoothies, with its natural sweetness and nutritional benefits, while adding very few calories to the mix.
It’s Nature’s Sports Drink
Drinking thambili is a great way to stay hydrated, with more than 90% of the liquid made up of pure water. It’s often touted as an excellent energy-drink (with some advocates naming it Mother Nature’s sports drink) because of its high water content, low calories and high nutritional value. In fact, studies showed that coconut water’s ability to replenish the body’s fluids and electrolytes is on par with commercial sports drinks and, in some cases, even better than water. King coconut water comes packed with a potent hit of potassium (almost four times more than is available in bananas), which makes it ideal for athletes who need to work on muscle recovery after strenuous workouts.
Of course, storing this powerhouse of a drink can be unwieldy at best, and the process of cracking into the coconut to withdraw its delicious water is a cumbersome process. But while most health brands have clocked onto the power of the king coconut, the drink offered on most supermarket shelves is made out of the water’s concentrate, which significantly lowers its nutritional profile. Nature’s Rare offers organic, unsweetened bottled King Coconut Water as part of their range, made without concentrate. The king coconuts are sustainably grown on the island before being ethically harvested to protect local plantation practices. With no artificial additives or preservatives, it’s an easy and convenient way to regularly consume the refreshing beverage.
It’s an Immunity Booster
With its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, king coconut water is a great way to maximize the body’s ability to protect itself against disease. When it’s functioning properly, your body uses free radicals to help fight off infections; but when these free radicals grow out of control, they turn inward and attack the body’s own DNA. This could lead to a variety of issues such as high blood pressure, inflammatory conditions and neurodegenerative diseases. However, young coconut water has been shown to modify free radical activity in some studies, reducing blood pressure and improving blood circulation which, in turn, potentially lowers your risk of heart disease.
In fact, the magnesium in coconut water also works to control blood sugar levels in patients who deal with diabetes, and it has been shown to lower cholesterol levels as well.
It’s Great for your Kidneys
Your kidneys require plenty of water, but some studies have shown that king coconut water could provide an even better alternative. Regularly consuming this natural drink could potentially prevent kidney stones from forming, and with its high mineral content, it is also beneficial in general to kidney health.
It’s Low in Calories
In addition to solving the body’s hydration and electrolyte needs, king coconut water may also be an excellent way to help manage weight. This refreshing, sweet-tasting drink contains less than 120 calories for every liter, which makes it an ideal replacement for calorie-heavy drinks such as commercially-available sodas. It’s also said to increase the body’s metabolism, which could contribute to even faster fat-burning capabilities.
Enjoy king coconut on its own or add it to your homemade smoothie or juice!