Truth be told… Coconut water is one of my favorite beverages. Every time I go on vacation to the tropics I’m always looking out for that roadside stand with a pile of young coconuts and a guy with a big machete. They hack open a coconut, stick a straw in it and I sip away with a big smile on my face. I live for those coconuts!
Coconut water is really beneficial because it helps to replenish electrolytes in our body. The problem is that I live in Toronto and we don’t have any coconut trees here. If I want coconut water I either have to go to the store, buy a coconut and cut it open myself. Or, I can buy coconut water from a carton, can, or jar.
If you are like me and don’t have easy access to coconuts you may be asking yourself, with all the brands on the market, which is the best coconut water to buy and are they all the same? I thought it was about time I undressed coconut water and gave you my 3 tips for buying the best coconut water you can. The truth is that not all coconut waters are created equal and some do not look good naked. Using the buying tips I provide below will help you avoid the unhealthy ones.
Check out this video to learn about my top 3 tips for buying the best coconut water!
Tip 1: Read the Ingredients
When you read the ingredient list you want to make sure the ONLY thing listed is COCONUT WATER!
Avoid products that list “coconut water from concentrate”. This means they have heated up the coconut water and condensed it down into a syrup. This allows companies to transport it around the world at a lower cost because there is less volume. Unfortunately this process reduces many of the nutrients and beneficial enzymes in the coconut water. Before bottling the coconut water they add back in the water. However, at this point it wouldn’t taste the same (in fact it wouldn’t taste very good at all) so they have to add in “natural flavors” to give you the illusion that you are drinking fresh coconut water.
The other reason companies may use added flavor is to mask the fact that they have used old coconuts instead of young coconuts. Old coconuts don’t taste as delicious and they are less nutritions. However, old coconuts are cheaper so companies often use these to save money and then flavour the coconut water before they sell it to you so it tastes like young coconuts.
The reason I’m not a fan of these flavors is because they have been created in a lab and are masking the taste of a poor quality product.
Don’t let the term “natural” trick you into thinking it is healthy. The only difference between natural and artificial flavors is that natural flavors have been derived from plants or animals, whereas artificial flavors are not. However, no matter what the original source was, the chemical makeup of the final flavor could be similar because of the extensive amount of processing that goes into creating these flavors.
Companies often pay more for “natural” flavoring because there is a consumer perception that it is healthier. However, it’s not. In addition, many natural flavors contain many more ingredients than the artificial ones because they are more complicated to create. In some cases natural flavors could contain hundreds of chemicals. When you see the term “flavor” on an ingredient list you really have no idea what you are eating/drinking. Some of these chemicals could be derived from genetically modified ingredients, from allergenic foods, or could include additional preservatives and solvents.
In addition to adding in nautral flavors, some coconut water companies actually add in additional sweeteners as well. Definitely avoid these!
Tip 2: Buy Organic Coconut Water
A lot of coconuts are farmed using harmful pesticides and other chemicals. Getting organic coconut water will help you avoid those toxins.
Tip 3: Buy Raw Coconut Water (if possible)
This is often challenging because most companies have pasteurized coconut water using high heat. When they do this there is some nutrient and enzyme loss during this process. When you buy brands that offer raw coconut water they use a cold processing method called high pressure processing. It’s more expensive but the product it produces is better.
The Bottom Line:
The most important thing to do when buying coconut water is to make sure the only ingredient listed is “COCONUT WATER”. If you do this you will be headed in the right direction! Now if you find a few coconut waters on the shelf or in the fridge that contain only this one ingredient, opt for the organic brands. Third, there are not many raw brands of coconut water on the market, but if you happen to come across them, they will be your best bet!
An example of a great brand of raw coconut water is Harmless Harvest 100% Raw Coconut Water.
If you are lucky enough to be someone who lives under a coconut tree, crack one open and enjoy. If you live in a colder climate like me follow the tips I provided above to find the best coconut water for you.
Do you love coconut water too? Leave me a comment below letting me know what your favorite brand is. I would love to hear from you!
Plus help me spread the word about how to shop for the best coconut water using the social media buttons below. It’s important that everyone knows how to buy healthy coconut water and avoid the unhealthy brands. Thanks for reading!
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