Coconuts

Posted on May 31, 2010 by

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Vicki Bernstein

Coconuts are grown on the coconut palm tree which is mostly grown in rain forests and other tropical areas. In the United States it is found only in Hawaii, the Southern tip of Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. After the clusters of flowers bloom they develop into coconuts. It may take a year or so for the coconut tree to mature grow to be 50-80 feet and produce about 50 nuts.
The coconut is extraordinary, and provides an abundance of delicious foods made from the meat of the coconut. Coconut is a staple in many countries and featured in recipes from Thailand, Vietnam, Africa, Indonesia, Brazil, and India. Besides its nutritious qualities, women in India apply coconut oil to condition their hair.  Coconut oil also improves complexion, you can make a soothing facial at home by mixing coconut oil with oatmeal powder and a little bit of lavender flower powder.  Recent research suggests that coconut is good for burning fat and lowering cholesterol by enhancing fat metabolism. If you are interested in further information, there are a myriad of other uses and suggestions for coconut.
The coconut water is also nutritious and Ayurvedic literature is full of praise for the coconut, saying that as coconuts age their healing properties change.  Baby coconuts are moist and very tender; its water is the purest and the most healing.  It is known for its cooling properties, for unclogging the body’s channels, repairing the gastrointestinal tract, and its sweet quality is said to have life-restoring properties.  Middle aged coconut in addition to water has some soft pulp and is said to be best because it has more carbohydrate, protein, minerals, phosphorus, vitamins A, B, C than the other two forms.  Mature coconut is hard and has very little water.  According to Ayurvedic texts mature coconut is hard to digest.

SHERI’S NOTE:

There is a huge difference both in nutritional content, looks, and taste between young thai coconuts and mature coconuts.  The health benefits attributed to coconut milk are actually referring to the water in a YOUNG THAI COCONUT – not the usual mature dark brown coconut.  If you are interested in pursuing the qualities of eating coconuts, be sure to do some more research on the types of coconuts available – and how to open them!!