Thursday, February 16, 2012

Coconut Water - Health Benefits...

Coconut water is the juice in the interior or endosperm of young coconut. The water is one of the nature’s most refreshing drinks consumed worldwide for its nutritious and health benefiting properties.
Its juicy water is usually obtained by opening a tender, green, healthy, and undamaged coconut. The liquid is clear, sweet, and sterile and composed of unique chemicals such as sugars, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, amino acids, cytokine, and phyto-hormones. In general, young and slightly immature nuts harvested when they are about 5-7 months of age for drinking purpose.

Botanically, coconut plant belongs to the Arecaceae family of palm trees and has scientific name: Cocos nucifera.
Each nut may contain about 200 to 1000 ml of water depending on cultivar type and size. Any nuts younger than 5 months age tend to be bitter in taste and devoid of nutrients. Whereas, older nuts have less water and their endosperm becomes thicker as white edible meat (kernel). Coconut milk obtained from the meat is therefore should not be confused with coconut water.
Health Benefits:
1.  Coconut water is a very refreshing drink to beat tropical summer thirst. The juice is packed with simple sugar, electrolytes, and minerals to replenish hydration levels in the body.
2.  Research studies suggest that cytokinins (e.g., kinetin and trans-zeatin) in coconut water showed significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects.
3.  Coconut water has been generally offered to patients with diarrhea in many tropic regions to replace fluid loss from the gastrointestinal tract and reduce the need for intravenous therapy. The osmolarity of tender coconut water is slightly greater than that of WHO recommended ORS (Oral Rehydration Therapy) osmolarity. Presence of other biological constituents like amino acids, enzymes, minerals, and fatty acids may account for this higher osmolarity. However, unlike WHO-ORS, its water is very low in sodium and chlorides, but rich in sugars and amino acids. This well-balanced fluid composition with much needed calories would be an ideal drink than any other brand of soft drink beverages in dehydration conditions.
4.  Coconut water is composed of many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA polymerases etc. Altogether, these enzymes aid in digestion and metabolism.
5.  Despite very light consistency, its water has much better composition of minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc than some of fruits like oranges. (Compare mineral composition of oranges).
6.  Its water is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish.
7.  Coconut water contains a very good amount of electrolyte potassium. 100 ml of water has 250 mg of potassium and 105 mg of sodium. Together, these electrolytes help replenish electrolytes deficiency in the body due to diarrhea (loose stools).
8.  In addition, fresh coconut water has small amount of vitamin-C (ascorbic acid); provides about 2.4 mcg or 4% of RDA. Vitamin C is a water-soluble ant-oxidant.

If those benefits are too technical, I'll put it this simple way:
1.  Coconut water is more nutritious than whole milk - less fats and no cholesterol.
2.  Coconut water more healthy than orange juice - much lower calories.
3.  Coconut water is better than processed baby milk - it contains lauric acid, which is present in human mother's milk.
4.  Coconut water is naturally sterile - water permeates through the filtering husk.
5.  Coconut water is a universal donor - it is identical to human blood plasma.
6.  Coconut water is a Natural Isotonic Beverage - the same level that we have in our blood.
7.  Coconut water contains more potassium (about 294mg) than sports drinks (about 117mg) and most energy drinks.
8.  Coconut water has less sodium (about 25mg) where sports drinks have around 41mg and energy drinks have about 200mg.
9.  Coconut water has 5mg of Natural Sugars, where sports drinks range from 10-25mg of Altered Sugars.
10. Coconut water is high in Chloride at 118mg, compared to sports drinks at about 39mg.
*The above data is based on a 100ml of coconut water drink.

Well, well... Now you can see the health benefits of the coconut water...
Have a nice day..

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