My main goal as a health care provider is not to stick needles into as many people as possible. What really inspires me is watching people make simple changes in their lives that creates better mood, energy level, and love for life. Eastern holistic nutrition, choosing what we eat based on what our particular bodies need at that time, is such a helpful tool, so I tend to write about it alot.
Sometimes I think we overlook familiar foods in search of exotic, imported “superfoods” when locally grown, in-season produce will likely give us exactly what we need, when we need it. It’s also nice to find healthy, low cost alternatives. First, though, let’s look at America’s new favorite imported electrolyte magical hangover curing workout enhancing beverage.
Coconut water is popular treat, and has earned a reputation for being a natural source of electrolytes. I first started writing this blog post wanted to bash coconut water a bit. I like the flavor, but I don’t like these types of imported products (waste, exploitation, etc.). Then I looked up the nutrition on the USDA website, and I started coming around in favor of coconut water. Say you bought a 16oz container of coconut water. That’s two cups. The electrolyte contents, according to the USDA website, should look like this:
from the USDA website
Wow! I’m sold! It really is amazing. But then, I looked up some of the actual nutrition facts from the most common coconut water brands. While the total calorie amount for two cups is the same as the USDA site (90cals), all the other nutrients were listed as much lower on the actual containers. So, of course, I google “coconut water scam”, and read everything I needed to know to be back off team coconut water. You can google it yourself if you’d like, but I want to move on to some locally grown, seasonal, summertime favorites you can find in a Denver farmer’s market or any grocery store.
Watermelon and summer go hand in hand. It’s crisp, refreshing, juicy, and sweet. While some people may have come to believe it’s just water and sugar, it really has so much more to offer us. One nutrient in watermelon that is a 0 in coconut water is vitamin A. Vitamin A is great for our skin, eyes, and immune systems.
Watermelon is also lower in calories than you’d probably guess. How many calories do you think is in a two cups of diced watermelon (that’s technically two servings but I’m being realistic). Only 91! Not bad for a refreshing, cooling, sweet treat.
You’ll also get 40 percent of your daily vitamin C needs, and almost 40 percent of vitamin A. Another wonderful nutrient of watermelon is part of its cheery red color. Lycopene is a carotene, a red pigment, that also happens to be a powerful antioxidant.
This delicious fruit is also 90 percent water, so it’s a great food if you’re not a big water drinker. And it does contain some electrolytes as well, for that extra boost of hydration. Oh, and you can also dice it up and put it in the blender for a tasty drink (you don’t even have to add water).
Chinese medicine has used watermelon medicinally for centuries. It’s considered to be very cooling, removes heat from the body, and builds body fluids while also having diuretic properties. The white rind is even boiled as a tea to relieve symptoms of excess heat and sun exposure. The only contraindication of watermelon is in people with weak digestion or excessive urination (including uncontrolled diabetes).
If you’re in the weak digestion category, or are feeling too fatigued or stressed to enjoy summery delights like watermelon, give me call. Acupuncture, herbs, and holistic nutrition can help.