6 Incredible Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Coconuts
1. The Coconut Time Capsule
Coconuts have been an integral part of the human experience in many parts of the world for millennia. Although, coconuts have begun to be appreciated by people in America and Europe in the past few years. The proof came when scientists from Washington University in St. Louis analyzed the DNA of more than 1,300 coconuts they found a record of humanity that stretches back thousands of years. Charting the genetic relationship between coconuts the scientists were able to map ancient trade routes all the way up until the colonization of the Americas.
2. “Swiss Army Knife Of The Plant Kingdom”
The concept of a “superfood” has never been more applicable than it is to the humble coconut. Contained in one easy to carry and weather resistant package is a high-calorie source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and fresh water. Countless explorers and settlers in the South Pacific have relied on the coconut for more than just food. They used the husks to make rope and hard shells for charcoal. In case of emergency, the coconuts can be used as flotation devices.
3. Nutrient Packed
Iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium; reading through the nutritional facts of a coconut is like reading a periodic table of elements essential to a healthily functioning body. Actually, found beneath a coconut’s shell is an excellent source of B-complex vitamins. Indeed, crucial to managing energy production in the body. Recent research suggests the cytokinins found in coconut water could have significant anti-aging effects as well.
4. A Coconut By Any Other Name
Coconuts are not actually nuts. Of all the classifications in the plant kingdom, nut seems like it would have been a pretty safe bet. Alas, coconuts are actually classified as drupes. Drupes are a pretty inclusive category of fleshy fruits which have seeds at the center. Other drupes include mangoes, olives, and cherries. We can all agree this makes a very interesting botanical family.
5. Coconut As A Building Material
Researchers estimate that by combining coconut husks with recycled plastics they could cut oil consumption by 2 to 4 million barrels and CO2 emissions by 450,000 tons annually. Beside fighting climate change and cutting oil dependence, the project also provides local coconut farmers, who commonly struggle with limited means, with an additional source of income. Instead of disposing of the husks, farmers would be able to sell them and, according to estimates, potentially double their annual earnings.
6. At The Crossroads Of Sustainability
Coconut water is in high demand! With that, there is a growing potential for the exploitation of farmers and their land. This means the efforts of consumers and producers to make sure that their coconuts are cultivated in ethical and sustainable ways. Companies with fair and sustainable relationships with farmers and their families will have a tremendous amount of power in the industry.
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