Coconut water an ideal natural drink
Botanically it is known as Cocos nucifera and belongs to Arecaceae family. Coconut water is one of the delicious and refreshing health drinks known to everyone. Coconut water is endosperm obtained by opening a tender and immature coconut. The water is clear, sterile and very sweet. It contains sugars, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, amino acids, cytokine, and phyto-hormones.
Coconut plants are well grown in costal environments. Different species of coconut palms are grown all over the world especially in India, Brazilian Coast, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, Africa, and the Caribbean. They are collected at the age of 5-7 months. A single nut may contain about 200 to 1000 ml of water depending on size and its variety. In some countries it is available canned, or bottled. The natural taste and flavor of coconut water show variations on different parameters like soil, water, atmosphere etc.
Rasa (Taste) – Madhura (Sweet)
Guna (Properties) – Laghu (Light)
Virya (Potency) – Shita (Cold)
Vipaka (Taste at the end of Digestion) – Madhura (Sweet)
Dosha Karma (Action on doshas) – Mitigates Vata dosha and Pitta dosha
Karma (Actions) – Brmhana (Stoutening), Balya (Strength promoting), Mutrala (Diuretic), Hridaya (Good for heart),
Indications – Thirst, Burning sensation, Gastritis.
Health benefits of coconut water
* Ayurvedic perspective tender coconut specially helps in lowering Pitta Dosha and Pitta related diseases like Pittaj Jwara, Raktapitta etc.
* Coconut water is help in heart problem, act as appetizer, it also helps to increase sperm count in male infertility and very much useful in kidney stone.
* Coconut water is composed of many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA-polymerases etc. In effect, these enzymes help in the digestion and metabolism.
* Coconut water is a best drink for dehydration especially in summer season to mitigate thirst.
* Research studies suggest that cytokinins (e.g., kinetin and trans-zeatin) in coconut water showed significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects.
* Despite very light consistency, its water has much better composition of minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc than some of the fruits like oranges. (Compare the mineral composition of oranges).
* 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 the human body requires them from external sources to replenish.
* Fresh coconut water has a small amount of vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid); Vitamin C is a water-soluble ant-oxidant.
* 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 electrolyte deficiency in the body due to diarrhea (loose stools) etc 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 and also in summer season.
So, go ahead and indulge in this nutritious fluid and enjoy its abundant health benefits.
This article is written by Dr. Mahesh Varlekar Ph.D.(Ayu.). Please email at firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries.