The popularity of the coconut is not without good reason. Within the hairy shell lies a treasure trove of health-promoting nutrients. Coconut water is an excellent source of electrolytes, potassium in particular; delicious coconut milk is rich in anti-inflammatory lauric acid; and coconut oil is beneficial as a moisturizer and fat-loss aid (thanks to its medium-chain triglycerides). Coconut water is marketed as an energy drink or sports beverage and is becoming increasingly popular amongst athletes as a source of hydration and electrolytes. Not all coconut water beverages are equal, however. Many brands sold at the supermarket contain sodium metabisulfite or other forms of sulfites. These food additives can cause severe allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, especially in asthma sufferers. Read the ingredients on containers of coconut water or coconut milk carefully before buying.
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