Fruit, Nut or Seed? The name connotes that it is a nut, but just by looking at it, it seems more like a fruit since it hangs and comes from the coconut palm tree. Some people say that it is both and also a seed. So what is it really? A FRUIT Because it comes from a coconut tree and may be eaten! A NUT Because it looks likes a giant nut. But unlike other nuts, cannot be eaten as a whole! A SEED Unlike some fruits that have seeds inside that may be used for planting, the coconut is different because it is a seed in itself! The coconut naturally falls from the tree if not picked. A mature coconut has a shell that is hard to crack. If left alone, the dry and brown coconut will grow a green shoot out of its shell. At the eye of the coconut, an embryo develops from the nutritious juice and white flesh of the fruit. This becomes the young coconut seedling which can last for weeks or months merely sustained by the food and water of the coconut. The roots will slowly develop and grow out of the shell, anchoring the new plant in the ground. This then becomes a tree on its own with time. Coconut palm trees live long and productive lives. They become coconut bearing in 5 years and lasts up to 80 years. Coconuts float, giving them the ability to travel to distant islands. Once marooned on that island, since the coconut itself is the seed of the coconut tree, they can root themselves and become not just one but many coconut palm trees that again, with time, will be part of the beautiful landscape of a tropical island!
Reference: Kasma Loha-unchit in It Rains Fishes.
co-co-nut also co-coa-nut (k k -n t , -n t) Scientific name: Cocos nucifera of the Family Arecaceae (palm family). It is the only species in the genus Cocos, and is a large palm that grows to approximately 30 m tall, with pinnate leaves 4-6 m long, pinnae 60-90 cm long.
- The fruit of the coconut palm, consisting of a fibrous husk surrounding a large seed.
- The large, brown, hard-shelled seed of the coconut, containing white flesh surrounding a partially fluid-filled central cavity.
- The edible white flesh of the coconut, often shredded and used in food and confections or for the extraction of coconut oil.
- A coconut palm.
Reference: American Heritage Dictionary
|Coconut oil is rich in cholesterol.||Coconut oil has no cholesterol.|
|Coconut oil is like animal fats -- saturated.||Yes, both are saturated but animal fats have long chain fatty acids (LCFA) while coconut oil contain medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). Their absorption, transport, metabolism and uses are completely different.|
|Coconut oil increased cholesterol levels and causes heart disease.||People who take large amounts of coconut oil (Such as the Polynesians, Sri Lankans, Indians and Filipinos) have low cholesterol and rarely develop heart diseases.|
|Polyunsaturated oils are the safest and best.||Not true. Polyunsaturated oils are the sources of inflammatory prostaglandins, allergic leukotrienes, blood clot inducing thromboxane and when partially hydrogenated, are converted to transfatty acids that are even more atherogenic.|
Reference: The Truth About Coconut Oil: The Drugstore in a bottle by Conrado Dayrit, M.D.