Coconuts

 

 

Coconuts are one of the wonders in the tropical regions where they grow on palm trees and are one of the most vital ingredients to the local cuisine. Normally, a coconut tree grows up to 30m in height and typically produces about 50 coconuts per year. While different coconut varieties produce coconuts with different taste and appearance, coconuts’ water and milk from fruits of the same variety could also differ in taste and color. Nevertheless, coconuts have many real life implications and are classified as super fruits since they are abundant in minerals and vitamins. Traditionally, coconuts have also played an important role for the survival of local societies due to their protective shells which make their water, milk and pulp a clean source of nutrition.

  

 

Young coconuts

 

 

The newly born coconut has a green (or yellow to orange) color, weighs approximately 1.5kg and contains about 400ml of vital coconut water (juice). Young coconut’s water is almost transparent and has a neutral to sweet taste depending on the variety. It is highly valued as it is low on fat and cholesterol and rich in minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and sodium. In addition, it is high in ascorbic acid and B vitamins. Young coconut water is recommended during physical activities as it is rich in electrolytes which provide quick hydration and allow the muscles and nerves to function properly. Furthermore, it has properties similar to blood plasma and it is known as a source of various health benefits for the immune system, metabolism, skin, hair, bone structure etc. Medics also recommend young coconut water during pregnancy as it is rich in iron and magnesium.

 

 

 

Mature coconuts

 

 

After the first 6-9 months of its growth, the young green coconut matures becoming harder and brown in color. At this stage, the liquid inside its shell is no longer coconut water but coconut milk. Coconut milk contains many minerals such as iron, selenium, magnesium, potassium, protein, phosphorus and vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and is higher in calories than coconut water. It is widely used for cooking in many cultures as well as for drinking by people who are lactose-intolerant. Coconut milk also have beneficial effects on the skin, bone structure and the immune system.