Delicious, exotic fruits are readily available year-round in Costa Rica. Guava, mangosteen and passion fruit vie for your attention alongside jumbo pineapples and plump mangoes. These homegrown delicacies are bursting with vitamins, essential minerals and are a terrific snack any time– especially after a long day of adventure. Of all the major players in Costa Rica, no other has the versatility or amazing health benefits as the coconut.
Rehydrate naturally with coconut water
“Pipa fria” or the water from young, green coconuts is sold on beaches and towns everywhere in Costa Rica. This slightly sweet liquid is a natural source of electrolytes, and is packed with potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and calcium. At just 60 calories per eight-ounce serving, this elixir is the smart way to rehydrate. Coconut water may be a trendy “health drink” among A-listers, but its healing properties are backed up by hard evidence. Studies show that coconut water aids in digestion, lowers blood pressure, enhances insulin levels in diabetics and facilitates weight loss.
Good for heart and brain health
The restorative properties of coconuts are also found in its creamy white meat, which is known to promote cardiovascular health. The meat of mature coconuts contains vitamins E and A, as well as phytosterols, which help to lower bad cholesterol and improve good cholesterol (HDL) levels. Other research suggests that the medium chain fatty acids in raw coconut meat can help stave off degenerative neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Nourishing coconut oil
A categorical “superfood,” virgin coconut oil contains lauric acid, which helps boost the immune system and ward off infections. Medium chain fatty acids also stimulate the metabolism, giving you instant energy and a sense of fullness (thus lowering your hunger levels). Want luxurious locks and picture perfect skin? Full of antioxidants, coconut oil can soften lines and signs of premature aging when applied directly to the skin, and research suggests it also helps prevent hair damage since it blocks 20% of the sun’s UV rays. Perfect for when on your Costa Rica vacation. Virgin coconut oil is moisturizing and anti-bacterial, leaving your skin soft and supple. The oil also contains caprylic acid, a key to preventing and curing candida infections. Believe it or not, this miracle oil also helps stop tooth decay by helping the body absorb calcium.
Check out some recipes Escape Villas staff has to offer under “Chefs and Recipes” in the categories.