What is a drupe? A quick internet search would define it as “a fleshy fruit with thin skin and a central stone containing the seed.” Although the most common examples would include cherries, peaches, and apricots, there is another fruit in the drupe family that many often forget about; the coconut. The co-star of the pina colada is most commonly referred to as a tropical staple in many parts of the world, and is usually enjoyed as a fresh beverage. However, the rest of the coconut, besides the water, can be used for a variety of projects that are far from simply drinking the fruit. This unique drupe has numerous health benefits and uses that make it an outstanding treat for every season.
During a period of shortage in medicine, coconut water was used to treat dehydration in soldiers fighting in World War 2. Although the war ended, the coconut continues to be praised for its astonishing number of nutrients in each serving. Coconuts are abundant in vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6, many of the vitamins that Americans often lack in their everyday diet. Each fruit is also packed with a variety of minerals, such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus, which are essential for the human body to ensure healthy organ functions. Minerals support the brain, bones, heart, and hormone. Moreover, 3.5 cups of coconut flesh roughly equate to 25 grams of fiber, the recommended daily intake for the average adult. Taking all of its nutritional benefits into account, it would only be fitting to call the coconut a true “superfruit”.
There are countless methods to consume all of these amazing nutrients provided by the coconut. One option is to extract the coconut oil from the flesh and utilize it as an healthier alternative to commercially used cooking oil. Compared to other oils, coconut oil helps boost heart health and good cholesterol (HDL) in the body. A simpler method would be to incorporate coconut pieces, chips, or shavings into meals and snacks. Many recipes, ranging from heart-healthy breakfasts to sweet desserts, utilize the nutty flavor that coconuts possess. Among the most popular are the coconut smoothie, cereal, ice cream; coconut-battered shrimp; and salads topped with coconut shavings. Healthy and delectable, this superb drupe is able to satisfy every craving while adding a healthy kick to every bite.
The coconut also consists of the inedible outer shell. Perhaps, this is the most useless part of the coconut? However, the answer is a surprising no. The hard coconut shell can be processed and turned into a material called coconut fiber. This fiber is used in the construction of various household items, including doormats, ropes, brushes, and mattresses.
Overall, there is no piece of the coconut that goes to waste; both internal and external parts are able to be utilized. In cooking or in construction, there is always a reason to adore the coconut. It is undeniable that this drupe has won the title of the most remarkable fruit on this planet.