A bright orange husk cocoons this fantastically refreshing natural brew of King Coconut water. When cracked open, the nut gives way not only to a sweet, soul quenching beverage, but also layers of soft, succulent kernel that can be scooped out and had with the drink itself.
A common sight in both verdant and urban thoroughfare and home gardens in the island of Sri Lanka, King Coconut palms are the slightly shorter, native cousins of the Coconut tree. Hailing from a land where summer is eternal, these nuts are hauled down in bunches from gracefully swaying palms, and sold by vendors in carts and kiosks at street corners. Locals and tourists alike stop for a quick replenishing drink, as King Coconut water expertly beats tropical heat with its simple sugars, electrolytes, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Recognized as more hydrating than pure water, it has the ability to be readily absorbed by the body too.
Native to Sri Lanka, and fondly christened ‘a living pharmacy’ for its versatility and nutritional value, the King Coconut is available in several varieties. The commonly known variety is the ‘Red Dwarf’ (Kaha Thambili or Gon Thambili); the ‘Ran Thambili‘ is a smaller variety and contains approximately 40 nuts in a bunch. It is noteworthy that when it comes to its ultra refreshing properties, the King Coconut is the better counterpart of its popularly known, green husked, young Coconut (Kurumba).
It’s legit, Sri Lankan King coconuts are the text book tropical treat. Its water is a concoction of healthy carbohydrates, Vitamin E, iron, calcium and phosphorus. It also has high dietary soluble fibre, phytonutrients and significant amounts of protein and fat. Additionally, the King Coconut consists of bioactive enzymes which help in digestion and metabolism. Naturally sterile, history has it that field doctors used King Coconut water as an easily accessible alternative for saline, during World War 2. Moreover, it is known to possess the same electrolyte balance as blood plasma, which crowns it as an effective natural isotonic drink; making it the better alternative to sugar laden, artificially coloured aerated beverages. King Coconut water is also a great post workout drink, as it helps avoid muscle breakdown and electrolyte imbalance by efficiently replenishing fluids and minerals. Research suggests that the Cytokinins in it have significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic (anti-clot formation) properties. Besides cooling the body, King Coconut water is proven to settle intestinal disturbances and clear the urinary tract. As a low calorie thirst quencher, it keeps one feeling full for longer (thanks to the fibre), which in turn is believed to aid in weight gain control. Its diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties may also play a part in this, since they reduce water retention and bloating.
It is indeed interesting that in Sri Lanka, the land of its origin, the King Coconut holds a significant position in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.