We speak to the coconut water experts at FOCO on the importance of staying hydrated, the benefits of coconut water for weight loss and how to open and eat a fresh coconut.
Coconuts can do wonders for our health, from using coconut oil as a beauty and food product to the benefits of coconut water and milk. We spoke to the experts at FOCO about the benefits of coconut water and how to make it part of a healthy lifestyle.
What makes coconut water different to ordinary water in terms of what they can do for your health?
As a general rule, you can’t beat plain water. However, as coconut water contains electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium, plus easily digestible carbs from natural sugars, it can be used as an easy alternative to sports drinks for example, and aid hydration. It’s also a good alternative to sugary fruit juices or commercial recovery drinks that come loaded with weird ingredients.
What are the benefits of drinking coconut water?
Pure coconut water contains zero fat and zero cholesterol, with no sugars, no preservatives and no colours added. It is a clean, refreshing, all natural taste drink.
Are there other ways I can use coconut water in different recipes?
Coconut water is quite the healthy cooking essential and is perfect in salad dressings, salsa, smoothies, curries and even chocolate cake (yes, really!).
Can I substitute coconut water with normal water as part of my daily water intake?
Replacing your whole water intake with coconut water would not be advisable.
How can coconut water help me lose weight?
Under the right circumstances, coconut water can be a powerful weapon in weight loss. Hydration is one of the most common weight loss benefits of coconut water. It's not that hydration can help you get rid of extra body fat directly. But if you fail to drink enough liquids, your body will enter a dehydrated state (which causes your metabolism to slow down). As long as you remain in a dehydrated state, you will be burning calories at a slower rate than usual.
The second weight loss benefit of coconut water is its high fibre content. Fibre contains zero calories and can help you feel fuller and keeps you satisfied longer. Fibre is great for your digestion and your colon health.
See also: A Case for Coconut Water
What are some tips to ensure we stay hydrated throughout the day?
Snack on water-filled foods, such as cucumber, watermelon, celery along with soups and yoghurt and of course fruit.
What type of other foods should someone incorporate into their diet to magnify the health benefits of drinking coconut water?
Try to choose a variety of different foods from the five main food groups. Most people eat and drink too many calories, too much fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre.
Does coconut water benefit in the same way as coconut milk and what are the similarities and differences?
Many people confuse coconut water with coconut milk. Higher in fat and calories, coconut milk is extracted from the flesh of the coconut and is thicker, sweeter, and more dense. It also is packed with nutrition and healthy saturated fats, but it is also very high in calories. A cup of coconut milk is about 552 calories compared to a cup of coconut water which is only about 46 calories!
What is the best way to eat a fresh coconut?
Place the coconut on a flat surface covered by a towel. Hold the fruit so that the soft spots, or eyes, are facing up. Pierce one or more of the soft spots, using an ice pick or a hammer and nail.
Turn the coconut over and pour the water out of the nail hole and through a strainer into a medium-size bowl. Set the milk aside. The strainer removes any fibrous material or shell that's in the milk.
Place the coconut on the towel and make several sharp taps with the hammer around the shell's midsection until it cracks open. It should open after a few turns.
Remove the flesh from the shell. If you're eating a mature raw coconut, slide a sharp knife between the raw coconut meat and the shell, and lift the firm meat away from the shell. If you're eating a young fruit, use a spoon to scoop out the soft, jellylike meat.
Don't skip step two. If you don't drain the liquid from the coconut, it might explode in your oven.
Eat the coconut immediately or place the milk and coconut in separate airtight containers and store them in the refrigerator for later use.
You can also put a whole mature coconut in a baking dish and heat it in an oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit to soften the meat before cracking it open.
Firm pieces of coconut remain fresh for up to 10 days when refrigerated in an airtight container. Soft coconut meat should be refrigerated and used within a day.
Read more on Celebrity Angels about the many benefits of coconut water.