Coconut Water or Nariyal Pani is the clear liquid inside the tender green coconut. It is the ultimate thirst quencher in summer and proffers a sapid option to water. It is a refreshing, delicious and low-cal natural potion. Tender coconut water is far more nutritious than mature coconut water. Living on the coastline of peninsular India, I have easy access to coconut water, fresh from the green coconut. The packaged varieties may be ok but is not the same.
When I usually stop to have a tender coconut, I ask for one which has a little cream in it. The vendor used two brisk strokes of his curved sickle and had the coconut open. He hands it over with a straw. Once I finished with the water he took the coconut back and spliced it into two; scooped out the creamy coconut from both parts and put it into one. He even handed me a makeshift spoon made from a corner of the coconut. The cream of a tender coconut is very scrumptious and just sidles down the throat!
As the coconut grows older, the liquid is replaced with coconut flesh. The maximum nutrient health benefits of coconut water come from drinking the water of the tender coconut, not the mature coconut milk, which is generally lower in nutrients but when I was a kid my mom always used to save the coconut milk for me to drink as I used to persist on drinking it.
Since centuries coconut water has been guzzled in tropical countries and in India we use it to treat a variety of health-related ailments. The Sanskrit word for coconuts is ‘kalpa- vriksha’ which means ‘tree which gives all that is necessary for living’ and it actually does so.
We live in a polluted world and need to detox often and Coconut water is a perfect hydrating and Detox liquid. I have been suffering from severe cramps in my calves and I have heard that coconut water helps ease them. Hope I get rid of them soon.
Summers in this part of the world is very harsh and can lead to dehydration resulting from water or electrolyte loss. This can lead to fatigue, extreme thirst and heat stroke. More than plain water is necessary to replace the body salts. Nariyal Pani or Coconut water contains a similar electrolyte profile to human blood, making it a perfect beverage to replace fluids from the body. Coconut vendors do brisk business all summer and they are ubiquitous. If the heat is getting to you then reach for the coconut rather than a soda pop.
Coconut is now becoming a universal favourite in the food and beauty industry as it packs a lot of natural goodness within it. I use coconut to make chutneys, in curries; I make sandwiches and also use it in my beauty regimen. In winter, I rinse my hair with coconut water. It infuses my hair with moisture and conditions it so well that it makes my hair silkier, glossier, and shinier! Coconut water contains potassium and calcium, thus drinking a glassful helps me to relax on a stressful day.
Like most people, I used to get confused between coconut water and coconut milk. Coconut milk is extracted from the flesh of the coconut and is thicker, sweeter, and high in fat and calories. I use the coconut milk in cooking Biryani, pulao, and Thai curry but not for drinking. If you are planning to go on a diet then you can drink a fair amount of coconut water without the fear of packing on the pounds as the fat content in coconut water is extremely low, not for me, though! After a drinking binge, when you have had more than your belly can handle, drink coconut water as a hangover remedy.
Coconut Water or Nariyal Pani can actually help tide you over the summer, try it.