A coconut palm/tree can yield 150 – 200 coconuts a season and each coconut contains 200ml – 1000ml of water – this depends on cultivar size and type. Coconut palms grow abundantly along the coasts of tropical environments.
Tender coconuts are one of the richest sources of electrolytes, chlorides, potassium and magnesium, with some amount of sugar, sodium and protein. The potassium content benefits blood pressure and heart function. Coconut water is also found to have dietary fiber, manganese, calcium, riboflavin and vitamin C.
In mature coconuts, the endosperm solidifies and thickens to form a white edible kernel. Coconut milk is obtained by grating and grinding this kernel with water and passing it through a sieve – this is very different from coconut water as this is very high in fat content – 1 cup has 550 calories. Coconut water has only 50 calories a cup. The milk should not be confused with coconut water.
Health Benefits of Coconut Water
Coconut water is very refreshing and rich in sugar, electrolytes and minerals – available in the natural form in most sterile conditions. It is a natural isotonic drink where the electrolyte levels are similar to those found in the human body. Some research has shown coconuts to have cytokinins which have significant anti aging, anti carcinogenic and anti thrombotic effects.
The water of fresh green coconuts is actually fat free and has zero cholesterol – some studies even go as far as to say that it increases the HDL levels in the body. Once a coconut is cut open, the water should be consumed as exposure to air can result in loss of nutrients. It is low in fat though rich in vitamins and the potassium level is twice the amount found in bananas.
Coconut Water for Weight Loss: Drinking coconut water helps a person to lose weight as it is low in fat – it keeps a person feeling full and reduces food cravings. It is a storehouse of important nutrients, B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin and pyridoxine, and folates. It has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties – these help when a person has flu or herpes - both of which are due to viral infections. You can also include the flesh of coconut in your food. Coconut has zero cholesterol and it can help make your waist slim.
Coconut Water During Pregnancy: Coconut water is generally recommended during pregnancy as it helps in constipation, heart burn and slow digestion. The lauric acid present in coconut water has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, which boost the body’s immune system.
Coconut Water and Kidney Disease: Tender coconut water is very beneficial to a person with kidney stones due to its minerals, potassium and magnesium content. This water also acts as a diuretic as it increases the flow and production of urine. Most urologists recommend coconut water every alternate day as it can reduce the size of kidney stones and even help eliminate them.
In places where fresh coconuts are not available, coconut water is available in the canned and bottled forms. You can find coconut water packed in tetra packs in all food stores as it has gained popularity as a health drink. In America, the sale of coconut water went from 0 to 35 million in just 5 years and is increasing day by day – some popular brands are Vita Coco and Zico.
Nutrition Facts of Coconut Water: (USDA Nutrient Database)-
Value for 100gms: (3.5 oz)
Thus, coconut water can be considered as a healthy alternative to soft drinks to beat the summer heat!
Latest Publications and Research on Coconut WaterPotential of coconut water and soy milk for use as storage media to preserve the viability of periodontal ligament cells: an in vitro study. - Published by PubMed
Application of activated carbons from coal and coconut shell for removing free residual chlorine. - Published by PubMed
Mycology, cultivation, traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Wolfiporia cocos (Schwein.) Ryvarden et Gilb.: A review. - Published by PubMed
Prophylactic effect of coconut water (Cocos nucifera L.) on ethylene glycol induced nephrocalcinosis in male wistar rat. - Published by PubMed
[Surface characteristics of alkali modified activated carbon and the adsorption capacity of methane]. - Published by PubMed