neera coconut health drink

Coconut has provided us with food, beverages, oil, timber, sugar and other valuable products since time immemorial. Recently, a highly nutritious health drink called Neera has been gaining popularity all over the world. Yes, it is another gift from the coconut tree. But unlike toddy, neera is a nutritious health drink with amazing health benefits and no alcohol content. Stay tuned to learn more about the health benefits of Neera and to get some tips on how to use it properly.

What is Neera?

Neera is a sweet oyster white, translucent, and highly nutritious extract collected by slicing the spathes of coconut and palm trees. It is a sugar containing juice and a rich natural source of minerals, vitamins and amino acids.

The extraction of Neera is generally done before sunrise. This is because of it’s high susceptibility to fermentation under ambient temperatures within a few hours of extraction. Tapped neera is filtered for removing foreign particles. Thereafter it is chilled and stored at refrigerated conditions. This is important because, otherwise it turns into toddy with 4% alcohol content by natural fermentation. Several technologies have been developed to process and preserve neera in it’s natural form to retain it’s abundant nutrients store. After processing neera with anti fermenting agents, it is subjected to techniques like pasteurisation in order to remove the microflora present in it. The shelf life of Neera in room temperature is only about 2 months and about 4 to 6 months in refrigerated conditions.

Several products can be made from neera like jaggery, concentrate syrup, sweeteners etc and are gaining popularity in different geographical locations.

Health benefits of Neera

A recent study conducted by the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore shows that neera can help cure liver diseases. The study proves that neera is particularly useful in treating liver diseases following consumption of alcohol. The magical property of neera to remove “acetaldehyde” (the toxic metabolic product of ethanol causing liver damage) was proven in the study. It has also been shown to boost the activity of a normally functioning liver.

Neera is safe and perhaps the best health drink for persons suffering from diabetes. This is because of it’s low glycemic index (GI). The GI is a measure of how quickly and how high a particular food item raises the blood sugar level by releasing glucose into the blood stream. The use of neera and it’s by products gives the same sweetness without causing spikes in blood sugar level compared to the traditional sweetening agents.

Interesting Article : Can diabetics eat fruits?

The amazingly low GI of neera and it’s various by-products are indirectly helpful in preventing many lifestyle diseases like obesity, cardiovascular diseases and even cancers of the breast, colon, pancreas and prostate.

It has been studied for use in medical conditions like asthma, tuberculosis and urinary tract infections.

Neera is rich in minerals like potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. The role of potassium in lowering blood pressure has already been discussed here. It can be given as a natural supplement of these minerals in conditions like iron deficiency anaemias and zinc deficiency.

Another advantage of neera is that, it’s a rich source of Vitamin B complex, Vitamin A and Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). The anti-oxidant property of these vitamins and the neutral pH makes neera a natural detoxifying health drink.

Apart from the minerals and vitamins, the sweet drink is rich in glutamic acid (amino acid) which is necessary for protein synthesis.

Some Neera Tips

The best neera would be the one which has been processed immediately after it’s extraction. But, it is difficult to get freshly tapped neera as it is available only near coconut or palm farms.

Most people get their hands on neera after the onset of fermentation and naturally they dislike it’s smell and taste due to the alcohol content (similar to toddy).

Neera has to be stored in the refrigerator in order to increase it’s shelf life and retain it’s nutritive value. Don’t forget to keep the left-over neera bottles in your refrigerator.

Here is the link to the neera outlets in Kerala, India.

100 ml of neera provides 75 calories of energy and 250 mg of proteins. Not to mention the additional supply of essential minerals, important vitamins and the medicinal properties. What more can you ask from a natural health drink?

Have you tasted neera? After reading this article, I bet you will like it the next time you drink it!

No wonder coconut is really a nature’s gift to mankind!

 

Reference and Image Credit: Coconut Development Board

Dr Prasoon

Dr Prasoon

Author at BeingTheDoctor
Dr Prasoon, founder of BeingTheDoctor is a qualified medical practitioner who finds time to write articles on "health" and his "clinical experiences". He is currently engaged in providing primary health care services in rural India. Learn more in the "about" page.
Dr Prasoon

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Why is Neera the best natural health drink?
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31 thoughts on “Why is Neera the best natural health drink?

  • January 22, 2016 at 8:35 am
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    Hello Dr,

    I am taking neera drink daily but scared for increase in sugar lavel and from today going to leave drinking neera from to day but red the contants that neera is not harmful for diabetic patients now I am not going to leave neera drink

    Reply
    • February 3, 2016 at 12:27 am
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      Hello Mr Gupta,

      You don’t have to worry about Neera in case you are a diabetic. Neera has low glycemic index and hence it doesn’t cause a rapid rise in blood sugar level. It is safe to drink Neera, provided you do not add any more sugar to it 🙂

      Cheers,
      Dr Prasoon

      Reply
  • March 11, 2016 at 8:42 pm
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    Thank you sir for this article.

    can you let me know if bottled neera (as shown in image in article) is available in maharashtra ?

    Reply
    • March 12, 2016 at 11:07 am
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      @DIP,

      I’ve mailed the Coconut Development Board for details on Neeera distributors in Maharashtra. I’ll let you know as soon as I get the info.

