Coconut palms take about 5 years to mature and then they produce fruit. Although it is called a coconut the fruit is actually a drupe not a nut. It is the largest seed in the plant kingdom. Young coconuts contain a clear liquid. This is known as coconut water. It is this liquid that turns into coconut milk if the coconut is left on the palm to mature.
Coconut water as an isotonic drink
There are a number of health benefits to coconut water. It is a liquid that is 99% fat free. It is low in carbohydrates and it is low in sugars. However, coconut water is high in electrolytes and minerals that help to re-hydrate the body. Coconut water contains about 290 mg of potassium, 110 mg of chloride and contains only small amounts of sodium (per 100 ml). This makes coconut water a better isotonic drink than any sports beverage on the market. Sports drinks tend to contain much higher levels of sugar and sodium, neither of which helps people who need to re-hydrate.
Coconut water as a universal donor
Another amazing health benefit of coconut water is that it is a universal blood donor. It is a match with blood plasma. During World War 2 coconut water was taken straight from the coconut husk to give emergency blood transfusions. This is possible not only because coconut water resembles blood plasma but also because coconut water is completely sterile and safe to drink straight from the husk.
Coconut water to fight disease
Coconut water is a great drink to take as preventative medicine. It contains lauric acid the same as in mother’s milk. This lauric acid is antimicrobial, anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti protozoal. Coconut water thus helps to strengthen the body’s immune system against a variety of viruses and other diseases. Many people who live in the Philippines and the Caribbean have never experienced a cold because they regularly drink coconut water.
Other health benefits of coconut water
Coconut water also helps to carry nutrients and oxygen to the blood cells and has been shown to raise the metabolism and help clean the digestive tract. Poor circulation is improved by regularly drinking coconut water and relief from urethral and kidney stones can be gained by drinking coconut water.
Coconut water is the giver of life
The coconut in Sanskrit is kalpa vriksha which translates as ‘tree which gives all that is necessary for life’. When you look into the health benefits of coconut water it is much easier to understand why the ancient Aryans of India had such a high regard for the coconut. If you drink coconut water every day you reduce your chances of catching disease and cancer, you properly re-hydrate your body, you improve your blood circulation and you detox. That is more than any man made drink can achieve.