Sunday, November 15, 2009

C is for Coconut Craze

We’ve been noticing coconut water has been flying off the shelves at Whole Foods lately, many times not being able to find it stocked during the busy lunch hour, so the Sprouts thought it was the perfect candidate for our “C” blog entry.

Five years ago, unless you’d been to the tropics, or were a raw foodist you probably didn’t even know coconut water even existed. But now in 2009, the coconut water category, getting a boost from two entrepreneurial companies, O.N.E. and Zico, received it’s first ever analysis by Merrill Lynch with sales going from $0 in 2002 to $35 million in 2009.

So, what’s behind the craze?

On your first sip, it’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted. Not particularly “ coconuty” in taste it’s a little bit like water, but it has a texture and a slight sweetness that some find off-putting.

But perhaps it’s health benefits will help you overlook the taste. According to Mortin Satin, Chief of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, “Coconut water is the very stuff of nature, biologically pure, full of natural sugars, salts and vitamins to ward off fatigue and is the next wave of energy drinks BUT natural.”

For those of you looking for a replacement to the sugary sports drinks like Vitamin Water and Gatorade, coconut water is for you.

  • Coconut water contains more potassium (about 294mg) than most sports drinks (117mg) and most energy drinks
  • Coconut water has less sodium, around 25mg compared to sports drink’s 40mg and energy drink 200mg
  • Coconut water has 5mg of natural sugars whereas sports and energy drinks have anywhere between 15-25mg of processed sugars
  • Coconut water is very high in chloride (118mg), a chemical that the body needs for metabolism, compared to sports drinks that have only 39mg 

Because it’s a natural isotonic beverage, with the same electrolyte balance as in human blood, in the Pacific War (1941-45), it was used to give emergency plasma transfusions to wounded soldiers.

So the next time you’re reaching for a sports drink consider the fact that coconut water offers less fat and calories, and no cholesterol, making it healthier than milk and orange juice. And it’s even being compared to human’s mother’s milk because of it’s high levels of lauric acid, which is said to have an effect on raising your metabolism.

We’ll happily raise a glass to that…

Here’s to your best possible life!