Have you ever picked up a fresh coconut at your local grocery store and shaken it? If you have, you’ve probably heard liquid sloshing inside which is coconut water. Coconuts are different from any other fruit because they contain a large amount of water that have tons of health benefits.
While coconuts have been around for tens of millions of years, only the last decade has coconut water become the best and most natural sports drink on the market.
In a past article, we exposed several brands of coconut water – which contain harmful chemicals. Today, we will provide you with the best coconut water brands as well as their health benefits. Because, let’s face it, healthy living begins with knowing what you’re putting into your body.
The health benefits of coconut water
“Noelani” is what Hawaiians call coconut water which means “dew from the heavens.” But, it’s not only prized by those who are natives to Hawaii. Several tropical cultures revere coconut water above all other beverages due to its many health benefits.
Its unique compilation of vitamins and minerals help protect your body. It provides athletes a natural potassium and magnesium-rich drink that rehydrates the body while reducing inflammation and balancing blood sugar. It’s also rich in B and C vitamins, manganese, calcium, zinc, iodine, and sulphur.
Although low in calories and sugar content, coconut water is high in fiber. In addition, coconut water’s amino acids, organic acids, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytonutrients actually help build immunity. And, best of all, its cytokinins provide anti-aging and anti-cancer benefits.
According to one of the world’s leading coconut experts, Dr. Bruce Fife, coconut water has numerous health benefits based on scientific research and clinical observations, including:
•Rehydrates the body
•Increases exercise performance
•Feeds friendly gut flora
•Remedies constipation and diarrhea
•Aids kidney function (kidney stones and urinary tract infections)
•Supports healthy blood glucose and insulin levels
•Helps regulate blood pressure
•Reduces plaque formation
•Prevents abnormal blood clotting
•Enhances skin health (elasticity, wrinkles, age spots, rashes)
•Improves wound healing
•Enhances eye health
•Builds bone health
•Supports healthy immune function
•Contains anti-cancer properties
With all these health benefits, it’s no wonder that coconut water has been revered by many cultures of the world.
Best USDA certified organic coconut water brands for healthy living
While coconut water provides numerous health benefits, it’s unfortunate that marketing has taken advantage of its newly found popularity in industrialized countries. For packaged coconut water to retain its nutrients and provide the best benefits, it should come directly from fresh, young, and green coconuts.
However, some manufacturers have adopted packaging methods that have ruined its purity by using mature (old) coconuts, using reconstituted concentrate, heat pasteurization, and adding preservatives. Even worse, they have dipped the fresh coconuts in carcinogens such as formaldehyde and sodium metabisulphite for preservation during transport.
Obviously, the best coconut water comes straight from a young coconut picked from a tree and consumed immediately. However, coconut trees don’t grow everywhere, but there are packaged organic or wild coconut waters that come close to the real thing. They don’t use any heat processing or concentrates.
Instead, the better brands come from manufacturers that cold pasteurization which is high pressure processing (HPP) that doesn’t destroy nutrients – only kills bacteria. The only downside is that HPP products have a very short shelf life – about 45 days. Other reputable brands package completely raw and unpasteurized organic coconut water.
1. Copra – This brand uses 100 percent raw coconut that is USDA certified organic. Young coconuts come from western Thailand and are harvested at their peak. The water is bottled within hours of harvesting, and they use HPP.
2. Exotic Superfoods – This brand bottles 100 percent USDA certified organic, raw coconut water only from Thailand. They do not process their coconuts whatsoever. Instead, they keep their coconut waters frozen to preserve freshness.
3. Harmless Harvest – This brand uses 100 percent USDA certified organic and raw coconut water. They source young coconuts from small agroforestry farms in rural Thailand. The coconuts are then frozen and shipped to the United States. HPP is used. Some of the water turns pinks when the water is exposed to light. This is due to the naturally occurring antioxidants and phenols – not spoilage.
4. Waterhill Naturals – This brand has been family owned since 1914 and has a long legacy for doing things right. Their coconut water is 100 percent USDA certified organic and raw from central Thailand where the rich soil and tropical climate produces uniquely flavorful coconuts. Is uses HPP and is also non-GMO verified.
Best advice in choosing the best coconut water.
Other than the four brands provided, there may be other coconut waters that are great for healthy living. But, of course, choosing the best coconut water takes a little research.
Most companies have a web site. Check them out before making your purchase. Just make sure they use proper processing techniques. If they use USDA certified organic and raw young green coconuts, they may be worth a try.
About the author: Abby Campbell is a medical, health, and nutrition research writer. She’s dedicated to helping people live a healthy lifestyle in all aspects – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Abby practices, writes, and coaches on natural preventive care, nutritional medicine, and complementary and alternative therapy.