English Name: Coconut
Common Indian Name (Hindi): Naariyal
- The Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the Family Arecaceae (palm family). The term coconut refers to the seed of the coconut palm and is simple dry nut botanically.
- The white and fleshy edible part of the coconut (‘coconut meat’) is outer part of the seed, known as albuminous cellular endosperm and is rich in fat. About 90% of the fat found in coconut meat is saturated, a proportion exceeding that of foods such as lard, butter and tallow. Coconut meat also contains less sugar and more protein than popular fruits such as bananas, apples and oranges, and is relatively high in minerals such as iron, phosphorus and zinc.
- The water which is filled in the central cavity of the tender coconuts (‘coconut water’) is inner part of the seed, known as liquid endosperm and is mild sweet in taste.
- Coconut is rich in fibre and is said to be a very good source of the vital minerals; iron, copper and magnesium.
- The oil in coconuts is enriched in medium chain fatty acids, including lauric acid. Medium chain fatty acids are believed to help the absorption of calcium, magnesium and amino acids, they may also fasten metabolism and support the thyroid function.
- Eating coconuts is considered excellent for the immune system and is reported to help fight against infections.