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Excuse Buster: Sip the prized elixir – coconut water

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Excuse Buster: Sip the prized elixir – coconut water | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: In the past few columns, I have discussed one of my favorite fats, coconut oil, and its many benefits according to the most up-to-date research. This week, I want to share some information about my favorite elixir: coconut water.

More than five years ago, when I first visited Phuket, an older Thai waiter at our hotel saw how much of a coconut-water fan I was from the amount I was consuming per day, so he proceeded to tell me all the wonderful tales of this amazing drink.

I already knew it tasted great and was ideal after a good training session, but the waiter told me that coconut water was also used for blood transfusions in World War II, and by sick people and athletes for re-hydration – it is better for this than sports drinks because of all its nutrients. It also kills pathogens and can heal many conditions, some of which the waiter listed for me. He was clearly quite a fan of coconut water.

Naturally, the scientist in me later checked out some of this man’s ‘tales’ – turns out he was right about many of them. I’ll include some of the snippets of his tales that I confirmed were true.

First, coconut water has been used for intravenous hydration and resuscitation of critically ill patients in remote regions of the world, according to an article published in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine in January 2000. Also, coconut water may be an oral re-hydration alternative for patients with severe gastroenteritis when conventional fluids are unavailable, stated an article in the New Zealand Medical Journal. The addition of sea salt would rectify some of the deficiencies of coconut water.

As far as post-exercise re-hydration, I read in The Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health that coconut water is as good as ingesting a commercial sports drink for whole body re-hydration after exercise-induced dehydration, but provided better fluid tolerance. Additionally, an article in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology and Applied Human Science confirmed that the ingestion of fresh, young coconut water may be used for whole body re-hydration after exercise.

When it comes to killing pathogens and combating various diseases, I also found journal articles to support my waiter’s tales. For one, I learned from an article published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2011 that young coconut water could significantly reduce some pathologies associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Furthermore, coconut water significantly reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressures in hypertensive subjects, as evidenced by research published in the West Indian Medical Journal.

Researchers who published an article in Peptides in 2009 found that coconut water contains compounds with antibacterial activity against pathogenic bacteria.

In case you’re wondering what nutrients and other goodies actually make up coconut water so that it can yield all of these amazing benefits, a recent article published on mercola.com lays them out for us.
Coconut water is rich is natural vitamins (especially the B vitamins), minerals and trace elements (including zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur and manganese). Vitamins are necessary for the enzymatic reactions your cells need in order to function.

It is full of amino acids, organic acids, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients. On top of this, it is light and low in calories, as well as low in sugar, but at the same time is pleasantly sweet. It contains about a fifth of the sugar of other fruit juices and contains a little fiber to moderate absorption. It is rich in cytokinins, or plant hormones, which have anti-aging, anti-cancer and anti-thrombolytic effects in humans.

Fresh coconut water is one of the richest natural sources of electrolytes and, as we have mentioned above, can be used for re-hydration purposes. Because it contains so many electrolytes, it’s been called ‘Nature’s Gatorade’. It contains five electrolytes that our body needs: potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorous and calcium.

Again – overwhelming amounts of research have found the benefits of coconut water to be seemingly endless. Most of my sports and health friends in Europe and Australia pay big bucks just to buy the boxed variety. How lucky are we to be living on this paradise island surrounded by fresh, cheap coconuts?

Craig Burton is a nutritional expert with more than 15 years of experience at the forefront of the health and well-being field. He offers a high-level of his expertise in functional training and nutrition, focusing on detoxification, food intolerance and nutrient deficiency. For more information about Craig, visit vitruvianmethod.com

— Craig Burton

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

World

Darth Vader actor David Prowse dies – May the force be with him

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Darth Vader actor David Prowse dies – May the force be with him | The Thaiger

“…his swish with the black cape and his screen presence in the foreboding, shiny black high-tech exoskeleton won him a legion of fans.”

Darth Vader has died… May the force be with him. The man who played the bad guy in the first Star Wars trilogy, British actor David Prowse, died at the age of 85 after a short illness.

American actor Mark Hamill, who played Darth Vader’s son, Luke Skywalker, alongside with David and the initial cast of the epic saga, sent his condolences in a tweet.

“So sad to hear David Prowse has passed. He was a kind man & much more than Darth Vader.”

“Actor-Husband-Father-Member of the Order of the British Empire-3 time British Weightlifting Champion & Safety Icon the Green Cross Code Man. He loved his fans as much as they loved him. #RIP”

Star Wars co-star, and fellow Brit, Anthony Daniels, who played the gold-plated and effusive C3PO in all but one of the 12 Star Wars instalments, paid tribute to Prowse’s contribution to the saga.

“Dave’s iconic figure dominated the finished film in ’77 and has done so ever since.”

David wore the ominous black suit and helmet to play the Star Wars villain Darth Vader although it was the American actor James Earl Jones who provided the character’s voice in post-production. George Lucas felt that David’s West Country English accent was “unsuitable for the part”. The decision to replace David’s voice caused a long-term rift between actor and director that eventually saw David cut out of official Star Wars publicity events. But his swish with the black cape and his screen presence in the foreboding shiny black high-tech exoskeleton won him a legion of fans.

Darth Vader actor David Prowse dies - May the force be with him | News by The Thaiger

David’s career as an actor spanned 50 years, but it was his role as the Sith Lord in Star Wars that brought him international fame and attention.

But it was his role as the “Green Cross Code Man” from a British road safety campaign that Prowse said he was most proud of. David was awarded an MBE, Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, in 2000 for that role.

