Coconut water – what’s the big deal?

Over that past five years, coconut water has exploded on the market as a “natural” replenishment drink. So, how replenishing is coconut water, and what are the benefits of choosing coconut water over other beverages?

Coconut water, not to be confused with coconut milk, is a great fat-free source of potassium (~12% of your daily potassium needs) for only 46 calories. In fact, coconut water has nearly double the potassium content of bananas. Potassium is critical for fluid and electrolyte balance. If they become imbalanced, you can experience a number of symptoms, including fatigue and high blood pressure. If your potassium levels get too low, you can suffer more serious heart problems.

What does this mean for you? Although drinking coconut water has been promoted as a replenishment drink, it really isn’t any more beneficial than water or a sport drink after exercise (a topic for a completely different blog). However, coconut water is a great complement to a fruit smoothie. Incorporating coconut water into a smoothie of your favorite fruits is a great way to help meet your fluid, vitamin and mineral needs, particularly potassium, while keeping your calories under control.

Written by: Kari Pilolla

What’s small blue, delicious and nutritious?

They’re small, blue, and the perfect addition to any smoothie – BLUEBERRIES!  While it’s not quite that time of year to go out and pick these little power-packing fruits, it’s always a good time to add them to any meal or snack. Aside from being tasty…they’re also healthy for you! That blue hue is more than just window dressing on a blueberry – it is also the source of powerful antioxidants known as anthocyanins.

Here are 3 reasons to include these little nutrient-dense powerhouses in your diet:

  1. Brain power! – Recent research shows that the antioxidants found in blueberries helps lower that risk of oxidative stress, maintaining healthy cognitive functions, like memory and motor skills.
  2. Heart Health – You’re never too young to think about the ticker that keeps you going. The powerful antioxidants in blueberries help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation that can contribute to cardiovascular disease.
  3. Great taste at low calorie cost!  For a mere 40 Calories, you get a half-cup of delicious-ness packed with fiber and vitamin C.

So, eat them by the handful, put them in cereal or yogurt, top your ice cream with them, mix them into healthy whole wheat waffles, or blend them up into your smoothies. You can do just about anything you want with blueberries; so how are you going to eat your blueberries today?

Written by: Kari Pilolla