Coconut is a tropical fruit obtained from the most cultivated palm in the world, the coconut tree. The origin of this fruit is a controversial subject, some place it in South Asia, others in South America and smaller fossils locate their origin in New Zealand. The truth is that today they are typical of tropical and subtropical islands of the Pacific Ocean.
The types of coconut trees are classified as:
Giants: employees in the production of oil and its fruit for fresh consumption that uses its high water content and its sweet taste.
Dwarfs: these are used for the production of bottled beverages due to the great taste of their water.
Hybrid: crossing of the previous varieties, generating a product with good flavor and performance.
The caloric value of coconut is the highest of all fruits with a concentration of 88.60% of saturated fatty acids, the main component after water. The coconut is rich in mineral salts and potassium, its important contribution of fiber is such that its consumption improves intestinal transit and helps reduce the risks of certain diseases, magnesium is related to the functioning of the intestine, for its mild laxative effect , nerves and muscles, promotes immunity.
At present, this fruit is called white gold, not only because of all the nutritional benefits it provides, but also because it can obtain a large number of by-products of versatile and novel uses.
Sub products of coconut
Coconut milk: it is extracted from the fresh meat of the coconut, mixing it, after grating it or grinding it, with the water or not. If it is not mixed, the resulting milk will be more creamy. To extract the milk requires that the coconut is ripe but the white, creamy flesh, if it is already yellow, it is preferable not to use it. If the coconut has little meat or is very thin, the consistency of the milk will be much lower.
It can be used in the preparation of food, or stored as cow’s milk in bottles or tetrabrik. It is an excellent choice for people who have lactose intolerance or are intolerant to milk. Although coconut milk is high in saturated fats it is more beneficial than many foods since it is easier to metabolize by the body.
Coconut butter: it is obtained by grinding coconut pulp and raw organic coconut oil. You get a paste similar to peanut butter. Because coconut butter provides a more intense and rich flavor of the fruit, it is also called coconut manna. Coconut butter is solid at room temperature, with a wax-like texture when it is cold, but it is deliciously creamy when hot. Coconut butter cannot be considered a substitute for butter, but it can be added to bread or added to coffee to make it creamier.
Grated coconut: you can find natural, sweetened or roasted and as fine as sugar or flakes of various sizes. And it is popularly used in pastry.
Coconut flour: it is obtained from the pulp of the dried and ground fruit until a fine and smooth texture is obtained. Coconut flour is rich in fiber, has no gluten and adds a light flavor to coconut desserts in which it is used.
Coconut sugar: unlike other by-products, it does not come from the pulp or coconut water, but from the sage of palm flowers. For this reason it does not have the characteristic coconut flavor or its aroma, in return it offers a deep caramel flavor. Coconut oil: it is extracted from the dried pulp, as its processing cost is low and it gives very good results as an ingredient, it is widely used in packaged industrial confectionery and in the production of snacks.
Varieties of coconut oil:
Pure coconut oil: it is raw, unrefined, without synthetic additives. Used in cosmetics industry and medicine. Refined coconut oil: bleached, deodorized and refined with chemical processes, Virgin coconut oil: obtained from fermentation, centrifugation and enzymatic action of milk. It has a mild taste and odor and is rich in antioxidants, medium chain fatty acids and antimicrobial actions.
Organic coconut oil: obtained from coconuts grown under ecological protocols, free of any synthetic chemical. It is usually used in the preparation of organic cosmetics such as lotions, creams and soaps.
Virgin organic coconut oil: like virgin oil but with organic coconuts. It is the purest form of this oil, so it is very difficult to find it and its price is expensive.
Health benefits of coconut consumption:
Has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, It is an excellent ally for proper hydration, coconut water is rich in vitamins and minerals. Coconut is a natural diuretic, helps fight fluid retention and its fiber content makes it a mild laxative. Contains lauric acid, a saturated fat that is also found in breast milk and that favors brain development and bone health. Saturated fatty acids help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels preventing heart problems and arteriosclerosis. Improves the health of the digestive system, improves digestion and prevents the symptoms of digestive ulcers and acid reflux and burning.
The oil obtained from the coconut pulp moisturizes and revitalizes the skin and hair, making them look smoother and brighter. Helps to fight stress: it has relaxing properties, but it is in the application of coconut oil in massages where its anti-stress potential is exploited. Ally to lose weight: eating coconut causes a feeling of satiety, preventing us from overeating. The high content of potassium favors the dissolution of stones or kidney stones.
The coconut is a food of great nutritional power and extraordinary medicinal qualities, the variety of products that derive from it make it one of the world’s most veracious fruits. Its consumption worldwide and the great demand, make it one of the favorite fruits. Of easy location, the coconut must be present in its menu and its derivatives part of the diet, it will help to improve their health and add flavor to their food.