Coconut water is the fluid found in unripened coconuts, which grow on palm trees in the warmer regions of the world such as Malaysia, India, Brazil, Florida, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. In some areas where the coconuts are in abundance, the water is as popular for drinking as diet drinks are in North America where the coconuts are not so readily available.
Coconut water contains about 95 percent water, and 5 percent essential nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium and phosphorus. It contains no unhealthy fats, cholesterol or preservatives, and can be safely added to your diet without any side effects.
Coconut water contains as little as 46 calories in 1 cup, all of which are healthy for you. As a matter of fact there are many health benefits associated with drinking coconut water on a regular basis. These include weight loss, improved metabolism, lower levels of cholesterol, improved circulation, a stronger immune system and stronger bones and teeth. It also helps with urinary and kidney problems.
Diet drinks are mainly marketed to those who are trying to lose weight or to those who are conscious about their health. At one point they were touted as being good for you, as they contained no sugar and fewer calories than regular soda drinks. But studies have shown that diet drinks can contribute to metabolic syndrome, which is associated with abdominal fat, higher levels of blood sugar and triglycerides, high blood pressure and lower amounts of HDL (the good cholesterol) cholesterol levels.
Other studies reveal that even though diet drinks are low in calories, they actually increase your overall calorie intake, as they increase your appetite to eat more at the dinner table as well as in between meals. Therefore, diet drinks will not help you to lose weight or to even maintain it, as is assumed by most. But according to studies, every diet drink will increase your risk of obesity by 41 percent.
Even though diet drinks do not contain any sugar, they do contain sugar substitutes such as aspartame, which is the most popular sweetener used in diet drinks. It is 180 times sweeter than sugar, and contains very few calories. However, due to the sweetness, it can cause an increase of cravings for other sweet foods, and numb your taste buds to the point where you cannot taste sugar as you used to. This eventually will cause you to add more and more sugar to your morning coffee or tea as well as to your desserts.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), aspartame is safe to consume. However, it has been linked to headaches, memory loss, mood swings and diarrhea.
Coconut water is by far better for you than any diet drink, as it contains more nutrients and does not have any negative side effects.
Green and peeled coconuts which contain coconut water can be purchased at some grocery stores, but you can also purchase bottled coconut water at most health foods stores.