Cure it with Coconut
Health Benefits of Coco
At the heart of an unripe, green-shelled coconut – locally known as a pipa – hides water from a veritable fountain of youth. Not to be confused with heavier coconut milk, this clear liquid is loaded with potassium, magnesium, calcium, and electrolytes. It is also low in sugar and 99% fat free – sipping just one of these slightly sweet treats is enough to noticeably elevate mood; two servings hydrates the body after a long workout at the gym, and three can annihilate even the most persistent hangover.
Pipa! Pipa! Bien fria la pipa! is a welcome cry used by traveling piperos, or pipa peddlers, offering sweet coconuts straight from the cooler. Vendors often travel by bicycle through bustling ferias (local fresh food markets), town squares, beaches and border crossings. They wander in search of thirsty clients, armed with a machete to scalp the freshly picked coconut, which conveniently morphs into its own holding glass.
Grown along Costa Rica's unspoiled shores and idyllic beaches, the water from this exceptional nut has long been prescribed as a holistic treatment for headaches, fevers, obesity, kidney stones and even the pains of pregnancy. In fact, the sterile substance is so metabolically complete that it can be infused directly into the human bloodstream instead of saline – a practice often utilized in emergency situations during the Vietnam War.
As an added bonus, coconut water also promotes weight loss – and at 45 calories per serving, even the most dedicated dieter can guzzle them down guilt-free. After soaking up the health benefits of this invigorating drink, don’t forget to slice open the shell to devour the milky nut-like fruit inside.