The coconut water is one of the healthiest drinks since it is a superb compilation of essential minerals and vitamins for your body. But not all of it!
Much better than other sports drinks and quick energizers, the coconut water provides athletes with natural potassium and magnesium, and rehydrates the body while balancing blood sugar and reducing inflammation.
A scientific review, published in the journal Molecules, showed its considerable health benefits, varying from lowering high blood pressure, preventing heart attacks, and even healing cancer.
It also contains a plant-based hormone called trans-zeatin that may be helpful in doctoring Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other neurological diseases.
Since the anti-aging benefits of coconut water are numerous, food manufacturers have taken advantage of its popularity. However, not all brands are created equal –many brands have been literally ruined by harmful chemicals or processing techniques.
There are some coconut water brands you definitely need to forget about!
SO, check if you are drinking this type of coconut water
In order for packaged coconut water to retain its nutrients, it should come directly from fresh coconuts.
But some manufacturers have adopted quite a few methods of packaging that ruin its purity:
1. When adopting water from mature coconuts, the nutrient dense water which comes from young green coconuts is lost! While the 1-seeded drupe ages, the nutrients seep into the ‘meat’ of the coconut. Therefore, the coconut water loses its nutrition value.
And not only are the nutrients severely watered down, but the taste is also much different from that of young coconuts. Mature coconuts are better for making coconut milk, oil, and other products. But they are also cheaper for the manufacturers to buy.
2. Using reconstituted concentrate instead of fresh coconut water also ruins the coconut water quality. When heated and reduced to syrup, regular water is later added to this coconut water syrup for packaging. The coconut water (or any fruit) that is heated to this extent, loses its rich nutrients, and its beneficial enzymes are also denatured. Again, importing coconut water syrup is cheaper for the manufacturer.
3. Pasteurizing the coconut water with heat leads to severe loss of nutrients too. Based on its delicacy, the coconut water is naturally perishable. So, it should be kept cold. However, several manufacturers use extremely high heat to kill bacteria and extend its shelf life. This process destroys its vitamins, minerals, enzymes… and its flavor as well. While there are other ways to kill bacteria and still keep nutrients intact, manufacturers simply drop more healthful methods. If the coconut water is made from concentrate, it will have gone through the heating process twice!
4. Adding preservatives to enhance and sweeten the coconut water take their toll. Young coconut water is sweet and refreshing. Yet, some manufacturers add ‘natural flavors’ or artificial sweeteners. The only reason they would need to do this is if they are using mature coconut water that has a tingling acidic taste.
5. Dipping coconuts in chemicals for transport is another way to ‘kill’ their nutrients. Many non-organic coconuts are preserved for transporting to the U.S. by dipping them in known carcinogens : formaldehyde or sodium metabisulphite. These chemicals may easily seep into the coconut meat and water and intoxicate it!
If these brands of coconut water have earned your trust, then it is time to check them up
The following is a list of brands that may have touted their drinks to be 100% pure coconut water or all natural coconut water when, in fact, they are far from that! Beware!
1.C2O – This brand uses high heat pasteurization up to 1200 Celsius with the product in their cans. (They use both steel and aluminum cans)
2.Coco Libre (the organic one!) – Though this brand is labeled organic, it uses coconut water from concentrate. Their processing practice uses flash pasteurization with heat. ‘Natural flavors’ are also added.
3. Cona Zona – This brand’s nutrition label reveals that its coconut water is made from concentrate.
4. GOYA – This brand spent mega dollars on fighting GMO labeling in California. They use heat pasteurization with added preservatives, including white sugar.
5. Naked Juice Coconut Water – This Pepsico brand uses water from mature coconuts and then flash pasteurizes using heat. They have faced a class action lawsuit for using synthetic substances and genetically modified organisms /GMOs/ in their produce while labeling misleadingly.
6. O.N.E. Coconut Water – This is another Pepsico brand that uses flash pasteurization with heat. Their coconut water contains natural flavors and sugar. The sugar ingredient is not classified as to the type, but it may very well be a GMO type as used in their other brand Naked Juice.
7. Purity Organic – While this brand is labeled organic, it does not apply the best practices. It uses concentrate and flash pasteurization with heat in processing their coconut water.
8. Vita Coco – Also advertised as being “100% pure,” this brand pasteurizes its coconut water with heat and is full of added sweeteners. They also have a Café version which contains carrageenan, which is an emulsifier that may wreak havoc on your gut health.
9. Zico – This is a Coca-Cola company, which is a big GMO supporter. Their coconut water is made from concentrate, pasteurized with ultra-high heat, and “enriched with natural flavors.”
What is to be done about this?
Well, the absolute no.1 coconut water comes straight from an organic coconut tree. It should be young and green in appearance. But if you must resort to packaged water, choose raw and organic or organic using high pressure processing (HPP). And when it comes to food you eat – do inquire about the source!
Author’s note: If you want some of the best produced coconut water (that I have discovered on my own), check out the Exotic Superfoods’ product. Though they might strike you as expensive at first, they are really good. Or you can opt for Harmless Harvest. It’s up to you after all!
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