Coconut Water

Every morning I walk down along the shore of Ipanema beach for about an hour and then end my morning walk with a delicious young, fresh coconut. First thing in the morning it is delicious after a long walk.  Coconuts are found at every beach stand here in Rio, ice cold, and ready to be consumed. The guy at the beach stand will usually chop the top of it open with a giant machete and then its ready to drink! They sure hit the spot when its over 95 degrees in the summer.

The word coconut means “monkey face” because it kind of looks like the face of a monkey. In Sanskrit, the coconut is known as kalpa vriksha which means “tree which gives all that is necessary for living”.

In case you are unfamiliar, coconut water is the liquid found inside of a young coconut. The coconuts here are usually green and a little smaller than a basketball. The “water” is found in the young coconuts because the older ones will eventually fill up with coconut “meat”. A really young coconut has a gel-like meat inside which starts to grow and get harder as it matures.

Coconut water has a significant number of health benefits. Unless it has been contaminated it is completely sterile and can be used for IV hydration if needed

because it has the same electrolyte balance as the body. WOW! It is very high in potassium (294 mg), magnesium and contains a significant number of antioxidants.   Can potentially promote heart health, weight loss, and improve kidney function. And one cup of coconut water has only 46 calories! Awesome! So if you ever have the opportunity to grab yourself a fresh, ice cold coconut on the beach of Ipanema, know that you are getting a ton of health benefits along with it. Enjoy!

Coconut Water for Dogs

Many of the cariocas (residents of Rio) give coconut water to their dogs and its really cute to see dogs roaming around the beach with a coconut hanging from their mouth.