The benefits of green coconuts

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Green coconuts are another type of fruit along with what you already know – with a brown and hairy peel. The health benefits of green coconut are just as powerful. Both nuts grow on a coconut tree ( Cocos nucifera) . The difference lies in the age of the coconut. Green coconuts are young and not fully ripe, while brown coconuts are fully ripe.

In green coconuts, the pulp is much less than in mature ones. Instead, they are valued for their refreshing and healthy coconut water ( 2 ).

In this article, we will find out what the benefits of green coconut are, as well as how to use them to get this benefit.

Ripening stages

It takes 12 months to fully ripen coconuts. However, they can be eaten at any time after seven months. They are mostly green until they are fully mature. The pulp of green coconuts is still developing, as they contain mainly water. During the ripening process, the outer color gradually darkens.

The inside also goes through various stages:

  • At six months. Bright green coconut contains only water and is free of fat.
  • At 8-10 months. Green coconut has more yellow or brown spots. Its water becomes sweeter and forms a jelly-like pulp, which gradually thickens and hardens.
  • From 11-12 months. Coconut begins to turn brown, and the flesh inside thickens, hardens and develops a high fat content. There is much less water in such a coconut.

Green coconuts are young and not fully ripe, so they contain mainly water with a small amount of pulp. As they grow older, their water becomes sweeter, and the flesh begins to develop.

The benefits of green coconut

Both coconut water and pulp offer impressive health benefits and nutritional value.

The nutritional value

The benefits of green coconut are due to the content of important nutrients in it. Water and the delicate pulp of green coconuts are filled with electrolytes and trace elements.

As coconut ripens and turns from water to pulp, its nutrient content changes dramatically.

A portion of 100 ml or 100 g of coconut water and raw coconut pulp, respectively, provides ( 3 ,  4 ):

Coconut WaterRaw Coconut Pulp
SquirrelsLess than 1 gram3 grams
Fat0 gram33 grams
Carbohydrates4 grams15 grams
Cellulose0 gram9 grams

May prevent dehydration

Coconut water has the same sugar and electrolyte composition as oral rehydration solutions, so it can be used to compensate for fluid loss during mild diarrhea ( 5 ).

In addition, many people prefer it to bottled sports drinks as a natural rehydration drink.

A study of eight men who rode a bicycle in hot conditions for as long as they could determine that drinking coconut water allowed participants to train longer, achieve a higher heart rate and experience less dehydration compared to a sports drink or plain water ( 6 ) .

Good for heart health

The benefits of green coconut are that its coconut water can help improve metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Metabolic syndrome is characterized by high blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (bad), as well as low HDL cholesterol (good) and increased belly fat.

In a three-week study in rats with a metabolic syndrome caused by a high fructose diet, drinking green coconut water improved blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides, and insulin levels ( 7 ).

Researchers also noted a higher level of antioxidant activity in animals, which, in their opinion, can protect against oxidative damage to blood vessels.

Rich in antioxidants

Both the pulp and water of green coconut are rich in phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants  that can reduce inflammation and prevent oxidative damage to your cells ( 8 , 9 ).

In an in vitro study, coconut water from one of the most common coconut varieties protected cells from oxidative damage caused by hydrogen peroxide ( 10 ).

Coconut vitamins and minerals, such as zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium, also help maintain your body’s natural antioxidant defense system ( 10 ).

Water and tender flesh of young coconuts are very nutritious. Water can be used as a natural sports recovery drink. In addition, the benefits of green coconut in the content of antioxidant compounds in it, which can protect against cell damage and heart disease.

How to enjoy green coconut

While you can buy packaged coconut water, green coconuts are a much fresher and more natural way to eat it.

Young green coconut contains about 325 ml of refreshing water.

Water and pulp are sterile until the coconut opens, so it can be consumed without treatment or preservatives.

If you choose a slightly more ripe green coconut, you will find that the flesh is much more tender than that of ripe brown coconut.

When choosing green coconut, choose heavy. When you shake it, you should not hear the water splashing. This indicates that it is full of water and still immature.

Green coconuts have a softer outer husk and inner shell, so they are much easier to open than hard, brown ones.

How to drink coconut water:

  1. With a young green coconut, cut off the petal on top with a knife.
  2. Cut off the area that was covered with the petal.
  3. Pull out the core and drink water through a straw, or pour it into a glass.

To see if your coconut has flesh, cut it in half with a very sharp knife. If it is, you can scrape it off with a spoon.

Green coconut water and flesh is a tasty and refreshing treat that can be eaten directly from a coconut, or you can add them to a protein shake for a perfect snack after a workout.

The tender flesh of young green coconut can also be used to make desserts such as ice cream.

Green coconuts are ideal for drinking, but if you choose a more mature one, you can enjoy its very soft and tender flesh along with water. Green coconuts are much easier to open than ripe ones.

Final thoughts

Green coconuts are young coconuts that are not yet ripe and brown.

Their sweet water and very tender flesh are nutritious goodies.

The benefits of green coconut are also huge. They are great for preventing dehydration and contain nutrients and compounds that can offer antioxidant benefits, helping to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and heart disease.

If you want to add this refreshing tropical delicacy to your diet, pay attention to it the next time you go to the supermarket.

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