Man survives on sole diet of tender coconut for 24 years

February 26, 2022 08:24 pm | Updated 08:25 pm IST

Balakrishnan Palayi, a resident of Chandera in Kasaragod, who has been surviving on tender coconut for 24 years.

Balakrishnan Palayi, a resident of Chandera in Kasaragod, who has been surviving on tender coconut for 24 years. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

He took to the practice after suffering from gastro-oesophageal reflux disease 


At 63, Balakrishnan Palayi, a resident of Chandera in Kasaragod, is much fitter than most people of his age group. What distinguishes him from others is his obsession with tender coconuts, which has become his only diet for the past 24 years. Mr. Balakrishnan, who retired as office superintendent, started to take tender coconuts after the doctor diagnosed him with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. It occurs when stomach acid frequently flows back into the tube connecting the mouth and stomach (esophagus). He said his disease was causing him huge problems. Every time he ate food, he vomited. So the doctors suggested making changes in his eating habits. Gradually, he found that tender coconut gave him much relief than any other food.  “So, slowly I switched to tender coconuts and now for the past 24 years, I am surviving on it, “ he said.

The only time he cheats is one day in a week when he consumes raw or boiled vegetables that he grows on his farm. But that too one time in a day, he said. Though switching from normal food to only tender coconut initially gave him trouble for the first three months, as the days progressed, he could not be without tender coconuts, he said. The Agricultural Research Station in Pilicode turned out to be a blessing for him as he purchased the tender coconuts for his daily requirement.  Though people raised doubts, he proved that by just taking the tender coconut he could work on his farm, do swimming and exercise daily. Besides, he had no health issues in the past many years, Mr. Balakrishnan said. During his government service, he also excelled at the National Civil Service meet and participated in Asian Masters Athletic meet in Malaysia, where he came fourth in 5-km walk. Mr. Balakrishnan, who began his career as a police constable, later joined the revenue department. After retirement, he provided free physical training to candidates appearing for the PSC. Because of his love for football, he also coached his two children, one of whom twice represented the State in Santosh Trophy tournaments and played for several clubs, while the son is making a mark for himself in the game.

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