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Coconut is botanically known as Cocos nucifera (Nucifera means ‘nut-bearing’). In Sanskrit, it is known as Kalpa Vriksha (the tree which gives all that is necessary for a living), as all parts of the tree can be used in some of the other forms. It is native to India, Malaysia, Polynesia, South Asia, South America, the Pacific Islands, Hawaii, and Florida. India is the third-largest coconut producing country in the world. The Philippines ranks first and Indonesia is second in production. In India, Kerala ranks first in production followed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. It is also cultivated in Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Orissa, Tripura, West Bengal. Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.
Coconut water is a juicy secretion that is present inside the cavity of young and tender coconut. It is considered a refreshing drink in many parts of India. Medically, it is a health tonic. It is used as a food and as a medicine. It not only satisfies thirst, but it also gives energy to the body. It is helpful in bringing about a sense of well-being and helps in the renewal of health. Coconut water and coconut jelly are also considered as the first food during weaning. It is traditional medicine, used as a microbiological growth medium and ceremonial gift. It is quoted that during World War, in case of emergency, coconut water was used as short-term intravenous hydration.
Nutritional Value of Coconut Water
The main component of coconut water is Soluble sugars-sorbitol, glucose, and fructose, galactose, xylose and mannose, Salts and Amino acids like alanine, arginine, cysteine, and serine.
- Energy-19 kcal
- Total fat-0.20 gm
- Dietary Fiber-1.1 gm
- Folates-3 microgram
- Pantothenic acid-0.043mg
- Vitamin-C 2.4mg
- Vitamin A-0 IU
- Vitamin-E-0 mg
- Vitamin-K-0 mcg
- Sodium-105 mg
- Calcium-24 mg
- Copper 40mcg
Diseases in which Coconut Water is Helpful
Coconut water is beneficial in following diseases like-
- Bladder infections
- Kidney stones
Health Benefits of Coconut Water
Coconut water can be understood as the blood of coconut palm. As its electrolyte profile is similar to the human plasma it offers numerous health benefits. It is an elixir to quench thirst. It is a contamination-free drink to prevent dehydration. It can be used for oral rehydration to replenish the lost electrolytes during diarrhea. During pregnancy, many women feel cramps in their legs. In such a case, the intake of coconut water can be a helpful remedy. It is excellent for the urinary and reproductive systems. It helps in bladder infection, kidney stones and to improve sexual functions. It is a diuretic and improves the flow of urine.
Coconut water is cooling and reduces body heat. It is considered Indian ayurvedic medicine. It is prescribed for burning pain during urination, difficulty in passing urine, gastritis, burning pain of the eyes, useful in indigestion, for hiccups, or even expelling of retained placenta.
- It contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, growth factors, and some other nutrients.
- It is a good source of magnesium, calcium, and potassium. It is said that it has potassium more than a banana.
- It also contains zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur, manganese, boron, molybdenum. These minerals are in form of electrolytes. So, they can be absorbed easily.
- It strengthens the heart and improves its circulation. It is also known as a heart tonic. It is considered to reduce plaque formation in arteries. So, it is helpful in reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. It also helps in reducing high blood pressure. It helps in reducing the risk of heart failure in heart disease patients.
- It helps in dilatation of blood vessels, improves blood flow.
- It contains certain forms of dietary fiber and amino acids. This helps moderate sugar absorption and improves insulin sensitivity.
- It has a hormone known as cytokinins which are also known as anti-aging hormones. It acts on normal cells. Cells do not undergo severe degenerative changes, cells remain young and functional throughout their lifetime.
- It helps in the treatment of various skin problems like age spots, wrinkles, sagging, and dry skin. As coconut water contains cytokinins, this hormone stimulates cell division of connective tissue which replaces old and damaged tissue. Hence it helps in healthy and young skin.
- It is an excellent oral rehydration sports beverage. So, it is useful for heat stress, illness. It is useful after heavy exercise.
- It is helpful for infants suffering from intestinal conditions.
- It reduces swelling in the hands and feet.
- It prevents abnormal blood clotting.
- It helps in the improvement of digestion.
- It is also helpful in reversing cataracts.
- It helps in curing constipation or diarrhea.
- It improves the healing of wounds.
- It is helpful in good vision.
- It contains nutrients that are necessary for the prevention of osteoporosis.
- it keeps the body cool. It prevents prickly heat and summer boils.
- It reduces the rash caused by smallpox, chickenpox, measles.
- It kills intestinal worms when coconut water is taken along with one teaspoon of olive oil for three days.
- It helps in the quick absorption of drugs.
- Coconut water contains monolaurin.
- It is an antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride.
- It helps to kill lipid-coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, and various bacteria.
- It helps people who are suffering from typhoid or malaria as it controls vomiting.
- It is a good remedy for a hangover.
- It contains a good number of electrolytes. So, avoid drinking excess.
- It contains high lipid and saturated fat content.
- When taken in excess, it may have a laxative effect.
- It is cool in potency.
- It has diuretic properties.