Coconut is considered a very healthy and nutritious food as it contains almost all the essential nutrients. Coconuts have a considerable amount of fat, fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein. Coconut usually grows in the tropics as it prefers a warm and humid climate. People living in the tropics have used coconuts as a staple food for over thousands of years.
As food, coconut meat, water, milk and oil is utilized by people living in many tropical countries. It is believed that one can survive only on coconuts as it a food that provides all the necessary nutrients in diet. Beyond its nutritional value, coconuts also provide a number of health benefits. Due to its curative properties, coconuts are used as a medicine in several remedies.
The coconut comes with a fibrous husk that covers an inner stone. Lined inside the inner stone is the white fleshy meat of the coconut or the endosperm. People all over the world enjoy eating fresh coconut meat, which is deliciously sweet. Coconut meat contains saturated and unsaturated fats and therefore is high in energy.
Coconut water and air surrounds the endosperm. The meat of young coconuts is jelly like and can be drunk with the coconut water. Water from the young coconut is enjoyed by people of all ages. It is a refreshing, thirst quencher which has a sweet and delightful taste to it. Coconut water is regarded as therapeutic as it provides an isotonic balance to the body. Hence coconut water is often given as liquid food to people who are sick.
The kernel or flesh of the mature coconut is used in culinary arts. For culinary purposes, mostly the kernel is grated and mixed with a little bit of water to get coconut milk. Milk from grated coconut kernel is used in many dishes. Coconut milk is used to make curries and deserts such as porridges and cakes. It is also added while cooking rice for a much better taste.
People use coconut milk to obtain the oil in the kernel. This edible oil is considered the healthiest oil and is used in cooking. What makes it healthy is the fat component which is dominated by medium chained fatty acids. Coconut oil is consumed as it is in sauces and salads or used to fry food. Butter from coconut oil is also another form of the coconut oil used in cooking.
Coconuts that have fallen off and been sitting on damp ground for sometime develops another part of the coconut that is edible. The liquid inside the coconut turns to a formation that looks like a fruit. This fruity formation has white flesh and a yellowish outer covering and tastes very sweet. It is soft and dissolves in the mouth leaving that peculiar mouth watering taste.