Not to be confused with coconut milk, coconut water is the clear liquid found inside a young, green coconut. Coconut milk is both higher in calories and fat content, and is extracted from the flesh of the coconut. It is a thicker, sweeter and denser liquid than coconut water.
To use coconut water, coconuts are ideally harvested at 5-7 months of age for optimal water content. This is because as the coconut matures, the liquid inside is replaced by coconut flesh and the mature coconut milk. Any coconuts younger than five months of age tend to be bitter in taste and not as nutrient dense. In contrast, mature coconuts contain less water as their endosperm quickly thickens into coconut flesh.
To get the most health benefits of coconut water, it is used by drinking the water of the young coconut rather than the milk, which is lower on nutrient density. Plus, if you enjoy the flavor, then it can be a low calorie, low sugar alternative to other standard beverages.
Weight Loss Benefits
Coconut water is considered by many as the ideal beverage for weight loss. This is because the content of fat in coconut water is relatively low so it can be enjoyed without being too concerned about adding on weight. At the same time, given its nutrient density, coconut water can keep you feeling satiated.
Despite being very light in consistency, coconut water has a better composition of minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese and zinc than some of the other fruit juices and a lot less sugar and calories.
The potassium content in coconut water is credited with balancing out sodium, an excess of which can cause water retention in the body, leading to water weight. With coconut water included in the diet, excess water as well as toxins can be flushed from the body.
But perhaps one of the most unique features of coconut water is that despite being a liquid, it has a fair amount of fiber content in it. Fiber is well known for its weight managing properties and when present in a natural beverage, its potential cannot be overlooked.