      Cheers

      Reply
  • April 6, 2016 at 10:42 pm
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    Thanks for the above article on Neera and its benefits, it has helped me to overcome the myths about Neera is not good for Diabetics, Neera is an Alcohol etc.
    I would like to know where can I get Neera in Mumbai City.

    Reply
    • April 7, 2016 at 10:58 pm
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      Hello Michael,
      Glad I could help you. But do keep in mind that fresh Neera has to be consumed within two months of packing. Otherwise, it will undergo fermentation and become alcohol. I’m not familiar with the Neera stalls in Mumbai, but here is a link to what I could find on google –> http://wikimapia.org/475945/Neera-Stall .. try that place for a start.. good luck.

      Cheers

      Reply
  • October 7, 2016 at 6:56 pm
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    Sir

    any update on on Neeera distributors in Maharashtra ?

    Reply
  • February 5, 2017 at 1:29 am
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    Dear sir myself Rehan facing kidney stones in both kidney. Some people suggest me to drink neera it will cure very soon As I m Chennai resident please tell me the address so I can go through it

    Reply
  • February 21, 2017 at 1:31 pm
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    IF WE DRINK NEERA WE WILL GET ANY FEELING LIKE ALCHOL DRINK THAT MEANS LITTLE MILDNESS OR ANY THING

    Reply
    • February 24, 2017 at 10:38 pm
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      There is a chance for a toddy like taste if the Neera has undergone fermentation and is older than 3 months. The key is to get fresh Neera.

      Reply
  • March 14, 2017 at 7:27 pm
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    Sir, we call Neera as Kallu in south. I have high BP and in pre diabetic stage. Is it good to have kallu once in a week or will it impact my health

    Reply
    • March 30, 2017 at 10:09 pm
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      Hi,
      Neera will not affect your health if taken once in a week. You should be concerned about the salt intake in your diet, medicines for blood pressure, diabetic diet and check your blood glucose levels frequently.

      Best Regards,
      Dr Prasoon

      Reply
    • June 18, 2017 at 5:17 pm
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      I’ve no idea to be honest. But, you can try searching for “palm sap” or “palm wine” at the local store.

      Reply
    • March 30, 2017 at 10:03 pm
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      Hello,
      Honestly, I don’t have a clue. But, try your local grocery outlet. You might be surprised!

      Best of Luck,
      Dr Prasoon

      Reply
  • March 18, 2017 at 8:53 am
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    How much quantity of neera can be consumed in a day.. And I am takinf neera up to 4 liters once in a week at a time.. Is it safe?

    Reply
  • April 9, 2017 at 2:27 pm
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    Hello Dr
    How are you?
    I have uric acid, is it advisable to have Neera after morning walk, pls suggest
    Thanks
    Umesh

    Reply
    • April 21, 2017 at 12:19 am
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      Interesting question Umesh,
      I searched a bit on this topic and couldn’t find any contraindications for gout patients to take coconut sap or neera. I also came across some articles in telegraph stating that “birch” and “maple” water are in fact useful in clearing up uric acid!

      Reply
  • April 9, 2017 at 5:15 pm
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    Dr , my wife is pregnant will and consume neera any problem ?

    Reply
  • April 16, 2017 at 1:58 am
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    hello sir, i am a resident of ahmedabad, gujarat and here it very difficult to get neera as i havn’t seen any such retailers or distributors. Can u please provide any of such contact either of gujarat, maharashtra or any south indian state where i can get a regular supply of neera as there are patients of diabetes, blood disorders, kidney dysfunction in my family and relative families who require such drink as prescribed by ayurvedic doctors ? please help me out to normalize the such concrete problems

    Reply
    • April 20, 2017 at 11:30 pm
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      Hello,
      Did you by any chance check out the stores mentioned in the website of Coconut Development Board? I’ve already shared the link in previous comments.

      Reply
  • May 24, 2017 at 8:47 am
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    Dear S/M i am interested in Neera drink production. I am from Tamilnadu. I have own land with coconut trees.How i got the Neera drink manufacturing license and permission from T.N government. Kindly suggest me the way to get production license.

    Reply
    • June 18, 2017 at 5:12 pm
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      Hi,
      please refer to the earlier comments for the link to the official website of coconut development board for instructions.

      Reply
  • June 7, 2017 at 1:22 pm
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    Sir,
    I am a type 2 diabetic and whenever I use alcoholic drinks I feel tired and now I have stopped it. I would like to know whether I can have toddy (Kallu in Kerala) which has a mild level of alcohol?

    Reply
    • June 7, 2017 at 11:46 pm
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      Hello,
      Good to know that you’ve stopped taking alcohol. I’d not recommend going back to any kind of alcoholic drinks irrespective of it’s alcohol concentration. The real challenge is to stay clear and I wish you the very best to maintain it.

      Reply
  • November 8, 2017 at 1:15 pm
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    Dear all,
    I’m writing from Richvit Enterprises, Pune.
    and I’m excited to let you all know that we have launched 100% natural coconut Neera procured from Kerala coconut farms.
    Let me know if anyone needs it.
    my email id: rutuj.kulkarni4@gmail.com
    contact no: 9673921600

    Reply
    • November 19, 2017 at 2:09 pm
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      Thanks for sharing the info! Maybe, someone from Pune should try this product and comment here.

      Reply

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