|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2012)|
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||79 kJ (19 kcal)|
|- Sugars||2.61 g|
|- Dietary fibre||1.1 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.||0 μg (0%)|
|- beta-carotene||0 μg (0%)|
|- lutein and zeaxanthin||0 μg|
|Thiamine (vit. B1)||0.03 mg (3%)|
|Riboflavin (vit. B2)||0.057 mg (5%)|
|Niacin (vit. B3)||0.08 mg (1%)|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.043 mg (1%)|
|Vitamin B6||0.032 mg (2%)|
|Folate (vit. B9)||3 μg (1%)|
|Vitamin C||2.4 mg (3%)|
|Vitamin E||0 mg (0%)|
|Vitamin K||0 μg (0%)|
|Calcium||24 mg (2%)|
|Iron||0.29 mg (2%)|
|Magnesium||25 mg (7%)|
|Phosphorus||20 mg (3%)|
|Potassium||250 mg (5%)|
|Zinc||0.1 mg (1%)|
|Percentages are roughly approximated
using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Coconut water is the clear liquid inside young coconuts (fruits of the coconut palm). In early development, it serves as a suspension for the endosperm of the coconut during their nuclear phase of development. As growth continues, the endosperm mature into their cellular phase and deposit into the rind of the coconut meat. Coconut water has long been a popular drink in the tropics, especially in India, Brazilian Coast, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, Africa, and the Caribbean, where it is available fresh, canned, or bottled. Coconuts for drinking are served fresh, chilled or packaged in many places. They are often sold by street vendors who cut them open with machetes or similar implements in front of customers. Coconut water can also be found in ordinary cans, tetra paks, or plastic bottles (sometimes with coconut pulp or coconut jelly included). Bottled coconut water has a shelf life of 24 months.
In recent years, coconut water has been marketed as a natural energy or sports drink due to its high potassium and mineral content. Marketers have also promoted coconut water for having low levels of fat, carbohydrates, and calories. However, marketing claims attributing tremendous health benefits to coconut water are largely unfounded.
Unless the coconut has been damaged, it is likely sterile. There have been cases where coconut water has been used as an intravenous hydration fluid in some developing countries where medical saline was unavailable.
Coconut water is consumed in many areas where coconut palms grow. In Bahamian cuisine coconut water may be drunk by itself, or blended with condensed milk and gin to make a drink known as "Gully Wash" or "Sky Juice".
Coconut water has a high potassium content and contains antioxidants. It also contains cytokinins which promote plant cell division and growth. Other biologically active ingredients in coconut water include L-arginine, ascorbic acid and magnesium.
Fresh coconuts are typically harvested from the tree while they are green. A hole may be bored into the coconut to provide access to the liquid and meat. In young coconuts the liquid and air may be under some pressure and may spray slightly when the inner husk is first penetrated. Coconuts that have fallen to the ground are susceptible to rot and damage from insects or animals.
It is said that coconut water is identical to human plasma and can be injected directly into the human bloodstream. The story has its origin from World War II where British and Japanese patients were given coconut water intravenously because saline solution was in short supply. Doctors today say that they wouldn’t be inclined to set up a coconut water IV for dehydrated patients. It could possibly cause elevated calcium and potassium, which could be dangerous.
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Media related to Coconut water at Wikimedia Commons