With the increase in health consciousness around the world, more and more people are opting out of commercial sugar-filled sodas and looking for healthy alternatives. From plain soda water to diet beverages, the demand for health-conscious drinks has grown tenfold over the last few years. But should we be replacing our reliance on hard white sugar with artificial sweeteners, or should we be avoiding those processed additives altogether?
Enter coconut water.
Known for its naturally potent nutritional value, coconut water has increasingly been thrust into the spotlight of the world’s quest for healthy beverages. It’s readily available, packed with vitamins and minerals, and hydrates better than most commercially available drinks. But with all the coconut varieties out there, which one are we meant to choose?
King Coconuts: The Young and the Old
When we talk about coconut water, we are generally talking about the liquid that we extract from young coconuts-fruits that have typically been grown for around six or seven months. In Sri Lanka, these young coconuts are called “thambili” or “king coconuts”. With its golden-orange outer covering, king coconuts are lauded across the country for their sweet, refreshing water, and for the deliciously soft pulp inside. The drink is so popular on the island that it can be purchased literally anywhere, from little shops on the roadside to the five-star hotels of the big city.
However, if these king coconuts were left to grow on their trees for a few more months, you would see their outer husks start to brown. As the fruit ripens, the water inside it gradually becomes the solid white flesh that we then crack open and scrape out. Coconuts can take between ten months to a year to reach full maturity.
King Coconut Water versus Brown Coconut Water
While there is some amount of water inside brown coconuts, it is not nearly the amount that can be found in their younger counterparts. In the process of maturity, the liquid inside ripens to solid white coconut flesh. Once the coconut has matured to brown, it is prized not for its refreshing water but for the nutritional benefits of its coconut meat. Coconut milk is a mix of the two; it’s one-part water and one-part coconut flesh.
As the coconut ages to brown and the water inside solidifies, it also begins to lose its natural sugar content. While there are still plenty of nutrients at both ends of the spectrum, one of the primary differences is that the refreshing, sweet taste of the king coconut is lost to the fruit’s flesh.
Nature’s Rare offers bottled King Coconut Water, straight from the young fruit. Harvested from ethically, sustainably grown thambili trees, the organic drink is sold without any artificial additives or preservatives. Most coconut water available on supermarket shelves today are made from concentrate, but this process eliminates many of the drink’s nutritional benefits. The best way to consume king coconut water is straight from the fruit, or by becoming a patron of a brand like Nature’s Rare where our product is made only from fresh, organic coconut water.
The Health Benefits of Coconut Water versus Coconut Flesh
Both the water and flesh of the coconut are beneficial for health, but for very different purposes.
Coconut water is low in calories, with more than 90% made up of pure water. The rest of it is made up of electrolytes like potassium, which is used by the body to aid nerve function and muscle contraction. For this reason, coconut water is generally hailed as Mother Nature’s sports drink; it has been known to work even better than commercially-available energy drinks with its high potassium content, and athletes flock to the beverage for its benefits on muscle recovery after strenuous workouts.
White coconut flesh, however, is very high in a type of healthy fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). This type of fat is quickly converted to energy in the body, and has been found to aid in the loss of excess fat in overweight people. In addition, coconut meat contains several minerals that are essential to our bodies, and that provide benefits such as improving bone health, assisting in the formation of red blood cells, and provide antioxidants that protect existing cells.
Sourcing fresh, organic king coconut water from Nature’s Rare has never been easier. Add this refreshing drink to your life!