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Lift Me up, Coco!

"Quench your thirst with a glass of coconut water and say hello to a healthier you!"
By: Jessen Mari B. Taccaban, RPh, MSPHLift Me up, Coco!

Sweet, nutty-tasting and exhilarating, that is how I describe my most-loved fruit drink – buko juice.Buko juice or coconut water is a semi-turbid liquid tapped from young or green coconut which is widely known for its high nutritional value and possible health benefits.Botanically, coconut water is from the coconut fruit, of the coconut tree (CocoSnucifera), from the palm or Arecaceae family. Each coconut fruit may contain about 200 mL to 1 L of coconut water depending on the variant and size.

According to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) – a government agency under the Department of Agriculture, responsible for the research & development of coconut & other palms found in the country –Philippine coconut is known to be the most delicious variant in the world because of our unique archipelagic location. Apparently, the best fertilizer for coconuts is salt, which abounds in our oceans.

Health benefits

Age spots, wrinkles, skin aging & other skin problems: FolkeSkoog, a researcher from the University of Wisconsin found that cytokinins(a plant hormone that helps regulate the cell growth and division) from coconut water or milk may be helpful in hastening wound healing, and treating skin conditions. Coconut water contains cytokinins and traces of lauric acid which may help minimize the aging of skin cells, acne, age spots, wrinkles, and eczema.

Promotes rehydration& boosts energy, prevents dehydration: In the article entitled Coconut Water Health Benefits By Jawairia Zafar, coconut water has less sugar and sodium content compared to most sports drinks, while packing good amounts of electrolytes and minerals, which makes it a better choice to rehydrate, replenish and boost the body's energy levels after any strenuous activity or workout.

Helps blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol: Dr. Bruce Fife, director of the Coconut Research Center and author of Coconut Water for Health and Healing, said, that a research shows that daily consumption of coconut water can improve blood circulation, lower elevated blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Advocates also claim that coconut water helps increase good cholesterol (HDL), reduces plaque formation, moderates sugar absorption and improves insulin sensitivity.

Other uses/application

Culinary use: Coconut water may be used as a salad dressing, and flavor enhancer in some recipes. It may also be incorporated into smoothies, soups, dough.

Soap industry: A renowned soap maker has manufactured soap and body washes that use coconut water as a hydrating agent (A version of the article appears in print in the New York edition with the headline: Coconut Water, July 2014).

Coconut water has not been well-studied. But there's no evidence that it poses side effects. Like fruit or vegetable juices, coconut water seems quite safe.

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