Yay! Coconut day is around the corner on September 2nd. We all know Coconut useful but here is some facts that everyone should know.
The history of coconuts dates back to ancient Vedic times. The exact origin of coconut is not known. It is considered sacred and is used in Indian traditions and rituals. It is mostly grown in tropic and subtropic regions.
A Spanish explorer coined the term coconut. The word Coco means monkey face, and it was given based on the three indentations. The scientific name for coconut is Cocos nucifera.
Coconut is a superabundant drupe. It is known as Kalpa vriksha in Sanskrit, meaning a tree which gives everything.
Coconuts are found in two types. They are Niu kafa and Niu vai.
Niu kafa has a large fibrous husk and is triangular and oblong in shape. The niu kafa’s shape is triangular and oval with a large fibrous husk. Niu vai’s water is more water and is sweeter in taste.
Domesticated plants of coconut are shorted compared to the wild ones that usually grown at the seasides.
Coconut is used by over ⅓ of the global population. Coconut has varied usage types and benefits. It is mainly used in food, medicines, and cosmetics. It is used in 5 types. They are Coconut water, coconut meat, coconut milk/cream, coconut oil and coconut husk.
Coconut water is known as the father of modern tissue culture science.
Coconut is commonly known for its water. Coconut water is sweet and nutty. It contains sugar and electrolytes in easily digestive carbohydrate form. Coconut water is cholesterol free, low calories, low sodium, and high potassium.
Coconut water is also known as nature’s sport drink
The water is drunk directly from the coconut and is sold in bottled form.
Health benefits of coconut water
- Best substitute for sports and sugar drinks in proper hydration.
- Micronutrients in coconut water boost immune system.
- Coconut water contains cytokinins which have anti-aging, antithrombotic and anticancer effects.
- Low calorie and bioactive enzymes aid for digestion and metabolism help in weight loss. Potassium content in coconut water balances sodium which balances the water weight in the body.
- Contains standard levels of magnesium which treats headaches.
- Alkalines in coconut water reduce acid levels in the body which level pH in the body.
- It also removes toxins and helps out in the elimination of stones from kidneys.
- Calcium in coconut water strengthens bones.
Coconut water for beauty
- Washing face with coconut water gives a glow to the skin.
- Fights oil and greasiness of skin.
- Removes and prevents blackheads, acne and pimples.
- Hydrates dry skin.
- Prevents hair loss by improving blood circulation in the scalp.
Coconut meat is the white fruit lining inside the coconut. It is formed from the coconut water as it ages. The kernel’s texture depend on upon the storage and the age of the coconut. It can be thick and crunchy or tough and fibrous or juicy and tender.
Coconut meat is high in fiber and minerals. Coconut meat contains medium chain saturated fats. These do not cause cholesterol and in turn, removes bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol levels.
Coconut meat is eaten from the coconut after breaking the shell. It is also available in the shredded form which can be used in food.
Health Benefits of Coconut meat
- Manganese in coconut meat metabolizes fats and proteins.
- Potassium, sodium, and copper balance the fluids in the body.
- Medium chain triglycerides which are converted to ketone replace energy substrate for the brain.
- Ketones treat many neurological disorders in the body.
- Vitamins A and E, phytosterols, and polyphenols in the coconut meat reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the body.
Coconut milk is made from the coconut meat. It is different from the coconut water. It contains unique fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Coconut cream is similar to coconut milk but is thicker and less watery. It is mostly used as an ingredient in foods.
Coconut cream and milk can be prepared at home and are also readily available in the market.
Health benefits of Coconut milk/cream
- Lauric acid improves cholesterol levels and keeps the heart healthy.
- Magnesium in coconut milk fights stress and muscle tension improves circulation.
- Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) helps in building the physique. These are also beneficial for patients suffering from arthritis, other joints and muscle pains.
- MCT’s in coconut milk are in accessible form, providing calories for the brain.
- Electrolytes and healthy fats nourish digestive tract.
- Fights ulcers.
- A good moisturizer for skin.
Coconut milk for beauty
- Nourishes and moisturizes hair from root to tips.
- Best detangler for hair by just using little milk while combing.
- Acts as a conditioner for hair and also gives volume.
- Fats and oils in milk restore the skin for sunburns and also used for removal of makeup.
- Copper and vitamin C content fights aging and keeps skin younger.
Coconut flour is also made from grounded coconut meat. It is It has high fiber, proteins, nutrients, low calorie, low carbohydrates and gluten-free.
Unlike other flours which are made from seeds, coconut is the only wide used flour entirely made from fruit without any seeds. It is also easily digested.
Health benefits of Coconut flour
- Contains 70% of fiber which helps in cleansing and detoxification of the body.
- Low glycemic levels in coconut flour stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Protein concentration in coconut flour is about 19.3 grams per 100 grams. It is is very much useful in building the physique.
- Beneficial for weight-loss dietary.
Coconut oil is extracted from aged and matured kernel. Coconut oil is the most widely used coconut product. It contains higher amounts of lauric acid around 50%. That is greater than any other natural product. Different varieties of oil are available based on the usage.
Refined oil for cooking and massage.
Virgin oils for weight loss, medicinal purpose and as a carrier oil.
