Coconut is basically a fruit that can be easily identified by its characteristic hard and hairy exterior shell that has a light to dark brownish colour.
When the fruit is raw it has a light greenish hue and the tough external crust functions as a protective covering for the interior kernel or the nut during its endospermic stage. The coconut during its unripe stage also has a watery suspension that becomes concentrated when the endosperm matures to form the thick rind known as coconut meat.
The light milky or watery suspension inside the kernel is called coconut water and has been quenching the thirst of millions since ages particularly in countries with a tropical climate where it thrives specifically Brazil, Caribbean countries, India and other South Asian countries, Africa, and the Pacific Islands. Coconut water is best drunk fresh but is also available in bottled or canned form. Bottled or canned coconut water has an expiry date of almost 24 months.
The high mineral content of coconut, especially potassium and magnesium coupled with a minimum of carbohydrate, sugar, and protein content makes it an ideal choice for marketers of health or energy drinks. It is also very appealing to health conscious people because it is nearly fat free. The scientific name of coconut is Cocos Nucifera and the plant is classed under the category of palm trees. A typical kernel of coconut has approximately 250 ml-1000 ml of water and the quantity can vary according to size and patterns of cultivation.
There are many species of coconut and a single tree bears hundreds of nuts every year. Following are the pure coconut water benefits.
1. An Excellent and Total Source of Hydration
Coconut water is abundant in minerals, electrolytes, nutrients and drinking coconut water on a regular basis not only speeds up your metabolic rate but also helps maintain the water balance in your body by keeping you hydrated. As coconut water boosts metabolism, it helps you to shed excess fat particularly if you’re on a weight loss program. Since your exercising regimen makes you sweat, you tend to lose essential minerals and salts through perspiration making you dehydrated. Consuming coconut water replenishes the water and nutrients that are lost through exercises.
2. Purifies and Promotes Blood Circulation
Coconut water is replete with vitamins, enzymes, anti-oxidants, and minerals. The anti-oxidising property of coconut water helps in purifying the blood and also nourishes the cells by helping to circulate oxygen rich blood throughout the body. The high magnesium and potassium content also promotes purification and enhances circulation.
3. Keeps You Looking Younger
Apart from its high mineral and vitamin content, coconut water is rich in plant hormones, especially cytokines. Cytokine is specifically mentioned because this protein hormone that is responsible for promoting growth of plants through cell division also has a positive role to play in slowing down the ageing process. Coconut water prevents your skin from developing wrinkles and creases and helps to keep it firm and supple.
4. Aids in Digestion
The amino acids and enzymes in the coconut water help your body to get rid of the toxins in the bloodstream that in turn ameliorates blood circulation and improves digestion. Coconut water antifungal and antibacterial qualities that help to kill and remove harmful bacteria and microorganisms lodged in your digestive and intestinal tract. Coconut water also helps eliminate intestinal or abdominal worms in newborns and infants.
5. A Natural Fat Burner
Since coconut water is loaded with carbohydrates, natural sugars, minerals, and vitamins, drinking the suspension once every two days restore the nutrients that are lost during workouts. Furthermore, if you follow a strict dieting regimen, taking a glass of coconut water everyday help maintain the water and nutrients balance in your body.
You are well aware that if you adhere to a dieting schedule, you’d need to include some roughage (cellulose or fibres) in your meals that will help in digestion and help your body to assimilate the nutrients from the food. Every 100 grams of coconut water contains just 0.2 grams of fat, which means you don’t have to worry about putting on weight even if you regularly drink coconut water.
The high carbohydrate, sugar and protein content (3.71 g, 2.61 g, and 0.72 g respectively) keeps your sugary food cravings in check and also keeps your hunger pangs under control.
6. Helps In Restoring Fluid Balance
The water content is almost 95 grams in every 100 grams of coconut water, which essentially makes it an excellent hydration source that aids in refurbishing and re-energizing your body when you get a hangover after consuming alcohol. Alcohol is corrosive and hygroscopic in nature that tends to rob your body of fluids and water and makes you dehydrated. Coconut water, being rich in electrolytes, helps deal with fluid imbalance.
7. Benefits Accruing To Pregnant Women
Women in their first, second or third trimester of pregnancy, experience a lot of problems – both physical and mental. These problems include constipation, varicose veins, backaches and abdominal pain due to hormonal changes, haemorrhoids, heartburns and GERD (gastro-oesophageal reflux disorder), shortness of breath, and depression.
Coconut water abounds in minerals like zinc, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamins B1 B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9, and several enzymes that help in bowel movement and allay constipation. It also keeps pregnant women full of beans and the amino acids, minerals, enzymes and minerals safeguards the body against bacterial as well as viral infections.
Coconut water also has a soothing effect that helps pregnant women deal with hot flashes, acid reflux and heartburns. On an overall basis, coconuts and coconut water are more wholesome and nutritious than many fruits or their juicy extracts.
8. Prophylactic Benefits
It is common knowledge that there is extensive loss of fluids, mineral salts and water when you suffer from gastrointestinal disorders like diarrhoea, amoebic dysentery, gastroenteritis, and cholera. Apart from taking medicated electrolytic salts and protein supplements, you can also count on coconut water that contains plenty of nutrients that accelerate the biological processes of digestion, ingestion and ultimate assimilation of food. It is also administered as a saline drip to choleric patients.