The peculiarities of coconut water have also been promoted by Ayurvedic medicine, according to which coconut water could help dilute the blood, prevent heart attacks, and reduce the risk of cancer. According to Ayurveda, coconut water is a natural "anti-stress" element, given also the high concentration of minerals and trace elements which make it a tonic potential in case of mental fatigue and difficulty concentrating.
Coconut water: history and benefits
Today we find it more and more frequently on supermarket shelves in bricks or as a powder to be dissolved to refresh drinks, especially in the summer. However, the origin of the use of coconut water dates back to several centuries. Coconut water has always been used in tropical countries as a drink par excellence for its extraordinary rehydrating properties.
This precious liquid is a true natural isotonic that rapidly reduces the sensation of thirst and brings benefits to digestion, purification processes, promoting metabolism and physiological functions of the immune and urinary system. Coconut water is a 100% natural drink, which is obtained from the juice of young, still green coconuts. The clear liquid inside a young, green coconut, not yet ripe, is not to be confused with the liquid inside a brown or ripe coconut, which presents the coconut "milk", with a different composition of elements and, among these, a substantial concentration of fats. Coconuts have a maturation time of about 10-12 months, and coconut water is obtained only from young coconuts of about 6-7 months of age, even if you can also find it in more mature coconut.
Coconut water: nutritional properties
A medium-sized green coconut provides about 0.5-1 cups of 240ml water of coconut water, which have an average of 46 calories, distributed in:
- Carbohydrates: 9-10 grams.
- Fiber: 3 grams.
- Protein: 2 grams.
- Vitamin C: 10% of the RDI.
- Magnesium: 15% of the RDI.
- Manganese: 17% of the RDI.
- Potassium: 14-17% of the RDI.
- Sodium: 11% of the RDI.
- Calcium: 6-10% of the RDI.
From the composition, it is easy to see how it is somewhat reductive to call it water. This precious liquid is a true elixir of low-calorie microelements with isotonic characteristics, which can quickly satisfy the need for thirst, making it a pleasant thirst-quenching drink for the summer heat, but also a useful tool to effectively rehydrate the body in case of severe losses of electrolytes.
Precisely for this extraordinary concentrate of mineral salts and other precious phytoelements potentially beneficial for the well-being of the organism, it can stand side by side with all the support of sports performance, presenting electrolytic balances often better than many sports drinks, and without any added excipient.
This is precisely because it contains five essential electrolytes with very high bioavailability for our body:
In particular, potassium is 15 times higher than the average quantity of many common drinks on the market, in addition to already having vitamins (in particular vitamin C and B vitamins), malic acid, amino acids such as arginine, alanine, and cystine, antioxidant, purifying and antimicrobial substances. Its natural electrolyte content makes it an optimal natural isotonic drink, which means that it contains a ratio of water, salts, and carbohydrates tending to be similar to that present in normal blood plasma. Coconut water is therefore recommended when rapid and effective rehydration and supply of mineral salts such as:
- after a sports performance,
- during pregnancy,
- as support to diarrheal phenomena,
- improving circulation in the kidney
- bringing benefits to the urinary tract.
Coconut water is spreading on a large scale even as a pleasant and beneficial summer drink to counteract the heat at any time of the day (especially just after waking up), as a healthy alternative to drinks or sweetened fruit juices or with the excessive presence of sweeteners.
- "The Chemical Composition and Biological Properties of Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) Water" - Jean W. H. Yong, Liya Ge, Yan Fei Ng and Swee Ngin Tan * Natural Sciences and Science Education Academic Group, Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Walk, 637616 Singapore
- Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2011 Mar;4(3):241-7. doi: 10.1016/S1995-7645(11)60078-3. Epub 2011 Apr 12. Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.: Arecaceae): in health promotion and disease prevention. DebMandal , Mandal S.
- Molecules. 2009 Dec 9;14(12):5144-64. doi: 10.3390/molecules14125144. The chemical composition and biological properties of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) water. Yong JW, Ge L, Ng YF, Tan SN.
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- International Journal of Recent Scientific Research, Vol. 5, Issue, 8, pp.1485-1490, August, 2014 https://www.recentscientific.com/sites/default/files/download_57.pdf