The scientific name of coconut is Cocos nucifera. Coconut water has always been people’s favourite due to its wonderful taste and refreshing feature. In recent year it is being used as an energy drink as it has high value of potassium and other mineral content. It has low level of fats, calories and carbohydrates. And marketing has claimed that coconut water has tremendous health benefits which are still unfounded. In an undamaged condition coconut water is considered to be very sterile. There is a case in medical science where coconut water was once used as an intravenous hydration fluid when saline was unavailable due to some reason. It was at the time of Khmer Rouge that this practise was largely done in Cambodia between the years 1975 to 1979.
Popularity: It has been quite common in the tropical regions, like Southeast Asia, Brazil, Pacific Islands, Caribbean and Africa. Especially it is popular in South India in Tamil Nadu. It is even available in canned or bottled form. With the increasing popularity of coconut water it is being made available in various other modes. It has high potassium level and also contains antioxidants. Cytokinins is also present in it. Cytokinins is present in plants to promote cell division and its growth. Coconut water is found rich in several other biologically benefiting products like Ascorbic acid, L- arginine and magnesium. They are harvested directly from its tree when they are green.
Uses: There are many derivatives of coconut water. Such as coconut vinegar is prepared by fermenting coconut water. It is also used to prepare a jelly like food known as nata de coco. Many scientists say that coconut water is quite equivalent to human plasma. However today doctors say that injecting coconut water directly into the human bloodstream can be dangerous as it will lead to subsequent rise in potassium and calcium levels. It is generally advisable to patients having diarrhoea to replace the fluid loss from the gastrointestinal gland and to reduce the need for intravenous therapy.
It consists of bioactive enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA-polymerases etc. Which helps in digestion and metabolism. Its liquid is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, pyridoxine and folates which are required by human body to replenish. It also contains a good amount of electrolyte potassium. Every 100 ml of water has 250 mg of potassium and 105 mg of sodium. These electrolytes are used to maintain the electrolyte level deficit caused by diarrhoea (loose stools).it also contains vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid) which provides about 2.4 mg or 4% of RDA. Vitamin C is a water-soluble ant-oxidant. Although it light in consistency, its water has a better composition of minerals like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates as compared to orange. cytokinins (e.g., kinetin and trans-zeatin) present in coconut water has a better anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic (anti-clot formation) effects. Finally it helps in overcoming dehydration effects within the human body.