Time to Trade Gatorade for Coconut Water?

Raw coconut water

Coconut water has come a long way from being a tropical novelty enjoyed only on seaside vacations, peddled by sketchy looking vendors on the sand. It’s the newest health trend, and you’ll see it on store shelves and in your local gym. What’s the appeal? The combination of nutrients and minerals make coconut water uniquely suited to hydrate your body, better than most sports drinks (and much healthier!).

What is coconut water?
Coconut water is often confused with coconut milk. The two might come from the same place, but they are very different. If you break open a coconut (you have a machete handy, right?), coconut water is the clear liquid sloshing around on the hollow inside. Coconut milk, on the other hand, comes from the grated white meat of the coconut. Coconut water has a sweet, silky taste and is packed with natural carbohydrates, electrolytes, and minerals. Coconut water is also low in fat and calories, making it a better alternative than your sports drink. I prefer it to the artificial flavor of gatorade.

Exercise Minerals
As a health and fitness enthusiast, I know how important it is to provide your body with the right nutrients for post-workout recovery. Coconut water contains two key minerals for this, sodium and potassium, which can relieve your body after a strenuous workout. In fact, coconut water has far more potassium than a sports drink, making it ideal for long, mid-paced workouts. But, if you’re planning a vigorous exercise that makes you sweat a lot, a sports drink still might be best because of their higher levels of sodium. Sodium and potassium are both great if you’re recovering from an exhausting workout, but for a light workout, water is still your best bet to stay hydrated.
CocoBonus: Potassium and sodium in coconut is very effective at relieving hangovers too!

Better than regular water?
Better tasting for sure. Coconut water is a sweet way to stay hydrated since it’s full of minerals and natural carbs and under 40 calories for every 8 ounce serving. However, while coconut has its benefits, nothing takes the place of plain water.
CocoBonus: Coconut water is a great soft drink replacement – just put a little lime in the coconut!

Fresh or Bottled?
Breaking open a coconut is a little easier than it looks, but not much. You can use the pry-bar side of a hammer to tap a circle around the top until it cracks open. Coconuts are on the small side, and that’s a lot of work for a drink – but at least you don’t have to check the label! Bottled coconut water, on the other hand, tends to be filtered and sometimes contains added ingredients.

Sweet and Sour Super Hydrating Coconut Water

Ingredients
1 cup coconut water
¼ cup watermelon cut into cubes
¼ cup grapefruit juice
2 teaspoons honey
mint leaves for garnish

Directions
1. Mix all ingredients together and chill

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Salads Optimized: Super Food Pairings


Tomato Olive Bruschetta

Like a healthy couple, food pairings can work together to improve each other, boosting the effectiveness of the individual ingredients. It’s the dietary equivalent of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. These super food pairings not only add some kick to your kale – they’ll also boost the nutritional value of your salads.

Italian Caprese Salad

Pairing tomatoes with olive oil and mozzarella cheese can significantly improve the health benefits of each. Tomatoes contain cancer fighting Carotenoids that are fat soluble, which means that eating tomatoes dressed with a healthy oil-based vinaigrette (like olive oil and balsamic vinegar) allows your body to access the Carotenoids more easily. Don’t forget the basil!

Red Bell Peppers and Lentil Mix-ins

Crisp bell peppers are a crunchy way to zest up your salad, while repairing and strengthening your immune system with vitamin C. Vitamin C also assists in the absorption of Iron, which lentils are full of. Iron is a key component in hemoglobin, a molecule in red blood cells that helps carry oxygen throughout the body, boosting energy.

Salmon Salad with Garlic Vinaigrette

Both salmon and garlic strengthen your immune system, counteract inflammation, and lower bad cholesterol. Putting these two foods together creates a double-whammy of positive effects on your body.

Bone Strengthening Cobb Salad

An all-time favorite, known for its abundance of tasty toppings, the Cobb Salad is often overlooked for its superfood pairing of cheese and egg. Egg yolks are filled with vitamin D that allows calcium from cheese to be easily absorbed.

Summertime Smoothies Are Here!

 

Watermellon Smoothie

Ice-cold blended smoothies made with the freshest ingredients and raw nut milk – it’s the chilly treat that our Tampa summer demands! Have you seen our debut smoothie menu?

smoothie image

While these ingredients are more than enough to make your mouth water, their health benefits go far beyond simply tasting great.

tropical island

Tropical Island: A Smoothie Stunner

Did you know that coconuts and coconut milk have fatty acids that help with weight loss? Coconut has also been linked to improving immune system function, reducing the risk of heart disease, and improving the health of skin and hair. Blackberries, of course, are packed with cancer-fighting and free-radical-quelling antioxidants; lime has vitamin C; and kefir has probiotics that aid digestion – but the real surprise in this smoothie is the pineapple. Pineapple is anti-inflammatory and is a rich source of beta-carotene (which helps keep your vision healthy).

Pink Smoothies # 1

Pink Drinks Detox: The Good Mood Smoothie

Beets are packed with potassium, magnesium, fiber, iron, beta-carotene, folic acid, and have even been called “nature’s viagra.” If that’s not enough to cheer you up, the good fats in avocado will stabilize your blood sugar and give your brain what it needs to see the world sunny-side up. And strawberries make everyone happy (well, everyone who’s not allergic!).

summerbliss

Summer Bliss Smoothie: The Hangover’s Over

You need electrolytes and potassium, stat! Hangovers are no fun, but the combo of bananas, flax and strawberries will beat back your boozy-blues with everything you need to face the day (and the light, and the noise…).

Stay tuned for more of our smoothie highlights!

 

Donuts Help You Lose Weight – Study Shows! (Funded by Krispy Kreme)

donuts

Friday, June 6th (yes, Today!) is National Donut Day, and no less than six chain donut stores are offering free donuts (hey, anything in moderation, right?). Unfortunately, donuts don’t really help you lose weight – I fibbed, although a study claiming as much might well be in the works after last month’s Diet Soda study got so much attention.

Oh, didn’t you hear? A study funded by the America Beverage Association claims to have proven that habitually drinking diet soda helps people lose weight more than drinking water and other non-artificially sweetened beverages. The group who drank diet soda instead of water lost an average of four pounds more than the water group.

Words fail me. Almost.

Here are the problems with this study:

For one, all of the 300 participants had to already be habitual diet soda drinkers, consuming several a week at least. Half of the group was then asked to stop cold-turkey and switch to water, while the other half were allowed to drink as much diet soda as they wanted during their completely un-monitored diets. The problem with this approach is that people only have so much willpower, so if you’re asking them to not only follow a diet but give up their favorite drink (one which might be addictive), of course they’ll have a harder time losing weight!

The other issue is that artificial sweeteners are extremely sweet, and if you are in the habit of loading your system with that much sweet flavor, your taste buds adjust to treat that as normal. When that sweet flavor is taken away, naturally sweet foods like fruit won’t taste “right” – driving people with a “sweet tooth” to eat more sugary foods to get the same satisfaction.

These are the real facts of drinking diet soda:

  • Diet soda has been found to harm kidney function, according to a Harvard Medical School study of over 3000 women followed for 11 years.
  • Potassium Benzoate, a preservative in the two major diet brands (Coke and Pepsi), is a skin, eye and mucous membrane irritant – and can form a carcinogen when combined with vitamin C and sodium (which many diet sodas contain).
  • Diet soda’s acid rots teeth.
  • The carbonation and acidity of diet soda depletes calcium in the body, leading to weak bones and kidney stones.

If you want a great-tasting, healthy drink that WILL help you be fit and healthy, try all-natural, fresh-squeezed Juice!

Food Pyramid