Analysis of constituents of coconut fruit for nutritional and medicinal purposes for people from diverse culture was done to establish the scientific claims for its diverse medicinal applications. The concentrations of glucose, calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, zinc along with that of vitamins C and E in the coconut milk and oil were determined using standard laboratory methods, while pH and specific gravity of coconut milk and oil were also estimated. The mean concentrations of constituents of coconut milk were 2645.7 ± 275.3 mg/L for glucose, 0.46 ± 0.06 mg/L for vitamin C, 0.14 ± 0.02 mg/L for vitamin E, 2130.6 ± 144.4 mg/L for calcium, 24.56 ± 2.61 mg/L for iron, 7.06 ± 0.88 mg/L for zinc, 1127 ± 105.7 Meq/L for potassium and 20.22 ± 2.46 Meq/L for sodium, respectively. Coconut oil contained 347.4 ± 52.9 mg/L of glucose, 0.11 ± 0.02mg/L of vitamin C, 0.05 ± 0.004 mg/L of vitamin E, 102.6 ± 18.2 mg/L of calcium, 4.53 ± 0.61 mg/L of iron, 1.04 ± 0.15 mg/L of zinc, 222.5 ± 54.0 Meq/L of potassium and 3.01 ± 0.20 Meq/L of sodium, respectively. The difference between the concentrations of nutrients in coconut milk and coconut oil was statistically significant (P < 0.05); coconut milk is a richer source of the aforementioned nutrients than its oil; routine consumption of coconut or its medicinal application especially in medical conditions where some of the aforementioned nutrients are implicated could be considered.
Key words: Coconut, glucose, calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, zinc.
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