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  • Writer's pictureAmalie Boge

Zanzibar nutrition to stay hydrated, part 1: Water melon, coconut and cucumber!

Hot season is around the corner in #Zanzibar, and temperatures will rise, as well as humidity. Our diets play and important role in cooling and keeping our bodies hydrated, and to make sure we are feeling fit for exercise and daily activities. In addition to drink 2-2,5 litres of water daily (recommended for healthy adults), it's crucial to incorporate hydrating fruits and vegetables in our meals to maintain electrolyte balance, easing digestion, and support our immune systems to keep diseases away. It's also recommended no to do vigorous activity in the hottest parts of the day. Read more about this in our previous post "5 Essential Tips for Training at the #Beach" here: https://www.zanzibarfitness.com/post/5-essential-tips-for-training-at-the-beach


Having fruits is the best way to add required fibre to our bodies, while getting something sweet, as well as feeling refreshed and getting the #vitamins, #minerals and #antioxidants we need. Several studies have also demonstrated that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, blood pressure and other chronic illnesses. It is in this regard that we have put together a series with our go-to list of fruits, vegetables and (coco)nuts, all we need to up our nutrition in Zanzibar!


Watermelon


#Watermelon is composed of about 92% water, making it an excellent fruit for staying hydrated, especially during hot weather. It's also low in calories making it a great option for those looking to manage their weight while enjoying a healthy snack. It is a good source of vitamins A and C. Vitamin A supports healthy vision and skin, while vitamin C boosts the immune system and promotes skin health. Watermelon contains antioxidants like lycopene and beta-carotene, which help protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. In addition, watermelon contains potassium which is a mineral that helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions, and nerve signals. During watermelon season you can get it everywhere in Zanzibar, from the local market or even by the roads if you are on the go. Eat it as it is or mix it in juices and yummy fruit salads!

A person eating a watermelon on a towel in the sun
Watermelon is a perfect snack for staying hydrated through the day in the Zanzibar sun!

Coconut


We hereby recommend you to go loco for coconuts! In Zanzibar you will find coconuts pretty much everywhere, from street vendors, to restaurants, on safari, and you can even participate in picking them yourself (if you can reach them!). Drink the water first and proceed to the sweet and juicy meat! 


Coconut water is an excellent natural hydrator due to its high electrolyte content, including potassium, sodium, and magnesium. It is relatively low in calories compared to other sugary drinks, making it a healthier alternative. Besides electrolytes, coconut water contains vitamins like vitamin C and several B vitamins. The electrolyte composition of coconut water helps maintain proper fluid balance, especially after exercise or during hot weather. #Coconut water can also aid digestion and prevent indigestion due to its natural enzymes. The potassium in coconut water can help manage blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium. It may help prevent kidney stones due to its ability to prevent crystallisation of certain compounds in the kidneys.


Coconut meat is high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are beneficial fats that can be quickly utilised by the body for energy. It contains a good amount of dietary fibre, aiding in digestion and promoting satiety. Coconut meat provides essential nutrients like iron, manganese, and copper. The  medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut meat provide a quick and efficient energy source, and may help improve cholesterol levels by increasing good HDL cholesterol. Lauric acid in coconut has antimicrobial effects, which can help fight infections.

A hand holding a coconut drink with a flower
Fresh coconut water is an absolute must in Zanzibar!

Cucumber


If you want to be 'cool as a cucumber' during summer, this veggie is a must-have. It is usual for many people to suffer from loss of appetite and low energy levels during summer months. #Cucumbers are composed of about 95% water, which makes them an excellent hydrating food choice, especially during hot weather or after physical activity. While cucumbers are not exceptionally high in vitamins and minerals, they do provide Vitamin K, C and potassium. Due to their high water content and mild diuretic properties, cucumbers can help hydrate the body and flush out toxins. The #fibre in cucumbers, particularly in the skin, promotes regular bowel movements and aids in digestive health. Cucumbers also contain various antioxidants, including flavonoids and tannins, which have anti-inflammatory effects and may help protect against chronic diseases. Because of their low calorie content and high water and fibre content, cucumbers can help you feel full without consuming many calories, aiding in weight loss or maintenance. Cucumbers can be eaten fresh as a snack, added to salads, sandwiches, or wraps for crunch, and incorporated into smoothies or juices. Or try it the #Zanzibar way, with salt and pili pili!


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