Health Benefits of Coconut Water – A Myth?
Coconut Water Health Benefits
This fresh drink, right out of a young coconut, is pure, sterile, safe and ready to drink especially when you travel in these regions. The scorching sun depletes the glucose level in the body leaving it dehydrated and drained of energy. In India, which is the 3rd largest producer of coconuts in the world, you would find stacks of young coconuts or tender coconuts as we call here, piled up on the highways.
This is the only trustworthy drink that you could bet your life on in these humid environs. The cokes and the colas may have become popular with the younger generations, but even they know that if they feel under the weather, they just need to reach out for the tender coconut water.
What is Coconut Water or Tender Coconut Juice?
Tender coconut water is the liquid endosperm of the coconut during its nuclear phase of development. This later matures into the flesh or the coconut meat. Tender coconut water is the liquid or juice and not the milk of the coconut. There seems to be whole lot of confusion in this area.
These young coconuts are harvested specially for their water between 5 and 7 months. The tender coconut water tastes sweet and refreshing. If the tender coconut that is harvested is younger the water would taste bitter. The tender gel like meat of the tender coconut is also scooped out with the husk and relished along with the tender coconut water. Tender coconut water is non fat, low in calories and is easily digestible.
It has been known to be filled with electrolytes and it is much better than the WHO’s oral rehydration solution, so much so that in areas where intravenous saline is not available, doctors have safely used tender coconut water as an intravenous fluid. Electrolyte balance is very similar to that of the composition of blood.
Coconut water Nutrition information
Tender coconut water contains minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, sulphur and chlorides. The sugar, fibre, protein, anti-oxidant, vitamins and minerals in the tender coconut water provide an isotonicelectrolyte balance.
Coconut water has naturally occurring bio active enzymes and these enzymes help in digestion and metabolism. Coconut water is rich in lauric acid.
Lauric acid has been claimed to have antimicrobial properties. It has also been found to increase high density lipoprotein (HDL) or the good cholesterol levels in your body. For full details see table below.
Health Benefits of Coconut Water
Health benefits of tender coconut water are determined by the components that are found in it.
The isotonic electrolyte balance in tender coconut water makes it the best drink for rehydration of your body. In humid climates where people tend to sweat a lot in summer, just a drink of tender coconut water would replace the lost electrolytes in the body.
This would hold good for sports persons who train heavily and tend loose a lot of electrolytes. Most of the sports drink beverages that are designed to re-hydrate the lost body fluids contain a lot of sugar which is not exactly the right thing for the body.Tender coconut water would be the perfect drink for such people.
In the case of diarrhea, Cholera, etc where there is a loss of body fluids and often people need to be given intravenous fluids, coconut water has proved to be an excellent remedy. It does not arrest or treat Cholera or diarrhea but replaces the body fluids and vitality helping the body to recuperate faster.
In India, tender coconut water has been widely used in the case of fever during the attack of measles, chicken pox, etc. It is always been believed that tender coconut water effectively reduces the heat in the body and brings back the internal homeostasis.
People with measles and chickenpox are frequently given drinks of tender coconut water helping them recuperate faster.
It has been known that foods rich in potassium help reduce the risk of hypertension and heart attack. Tender coconut water is an excellent source of potassium and therefore promotes heart health.
The lauric acid helps fight cholesterol by increasing the good cholesterol level whereby it has been effectively argued that tender coconut water is an excellent way to reduce weight because it has very little calories and has all the benefits of drinking water.
Coconut water is excellent for your kidneys – Diets and fluids that are rich in potassium and magnesium have been known to reduce the risk of kidney stones. Tender coconut water is also an excellent diuretic and therefore aids in flushing kidney stones.
It counteracts acidity – Tender coconut is alkaline by nature and thereby counteracts acidity. People with heart burn and indigestion could highly benefit from drinking tender coconut water. It also reduces the level of constipation in people consuming them.
Antioxidant effect – A free amino acid L-arginine which is present in tender coconut water diminished the generation of free radicals.Tender coconut water also hold in vitamin C which reduces lipidperoxidised oxidation.
It is also known to be hepatoprotective which means it protects your liver from necrosis or fatty infiltration.
Tender coconut water is believed to hold in phytoestrogens and other hormone like substances that could be used in hormone replacement therapy. It is supposed to promote wound healing in post menopausal women.
Coconut water has also been used effectively to clear acne. An application of tender coconut water on your face could clear it of acnes and black heads.
Tender coconut also helps in acquiring a beautiful and clear skin. Hydration is key to a healthy skin. Consumption of tender coconut water flushes out the toxins in the body thereby clearing up your skin to a large extent. Tender coconut water has also been used effectively as a local application on sunburns.
Coconut water with a few drops of lemon juice has been well-known to drive away hangovers.The Ayurvedic system of medicine has recorded the uses of tender coconut water 4000 years ago.
In Sanskrit the coconut palm is named the “Kalpavriksha” which means the tree that provides all that is needed for life. This should essentially sum up the health benefits of consuming young coconut water.
Though there has been a huge hype caused by celebrities, this natural drink has a validity of its own and is surely better than any artificially flavoured drink.
Coconut Water Nutrition
|Nutritional value||per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||79 kJ (19 kcal)|
|Carbohydrates||3.71 g –|
|– Dietary fibre||1.1 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.||0 μg (0%)|
|– beta-carotene||0 μg (0%)|