Coconut Water for Health and Healing.

What is the healthiest beverage you can drink? Fruit juice? Milk? Sports drinks? Herbal tea? It may come as a surprise to you, but one of the healthiest beverages is coconut water. Most people respond to this statement with, "what the heck is coconut water?" You've been to the grocery store, picked up a coconut, and shaken it, right? The sloshing sound you hear inside is coconut water.

Contrary to popular belief, this liquid is not coconut milk. Coconut milk is made by crushing and squeezing the liquid from coconut meat. What you get is a thick, creamy, white fluid that looks much like dairy milk. Coconut water, on the other hand, looks pretty much like ordinary water, although it may be slightly opaque. The two are completely different in taste, texture, nutrient content, and health benefits.

Coconut water is sometimes referred to as coconut juice and is consumed just like any other fruit juice.
Coconut water has a slightly sweet, somewhat nutty taste. Surprisingly, it doesn't taste like coconut. It has a flavor all its own. Coconut water has long been the most popular beverage consumed in the tropics where it is considered not only a refreshing drink but a health tonic. Coconut water is a superfood filled with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, and growth factors. It is low in fat and has only a fifth of the sugar found in most fresh fruit juices. Its unique combination of nutrients gives it incredible health-promoting properties. Coconut water has a normalizing effect and gives the body a boost of energy so that it can overcome a number of health-related conditions. It is effective in relieving dehydration, fatigue, constipation, and other digestive disturbances, kidney and bladder disorders, and vision problems such as glaucoma and cataract. It is reported to turn back time, so to speak, by reversing or slowing down the aging process. Coconut water also has an alkalizing effect on the body, helping to counteract or balance the effects of acidifying foods which are so common in our diets. Research shows that coconut water can improve blood circulation, lower elevated blood pressure, and reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes. Studies have been so impressive that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States has approved coconut water to carry the claim that it "may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

One of the most remarkable characteristics of coconut water is its chemical profile and mineral content. The primary minerals or electrolytes in coconut water are essentially the same as those found in human blood. For this reason, doctors have used it as an intravenous fluid for rehydration, pumping it directly into the patient's bloodstream. Numerous studies dating back over 60 years document the successful use of intravenous coconut water in the treatment of malnutrition and dehydration. Since coconut water has a pleasant taste, it has also found use as an effective oral rehydration beverage.

Doctors have found it to be highly useful in fighting dehydrating diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and influenza, where it has saved the lives of thousands of children in underdeveloped parts of the world.
Coconut water's similarity to body fluids and its usefulness as an intravenous and oral rehydration fluid has spurred interest in the sports community. With properties which are in many ways superior to commercial sports drinks, coconut water is now becoming popular as a natural rehydration beverage among athletes. In fact, it is popularly known as "Nature"s Gatorade. Coconut water is available at most good health food stores and, as its popularity continues to grow, is finding its way into many grocery stores. It comes packaged in easy-to-carry cans, bottles, and tetra paks. Tetra paks are the most convenient because you don't have to worry about them breaking. You can take them with you anywhere, even when you work out, go camping or hiking, or go to the football game. If you freeze them beforehand, they will stay cold for hours, providing you will a cool, refreshing drink later in the day. You can also get coconut water straight from a fresh coconut. You want to make sure you get a "young" coconut.

Young coconuts are those that have not fully matured. The water in the mature brown, hairy coconuts you see in the grocery store is too old and tastes much different. Whole young coconuts are also sold in health food stores. They look different from the mature brown coconuts. When a coconut is harvested from the tree it is covered in a thick fibrous husk. The husk is usually removed before being shipped to market, so you never see the husk, just the brown shell. Young coconuts, however, have only a portion of the husk cut off, leaving about an inch covering the shell. The husk is white and often shaped like a large toy top, with a point on one end and flat on the other. They are perishable, so you will find them in the refrigerated section of the store.


Feel less tired, more alive, and energized by adopting the following energy boosting strategies:

* Always eat breakfast. Believe it or not, the first meal of the day is the most important one which provides your body the required fuel to keep you going throughout the day. Never miss breakfast; snack on an energy bar, a banana or apple, or drink a glass of juice, if you're in a hurry.

