complied by John Kohler
English name coconut, first mentioned in English print in 1555, comes from Spanish
and Portugese word coco, which means "monkey face." Spanish and Portugese
explorers found a resemblance to a monkey's face in the three round indented markings or
"eyes" found at the base of the coconut. On the Nicobar Islands of the Indian
Ocean, whole coconuts were used as currency for the purchace of goods until the early part
of the twentieth century.
Coconuts are the fruit of the coconut palm,
botanically known as cocos nucifera, with nucifera meaning "nut-bearing." The
fruit-bearing palms are native to Malaysia, Polynesia and southern Asia, and are now also
prolific in South America, India, the Pacific Islands, Hawaii and Florida. The light,
fibrous husk allowed it to easily drift on the oceans to other areas to propagate. In
Sanskrit, the coconut palm is known as kalpa vriksha, meaning "tree which
gives all that is necessary for living," since nearly all parts of the tree can be
used in some manner or another. The coconut itself has many food uses, including milk,
meat, sugar and oil as well as functioning as its own dish and cup. The husk was also
burned for fuel by natives, but today a seed fibre called coir is taken from the
husk and used to make brushes, mats, fishnets, and rope. A very potent fermented toddy or
drink is also made from the coconut palm's sap. Coconut oil, a saturated fat made from
dried coconut meat, is used for commercial frying and in candies and margarines, as well
as in non-edible products such as soaps and cosmetics.
Although it takes up to a year for coconuts
to mature, the trees bloom up to thirteen times a year, so fruit is constantly forming
yielding a continuous harvest year-round. An average harvest from one tree runs about 60
coconuts, with some trees yielding three times that amount. The coconut's name is a bit of
a misnomer, since it is botanically classified as a drupe and not a nut. It is the largest
If you've ever opened a fresh coconut, you will have
seen the thin, opaque almost clear coconut juice or water which has a slight almond
flavor. Contrary to popular belief, this is not the coconut milk. However, the
water is consumed as a drink fresh from the coconut by many, and it can also be used in
Here is some information about Coconut Water:
"It's a natural isotonic beverage, with the same level of
electrolytic balance as we have in our blood. It's the fluid of life, so to speak."
In fact, during the Pacific War of 1941-45, both sides in the conflict regularly used
coconut water - siphoned directly from the nut - to give emergency plasma trasfusions to
Most coconut water is still consumed fresh in tropical coastal areas
- once exposed to air, the liquid rapidly loses most of its organoleptic and nutritional
characteristics, and begins to ferment.
- Coconut Water is More Nutritious than whole milk - Less fat and NO
- Coconut Water is More Healthy than Orange Juice - Much lower calories
- Coconut Water is Better than processed baby milk- It contains lauric
acid, which is present in human mother's milk
- Coconut water is naturally sterile -- Water permeates though the
- Coconut water is a universal donor-- Its identical to human blook
- Coconut Water is a Natural Isotonic Beverage - The same level we have
in our blood.
- Coconut water has saved lives in 3rd world countries thru Coconut IV.
"Coconut water is the very stuff of Nature, biologically Pure,
full of Natural Sugars, Salts, and Vitamins to ward off fatigue... and is the next wave of
energy drinks BUT natural!", according to Mortin Satin, Chielf of the United Nation's
Food & Agriculture Organization.
Coconut water contains more potassium (at about 294 mg) than most
sports drinks (117 mg) and most energy drinks.
Coconut water has less sodium (25mg) where sports drinks have around
41mg and energy drinks have about 200 mg!
Coconut water has 5mg of Natural Sugars where sports and energy
drinks range from 10-25mg of Altered Sugars.
Coconut water is very high in Chloride at 118mg, compared to sports
drinks at about 39mg.
Data is based on a 100ml drink.