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Coconut (Telugu: కొబ్బరి కాయ | Hindi: नारियल | Tamil: தேங்காய் | Marathi: नारळ | Kannada: ತೆಂಗಿನಕಾಯಿ)

Quick Facts
  • The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut.
  • The name coconut is derived from 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish coco, meaning “head” or “skull“, from the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.
  • Coconut tree is a plant that belongs to the family Arecaceae.
  • The coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) can grow up to 30 m (98 ft) tall and the leave fronds 4–6 m (13.1–19.7 ft) long.
  • In the early stages of a coconuts growth it contains high levels of water which can be consumed directly as a refreshing drink.
  • Ripe coconut has 3.2 pounds of weight.
  • The water is a popular drink as it is natural and contains good levels of sugars, dietary fiber, proteins, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals ; It is a thirst quencher and a natural source of electrolytes.
  • Coconut water can be a substitute for blood plasma. The high level of sugar and other salts make it possible to add the water to the bloodstream, similar to how an IV solution works in modern medicine.
  • Coconut water was known to be used during World War II in tropical areas for emergency transfusions.
  • Coconut milk is not the same as coconut water. Coconut milk has a high fat content of around 17%, but is low in sugars.
  • The white, fleshy part of the coconut seed is called coconut meat. It has high amounts of Manganese, Potassium, and Copper.
  • The meat is used fresh or dried in cooking, especially in confections and desserts such as macaroons.
  • Dry coconut meat is processed to produce coconut oil which is used in cooking, cosmetics, hair-oil, and massage oil.
  • Coir (the fiber of the husk) is used for making ropes, mats, brushes, sacks, caulking for boats, and as stuffing for mattresses.
  • Coconut leaves have many uses such as for making brooms, woven to make baskets or mats, or dried and used as thatch for roofing.
  • Wood from the trunk of the coconut palm was traditionally used to build bridges, houses, huts and boats in the tropics.
  • The roots of the tree are used for making medicines, dyes, toothbrushes and mouthwashes.
  • The oil is source of energy and has an accelerating effect on the metabolism.
  • The coconut does not get dispersed like other drupe fruits (through consumption by wildlife). Instead the coconut palm disperses its seed using the ocean. A coconut is very buoyant and highly water resistant and can travel very long distances across the ocean.
  • There are over 150 species of coconuts that can be found in 80 different countries throughout the world.
  • Each year, 61 million tons of coconuts are produced and distributed throughout the world.
  • The top 3 coconut producing countries in 2010 were the Philippines, Indonesia and India.
  • In Thailand and Malaysia, trained pig-tailed macaques are used to harvest coconuts.
  • The Maldives have a coconut palm on the country’s national coat of arms. It is the national tree and considered the most important plant on their islands.

Scientific Classification:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Arecales
  • Family: Arecaceae
  • Subfamily: Arecoideae
  • Tribe: Cocoeae
  • Genus: Cocos
  • Species: C. nucifera
  • Binomial name: Cocos nucifera
Coconut Water:

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz):

  • Energy: 19 kcal (79 kJ)
  • Carbohydrates: 3.71
  • Sugars: 2.61
  • Dietary fiber: 1.1
  • Fat: 0.2
  • Protein: 0.72
  • Thiamine (B1): 0.03 mg
  • Riboflavin (B2): 0.057 mg
  • Niacin (B3): 0.08 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.032 mg
  • Vitamin C: 2.4 mg
  • Calcium: 24 mg
  • Iron: 0.29 mg
  • Magnesium: 25 mg
  • Phosphorus: 20 mg
  • Potassium: 250 mg
  • Zinc: 0.1 mg
  • Water: 95

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