If you’ve driven around Barbados, you’ll have seen guys standing by the roadside slicing green coconuts with machetes, pouring coconut water into bottles and selling them to eager customers. An average green coconut is about six-seven months old and provides 0.5-one cup of water.
For those who have passed them by, it is also available in locally branded bottles in the island’s supermarkets (let’s support local everyone!). Don’t get confused with coconut milk and coconut oil which are taken from the coconut’s flesh.
And always read the labels. Canned and carton versions have been heat-treated and pasteurised – straight from the nut is the best choice.
But why is coconut water so popular in Barbados?
We look at the top 10 best things about coconut water:
1 Known as Mother Nature’s Sports drink, coconut water is low in calories, fat and cholesterol-free. It is low in sodium, has more potassium than four bananas and most sports drinks and is super hydrating.
2 Coconut water is the clear liquid from the centre of young coconuts and has a sweet and nutty taste. WebMD tells us unflavoured, straight from the nut, it has per ounce:
- 5.45 calories
- 1.3 grams of sugar
- 61 milligrams potassium
- 5.45 milligrams of sodium
3 Many athletes swear by it. Tennis player John Isner (of 11-hour marathon Wimbledon match win) believes it keeps up his hydration and prevents cramping. He mixes the liquid with sea salt when he is on the court and with protein powder after a match.
4 Although not yet proven, coconut water might help against diabetes, kidney stones and, as it contains antioxidants, it can protect your cells from damage. Animal studies suggest it may also support heart health and even assist with sexual performance.
5 It’s a great hangover helper. If you have overdone the beach-side cocktails and feel dehydrated and foggy, coconut water will replace electrolytes that drinking may have depleted – and it’s a great thirst quencher.
6 Coconut water can help replenish the skin’s mineral balance and is rich in essential proteins, amino acids and cytokinin, a plant hormone that reduces redness and irritation. So, use it as a facial mist after cleansing and as a skin refresher. It’s also great to spritz on humid days to help cool down and refresh the skin.
7 Coconut water makes a great mixer with spirits such as tequila, whisky and rum as an alternative to sugary drinks such as cola and ginger ale.
8 It’s also great in drinks, smoothies and mocktail recipes the whole family can enjoy.
9 If your recipe calls for water, then replace it with coconut water as a simple way to add depth and flavour. It makes rice slightly sweet and fluffy, or add it to homemade salad dressings, marinades or your overnight oats for a taste of the tropics.
10 Have any left-over? Don’t throw it way. Turn it into ice cubes and add to drinks and recipes when you run out of the fresh stuff.
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Residence Barbados disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.