Interesting Facts About Coconut: “Fruit Of Life”

For many years, coconuts have been making it big as a healthy beverage, hipster-foodie superstar ingredient, and dietary supplement. However, they’re not the only things the “fruit of life” is known for. Found across tropical and subtropical regions, the coconut is known for its versatility as seen in the industrial, commercial, and domestic uses of its parts.
Cultivated coconut plants are prone to insect attacks that reduces production of fruits worth hundreds of million dollars. Coconut is an essential part of human diet as it contains valuable minerals and vitamins. Other than that, they’re used in the manufacture of beauty products, production of wooden items, construction industry, and as a fuel.
Here are SIX interesting facts about coconuts:
1. The name “coconut” came from the sailors aboard Vasco de Gama’s ships. They called it “Coco”, named after a hobgoblin or grimacing face. When the name “coco” came to England, they added the suffix “nut” and that is how the name came about.
2. The coconut has several health benefits, most of which have been documented in many health publications, but the benefit is far more direct in this case.
As it turns out, coconut water is a workable short-term substitute for human blood plasma and was positively tested as emergency intravenous fluid as far back as the ’50s. There’s been at least one documented case where a coconut IV was used in the Solomon Islands to treat a severely dehydrated patient.
3. Not only is the coconut good eating, it’s also an excellent building material. At least, that’s what former President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos thought when he commissioned the Coconut Palace.
Seeking to impress Pope John Paul II during his visit to the Philippines, Marcos ordered the opulent structure built for the whopping sum of 37 million pesos ($10 million). Seventy percent of this two-story structure is built from coconut lumber. Other assorted components of the coconut tree and fruit are also incorporated into the decor and architecture.
Did the Coconut Palace make an impression on the Pope? Yes, but not the intended one. Pope John Paul II judged the palace too pretentious and flamboyant for his tastes (not to mention irresponsible in the face of the country’s high poverty rate), and he decided to stay elsewhere.
4. Coconuts are good fuel for the body, but did you know that it’s also a planet-friendly fuel for machinery? Biodiesel has been making the rounds as a fossil fuel alternative, and coconut trees happen to be one of the plants that can produce oil in workable quantities.
Not only that, but coconuts can perform multiple roles: as a base substance, an additive, or a direct substitute for petroleum diesel.
5. No beach vacation is complete without a refreshing coconut drink to help you kick back and relax. But if you want to party, don’t count coconuts out just yet.In the Philippines, sap from an unopened coconut flower is distilled into a potent drink called lambanog.
It’s powerful stuff (easily 80 to 90 proof) but is organic and chemical-free. Lambanog is traditionally homemade, but some commercial distilleries have introduced several flavors into the market, such as mango, bubblegum, and blueberry.
6. World War I introduced the concept of large-scale gas warfare, which made gas masks a necessity for survival. Gas masks use carbon to scrub the air clean, but not all carbon is created equal.
Gas mask manufacturers in the US developed the use of steam-activated coconut char—obtained by burning coconut husks—as an important component in gas mask production. They found that masks using coconut carbon were superior at filtering noxious substances.
Even now, coconut-fired carbon is still an important ingredient in cleaning up radiation and was heavily used in the cleanup project at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

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