* Eat smaller meals and more often.
Studies have proven that by eating smaller and healthier meals actually give you more energy as opposed to bigger meals which often make you feel tired and sleepy! Try to eat a healthy snack every four hours to maintain your energy levels.

* Exercise!
Walk, jog, or cycle at least fifteen minutes everyday. Any kind of physical activity will boost your energy levels. Find time between breaks, classes, before or after work. Plan ahead and establish a schedule for exercising. You'll notice an immediate difference in energy!

* Feed your cells! If you feel run down and extreme fatigue often or just sometimes, this may be a sure sign that the cells in your body are not receiving enough nutrients. When our body does not get its required dosage of nutrients from our diet, we become exhausted much faster. A powerful way to feel more energized is to supplement our diet with Cellfood. For information on Cellfood go to:

* High energy foods
. Consider adding high energy foods to your diet such as low-fat cheese, milk, yogurt, beans, eggs, fish, poultry, and lean meat.

* Hoodia Gordonii
. To get an added natural flow of energy, consider taking Hoodia Gordonii. This amazing cactus-looking plant is fast becoming popular around the world. To learn all of its benefits, visit:

* Juice
. Drink a whole glass of organic apple or pure orange juice. These two will provide you with plenty of energy, especially when you are running low!

* Water. Drink water on a regular basis.

* Reduce caffeine consumption!
A great way to help maintain your energy levels is to reduce or eliminate caffeine from your diet. Remember: caffeine is a stimulant and will make you jittery.

* Vitamins
Take supplements of vitamins C, E, and B6. Or, eat foods rich in these vitamins like oranges, almonds, peanuts, and pecans.

* Minerals
Take iron as a supplement; it will boost your overall energy.
Ten Easy Ways to Help Your Children Make Healthy Food Choices

Today's families are busy, with lots of demands on both our money and our time. And that makes fast food as well as processed, packaged food more appealing. But the foods that are the easiest and cheapest to prepare are often not the healthiest. Each day, you help your children to form eating habits that are likely to stick with them for years to come. Help them to understand the importance - and the power - of healthy choices. Here are ten tips you can start using today:

1. Sneak in healthy foods. Use a food processor to puree carrots, for example, and sneak them into your spaghetti sauce. Grind nuts and use them in your breading for baked chicken.

2. Use silly names for fruits and vegetables. My son started eating broccoli florets only after we started calling them "dinosaur trees." Make dinnertime fun.

3. Make the healthy items on the plate look silly. Create funny faces or designs on the plate. Family Fun magazine routinely features creative ways to dress up vegetables, both online and in their print magazine.

4. Let your kids experiment with healthy dipping sauces for their veggies. Cream based dressings, such as Ranch and Bleu Cheese, are not the healthiest choices. See if your kids enjoy dipping their celery sticks in a bit of natural peanut butter. You may also enjoy experimenting with the variety of mustards that can lend a unique and delicious flavor to raw vegetables and fruits. Another healthy thing to try: squirt some fresh lemon or lime juice on veggies or salad greens.

5. Every month, try a new fruit or vegetable. See what your kids think of pomegranates, tangerines, kumquats, and so on. It's fun to explore the wide world of healthful foods as a family.

6. Make sure you have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables available. Put out a plate of vegetables for the kids, if they need a snack before dinner. Make sure you have at least two bowls of fresh, raw fruits or vegetables that are readily available at all times.

7. Reward children for their healthy choices. Keep a chart with tally marks and keep track of the spontaneous times that each child chose to fuel his or her body in a healthy way.

8. Forego the spreads or syrups unless your children specifically ask for them. Your kids may prefer toast and waffles, straight out of the toaster, without butter or syrup. They may even enjoy salad with no dressing. Try it and see.

9. Make sure your kids see you making healthy choices. A good example to follow can go a long way in ensuring a child's healthy relationship with food.

10. Talk about the effect that various foods have on your body. Let a child know which vitamins a particular healthy food has, as well as what effect those vitamins have on their body and in their day to day life. When children begin to understand that the food choices they make have a very real effect on the way their body works as well as they way it feels, they begin building their own healthy relationship with food. Jamie Jefferson writes for, where you can find coupons and discounts for top merchants, including Barnes and Noble coupons and Amazon coupons.