David Prowse was born into a working class family and grew up in a council estate in Southmead, in southwestern England. He gained a scholarship to attend Bristol Grammar School. He had a passion for bodybuilding and was crowned British Weightlifting Champion several times in the 1960s. He became lifelong friends with actors Arnold Schwarzenegger in his weightlifting years.

His towering figure helped land him roles as monsters and villains in TV shows and films. He played the monster in “The Horror of Frankenstein” in 1970 and a bearded torturer in “Carry on Henry” in 1971. That same year he made an appearance as a bodyguard in Stanley Kubrick’s dystopian film “A Clockwork Orange” in 1971. He went on to play Darth Vader in all three of the original “Star Wars” films, in 1977, 1980 and 1983.

With the success of Star Wars, Prowse became a regular on the fan circuit and attended conventions around the world for almost 40 years, but he was rumoured to have later fallen out with director Lucas and was banned from official events in 2010.

He published an autobiography, “Straight from the Force’s Mouth,” in 2011.

SOURCES: Reuters | CNN | BBC

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Chiang Rai

Ron Howard to direct cave rescue feature film ‘Thirteen Lives’ in Australia

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Ron Howard to direct cave rescue feature film ‘Thirteen Lives’ in Australia | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The entrance to the real Tham Luang cave near the Myanmar border in far north Thailand

The Australian Government is putting up A$13 million to Imagine Entertainment and film giant MGM to shoot a live-action feature film called Thirteen Lives, based on the Chiang Rai Tham Luang cave rescue story. The film will be shot in Queensland, Australia in the hinterland areas behind the Gold Coast.

The film will be directed by Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, The Da Vince Code, Cocoon, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Splash, Frost/Nixon), and start filming in March 2021. The state’s Gold Coast hinterland will double for Thailand with a similar hot, humid climate.

The Australian Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher MP, says the production should inject more than A$96 million into the Australian economy, “directly creating around 435 jobs for cast and crew”.

Thirteen Lives will tell the remarkable story of the effort by many volunteers, including Australians, to undertake an incredibly complex rescue. And I am proud to say that this story will be told here in Australia.”

“I understand this project will also undertake a significant amount of cutting-edge visual effects work here, a great opportunity for our local post, digital and visual effects companies.”

Thirteen Lives follows the true story of the 2018 Tham Laung cave rescue of the Mu Pa (Wild Boar) football team, trapped in a cave by heavy rain and flooding in Chiang Rai, far north Thailand. After the team was stuck for days with no supplies and falling oxygen levels, a group of diving and rescue experts from all over the world were called up to work together with their Thai counterparts to save the 13 young men. Among those experts were a group of divers from the United Kingdom and Australia.

The first major feature film about the rescue operation was The Cave, released in October 2019. The film was quite critical of the Thai red-tape which hampered much of the early rescue efforts.

Ron Howard has worked with plenty of Australians in the past.

“From Thirteen Lives to the animated projected I am directing with Animal Logic in Australia, I am excited about the opportunity to film and work in Australia and dramatically expand on that list of collaborators whose sensibilities and work ethic I have long admired and respected.”

Imagine Entertainment and MGM’s Thirteen Lives will be distributed by Universal Pictures International.

Watch a message from director Ron Howard HERE.

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Thailand

Covid tourism standstill gives Thailand’s southern sea gypsies a break

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Covid tourism standstill gives Thailand’s southern sea gypsies a break | The Thaiger

Phuket’s sea gypsy communities are getting a much needed break after the Covid tourism standstill have their traditions a break from the tourism onslaught. 42 year old Sanan Changham says now there is an abundance of fish and shellfish to eat. Tourist boats have been docked at the quay, making fishing easier for the Chao Lay, or “people of the sea.“

“We don’t dive as deep as before, so it’s less dangerous.“

More than 9 million visitors came to Phuket in 2019, impacting the sea gypsies and their way of life, mostly located at the southern end of the island. The booming tourism brought a decline in fish stocks, decreasing fishing grounds and loud construction of hotels. And the traffic. Such hotels signal an even bigger threat to the 1,200 Chao Lay in Rawai, as property developers have tried to evict them from their ancestral strip of land that faces the sea.

Ngim Damrongkaset, a Rawai community representative, says he hopes the area where developers have taken a stake is abandoned.

“They want to drive us out of our homes, but also to deny us access to the sea.”

For the Chao Lay people, the fight to keep their land has been unequal as most are illiterate and were unaware of the fact that they could register their land, but the government is trying to help them. One way for authorities to buy the land and entrust it to them.

Narumon Arunotai, an anthropologist at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, says the government must seize the opportunity provided by the pandemic to rethink their vision on Chao Lay.

“Covid is an opportunity to change mentalities. Mass tourism in Phuket has been a catastrophe for the sea gypsies.“

The land in Rawai was originally claimed by Indonesian ancestors of Sanan, before the island became flooded with international travellers. But since tourism has become more profitable, authorities have cracked down on the sea gypsies unless they are sailing in protected marine reserves.

“Before, we risked being arrested by a patrol or having our boats confiscated.“

For the animist Chao Lay the beach is a vital space where they keep their colourful wooden boats and where they pray and give thanks to their ancestors. But not only their unique cultural heritage has helped them navigate the waters.

The Chao Lay people are experts at detecting any abnormalities in the water, as such they were able to escape before the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami hit, while saving loads of tourists. Furthermore, Children of the Moken have 50% better visual acuity in the water than their European counterparts, according to a 2003 study.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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