Come summer and you find coconuts all over the place. You find people having coconut water to quench their thirst in the scorching heat conditions. Children, who have had a bout of stomach infection and others who are recovering from illness, can often be seen having coconut water, at regular intervals, prescribed by doctors.
So, what exactly does coconut water have?
With its sweet taste and multiple health benefits, coconut water is the best drink that you could ever find. It is the most natural rehydrating drink that is available. It is filled with the goodness of vitamins, minerals and electrolytes along with simple carbohydrates. And the best part of this package is that it is naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free and is low in calories. It also has a good quantity of the essential mineral, potassium, providing 600 milligrams per 1-cup serving.
As it is very easy to digest and has electrolytes and minerals, it is prescribed to people who are recovering from illness. The electrolytes also help in stabilising the blood pressure and as it is 99 percent fat-free, it is said to be good for the heart.
Young green coconuts have a clear fluid inside them, which is nothing but the endosperm. This endosperm is the most nutritive tissue that is present and it provides nutrition to the growing coconut fruit. An endosperm of a plant embryo can be compared to the yolk of an egg for an animal embryo. As the fruit matures or ages, this liquid endosperm thickens and slowly forms the milky white flesh of the coconut.
Do you know of any other endosperm of a plant species that you eat? You eat the wheat endosperm when it is ground into flour for bread and the whole grain for the wheat flour!
Coconut tree – The tree of life
Coconut trees grow abundantly in tropical regions. In India too, there are many coconut plantations that are found, especially in Kerala. The tree itself has so many uses that we are simply left to be amazed. In many parts of the world, a coconut tree is aptly called the tree of life. Every part of the tree has a use, including the fruits, wood, and leaves. The leaves are used for thatching purpose and also to make brooms. The roots are used to make dyes, while the tree trunk is used as timber to make houses, boats, and furniture, build bridges etc. Coconut husk and shells are also used to make coir, craft items. The wood is also used for fire in traditional kitchens. Coconut and coconut milk is used in many culinary preparations. And of course, the young tender coconuts give us the most refreshing natural drink – Coconut water!