One of my favorite parts of living in Thailand is the easy access to fresh coconut water. When I say fresh I mean 100% fresh. In order to maximize the nutrients, water from a coconut should be consumed not long after the water is exposed to air. In Thailand, whether visiting a street vendor or a posh restaurant, the coconut is never opened until the beverage is ordered. Most street vendors keep a stash of fresh coconuts on ice, ready to chop open on your command. Half the fun of ordering one is getting to watch the vendor swing around butcher’s knife and effortlessly pop the top off of the massive nut. Trying a fresh coconut is a must for any visitor to Thailand.
Here Are 10 Reasons Why…
1. Madonna, Rihanna, Gwyneth and Demi are devotees
A growing number of celebrities are declaring their love of coconut water. Madonna and Rihanna even hock their own brand, Vita Coco. After having the luxury of fresh coconuts at my doorstep I find that drinking coconut water from a juice box tastes a bit like cardboard. However, I’ve recently been turned on to a brand of coconut water that’s sold in a glass bottle, aptly named “Happiness in a Bottle.” I have to stay it’s almost as good as the fresh coconut water I’ve become accustomed to on the streets of Bangkok. If you can’t make it all the way to Asia and would like to have a taste of Thailand at home, this is your best bet.
2. Ancient medicine
Hollywood has only recently caught on to a trend that has been growing for more than 4,000 years. The benefits of coconut water have been shared across centuries and continents. The composition of coconut water is so similar to that of blood plasma that it has been used as an IV drip in times of famine and during World War II.
3. Fight aging & prevent cancer
Coconut water contains nutrients called cytokinins which are believed to fight aging and lower the risk of cancer.
4. Electrolyte balance
If you’re fitness buff you’ve no doubt learned that you need to replenish your electrolytes after working up a good sweat in order to prevent muscle cramps. Coconut juice is loaded with electrolytes and minerals. After your next workout skip the toxin laden sugar loaded artificially colored sports drink and enjoy a fresh natural drink with more electrolytes and none of the unwanted chemical crap.
5. Promotes a healthy heart
On average a small portion of coconut water has more potassium than 2 bananas, and a diet rich in potassium may help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.
6. Promotes kidney health
The magnesium and potassium in coconut water are believed to prevent and even dissolve kidney stones. As a diuretic coconut water helps to cleanse the urinary system, another benefit for kidney health.
7. Boost the immune system.
Coconut water also contains high levels of lauric acid which has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
8. Balance your pH
The alkalizing power of the coconut juice will balance your pH, and it’s a lot tastier than wheatgrass.
9. Cures a hangover
Coconut water is known to settle an upset stomach and is a homeopathic hangover cure. Cocktails are plentiful in Bangkok and the holiday nature of the city makes it far too easy to have one too many. If you’ve had too many buckets on Khao San Road or too many cocktails at Bedsupper Club, try cracking a coconut rather than pouring more toxins into your body in manner of “hair of the dog.”
While low in sugar, the taste is sweet. Much thinner that coconut milk, coconut water is light and so refreshing! As far as ancient or even modern medicines go, this is the tastiest one I’ve found yet. Coconuts are my “apple a day.” Much like a Thai massage (another must in Thailand!) I try not to go a day without one.