So how does the 21st century human enjoy coconut benefits?
Coconut Water: If you are thirsty, choose a young coconut, as they have more water than mature coconuts. You can tell by weighing it in your hand; the heavier it is, the more water content it has. Young coconuts (‘tenders’) contain anywhere from 250 to 1000ml (1 to 4 cups) of coconut water (liquid endosperm)! As coconuts mature, the water content lessens and the endosperm eventually becomes thick and hard. The water may develop a slightly bitter taste. It is best to drink coconuts immediately after opening them, as the nutritional value drops drastically upon contact with oxygen. If you leave coconut water in the fridge, it will start to develop a sour taste over a couple days.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is made from is abundant (about 60%) in medium-chain fatty acids, which means they have 6 to 10 carbons in the chain. Most fatty acids in Western diets are long chain, which have 12 – 22 carbons in the chain. Due to their shorter length, medium-chain fatty acids are more water soluble, and don’t need bile to break down. They enter the blood stream faster and are taken straight to the liver to be used as an immediate source of energy. The ratios of the medium-chain fatty acids in coconuts are: 55% C8 (caprylic acid), 42% capric acid), 2% C6 (caproic acid), and 1$ C12 (lauric acid).
Here is what you can do with coconut oil:
2) Use in raw food!
3) As shaving cream or moisturizer!
4) Deep conditioning to save split-ends!
5) Make-up remover.
6) Lubricant…(but do not use with latex)!
Coconut Flesh: The fleshy edible part of the coconut commonly called ‘flesh’ or ‘meat” is actually the ‘endosperm’.
The endosperm from one coconut can replenish many nutrients in your daily intake:
6% of your B1 (Thiamine): Converts carbohydrates into energy (Glucose Metabolism)
2% of your B2 (Riboflavin): Breaks down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Forms red-blood cells and antibodies. Produces ATP from food, which is essential for storing energy in muscles.
4% of your B3 (Niacin): Improves circulation. Lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases HDL (good) cholesterol.
6% of your B5 (Pantothenic Acid): “Pantothen” means everywhere. It forms fats, proteins, amino acids, and antibodies. It prevents early aging.
4% of your B6 (Pyridoxine): Metabolizes amino acids, mainly in the intestines. Creates all the good stuff: serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline.
7% of your B9 (Folate): Helps pregnant women; as it lowers chances of birth defects of the fetus, and protects the pregnancy in a a number of ways.
60% of your daily manganese: Activates enzymes, builds good bone structure and bone metabolism.
19% of your daily iron: Helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to our tissues, helps our muscles function.
17% of your daily copper: Protects cells from damage.
16% of your daily phosphorus: Makes bones and teeth, stores energy from food.
12% of your daily zinc: Creates healthy skin, helps heal wounds, helps body fight off illnesses and infections.
9% of your daily magnesium: Makes bones and teeth, helps nerves and makes muscles function.
8% of your daily potassium: Keeps the right amounts of water in different parts of your body.
The Coconut’s Life
Coconuts grow on palm trees up to 30 meters (almost 100 feet) tall! There are two main kinds of coconuts, tall and dwarf.
In ideal conditions, one coconut palm tree can produce 75 fruits annually. However, if the land is not fertile enough or if the temperature isn’t consistent, a low yield would be around 30 each year. When coconuts mature, they automatically drop to the ground. Yes, falling coconuts can kill people, and are frequently compared with the number of shark attacks in the world, but don’t worry both statistics are very low and please don’t let that deter you from hugging a coconut palm tree!