Fractionated oil as a carrier oil.
Pure oils for massage.
Health benefits of coconut oil
- LDL levels in coconut oils prevent atherosclerosis.
- Plays a significant role in the healthy functioning of thyroid and endocrine system.
- Coconut oil has antimicrobial lipids, antibacterial and antiviral properties, capric acid, caprylic acid and lauric acid which empower immune system.
- It also helps in digestion and fights irritability and other digestive issues.
- Relieves from inflammations caused by candida.
- Standard MCTs and fatty acids are converted into energy in the liver and empowering the liver.
- Burns excess fat.
- Enhances functioning of kidney and gall bladder. It also removes stones from the kidneys.
- Strengthens teeth and bones by improving the levels of calcium absorption.
- Fatty acids from coconut oil are converted into ketones which reduce seizures.
Coconut oil for beauty care
- Nourishes hair and fights hair loss and by adding required proteins to the hair.
- Acts as a protective layer when applied over infected areas.
- Moisturizes and protects skin from harmful ultraviolet rays.
- Acts as nontoxic insects repellent.
- Repairs cuticles.
Coconut husk is found under the first layer of coconut skin. In the earlier days, there was not much use of coir except making small carpets or mats.
The latest understanding of benefits of the coconut husk has put it into varied uses.
- It is used for stuffing cushions, seats.
- Used as a filter in an aquarium.
- When burnt coir acts as the best mosquito repellent.
- Contains beneficial fungi which are useful in fighting pathogens.
- Controls moisture, pH, and mineral levels in plants.
Researchers are being been on coconut husk. These are to replace synthetic fibers and other chemicals in the production of automotive and fibers.
The above-mentioned benefits and properties of coconut are almost similar in all the products. It is just that each of the product has little more based on the age and the type we use it.
Ayurvedic uses of Coconut
Roots of Coconut are astringent, diuretic anthelmintic.
Flower of coconut is useful in many ways. It is helpful to prepare sweets, refrigerant, aphrodisiac, intoxicating, diuretic and toxic.
Coconut shell is useful in cooling, diuretic, deodorant.
The kernel is helpful in sweets, cooling, oleaginous appetiser, aphrodisiac, laxative and tonic.
Coconut water is useful for sweet, cooling, digestive, aphrodisiac, diuretic, anthelmintic and tonic.
Coconut oil is beneficial in sweet, disinfectant, insecticidal, gastrointestinal, aphrodisiac, appetiser, hair tonic.
How to use Coconut
Coconut water is the best natural diet to replenish lost fluids.
The flower of coconut is dried and powdered and be taken with yoghurt.
Tender coconut water relieves a headache caused by overexposure to the sun.
A decoction prepared from the roots of coconut is taken with a pinch of asafoetida to get rid of intestinal worms.
Old coconut oil is the best healer of wounds.
Taking coconut water by adding sugar, honey and long pepper powder is an excellent preventive for vomiting.
Coconut milk is a good body coolant on external application.
The milk extracted from grated coconut makes a soothing and healing gargle for oral ulcers.
In generalised itching, coconut milk or even yoghurt is applied to reduce inflammation.
Pasting the barks of banyan and peepal trees in coconut milk and using over wound are useful to heal skin smoothly owing to their astringent and nourishing properties.
Dried shriveled garlic cloves are heated over a little fire in coconut oil until the oil imbibes the black color of the cloves. The cloves are then squeezed into the oil and the oil filtered. This makes a useful application over weeping eczematous lesions.
Bathing the hair in coconut milk is a useful practice to nourish hairs from roots to ends. This explains the well-nourished hair of people in Kerala where it is a common practice.
Dry coconut shavings, poppy seeds, dry ginger pieces, cucumber and pumpkin seeds are used to make small sweet balls with jaggery. The newly delivered woman is given 1-2 these shots daily.
Tender coconut water was shown to be ideal even for intravenous administration in cases of dehydration and malnutrition.
Crude aqueous extract of the coir was found to show anti-bacterial effect against gram-positive cocci.
Refreshing Coconut facts
- More than 20 billion coconuts are produced every year.
- Coconut is used more than any other fruits for cosmetics.
- Coconuts can float on the water. They can sail and go to a new location and give rise to a new plant.
- Coconut water is used as a substitute for blood plasma. During World War 2, coconut water was used as a substitute for the intravenous (IV) solution.
- Used in production of gas masks during World War 1.
- In some regions, trained monkeys are used to collect coconuts.
- The wood of coconut tree is used in the manufacturing of furniture and other wooden items.
- Harry Nilsson released a song in 1971 by the name ‘Coconut’ which was listed on Billboard top 100.
It’s good to know all the beneficial and exciting facts about coconut. It is more than most of the natural product. It is the main reason why coconut is called tree which gives everything.
Using coconut in our daily life could prevent many diseases and also keeping us healthy all the time. Coconut day is coming up soon! Think and talk about the benefits of coconut. When you do talk about the advantages and the way it can be used, you will surely be given an upper hand in the meeting, Believe me.
Share the article and spread the word. Let the world be aware of the beauty and beneficial aspects of coconut. Maybe we could coin coconut for being happy, content, healthy and helpful to others.
Be a coconut and stay happy!