The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the Arecaceae family (palm tree family). It is the only species classified in the genus Cocos. It is a plant that can grow up to 30 m tall, with pinnate leaves 4–6 m long, with pinnae 60–90 cm.
The leaves fall off completely, leaving the trunk flat. The origins of this plant are open to debate. While some authorities claim Southeast Asia (peninsular region) as its place of origin, others place its origin in northeastern South America.
Fossil records from New Zealand indicate the existence of small plants similar to the coconut tree there. over 15 million years ago. Even older fossils have also been discovered in Rajasthan, India.
Whatever their origin, coconuts have spread throughout the tropics, particularly along the tropical coastline. As its fruit is not very dense and floats, the plant is readily spread by sea currents which can carry the coconuts significant distances.
The coconut palm thrives in sandy and saline soils in areas with abundant sunlight and regular rainfall (75–100 cm annually), which makes coastal colonization relatively easy.
What is Green Coconut?
The green coconut is the fruit of the coconut tree still in the maturation phase. It has a hard, greenish rind and translucent white pulp, thin in thickness and gelatinous in texture.
Its interior is filled with a sweet flavored water that is highly appreciated for consumption. Green coconut water can be drunk in natura, in the coconut itself, or used as a base for juice and cocktail recipes.
Origin of the green coconut
The green coconut originates from Southeast Asia. It was introduced in Brazil by the Portuguese shortly after colonization, that is, still in the 1500s. The fruit was first planted in Bahia, which is why it is also known as coco-da-baia. However, soon after it spread to other regions, mainly on the coast.
Today, the fruit is found anywhere and at any time of the year. Its versatile use and its spread through sea currents made it spread to other neighboring countries. The plant develops where there is well-distributed precipitation and solar radiation.
However, the coconut tree adapts better near the coast, as there is a high amount of groundwater there. Other than that, sandy and sandy-clay soils are ideal for planting.
Green coconut versus dry coconut, what’s the difference?
In fact, there is not a big difference between green coconut and dry coconut.
What really distinguishes them is the maturation time, that is, the time they take to mature. The green coconut can be harvested in less time, and it is from this fruit that we drink water.
Already the dry coconut, or brown coconut, is nothing more than a more mature coconut without shell. Although there is no distinction between green coconut and dry coconut, there are other types of coconut that are distinguished from each other.
They are the green coconut (which we are talking about) and the butiá and babassu coconuts. The butiá, or better, the sour coconut, is typical of the cerrado. However, its greatest consumption is in the south of the country.
It is known for its anti-cancer properties, for fighting premature aging, being a source of vitamins A and E, as well as helping to control blood pressure. Another species is Babaçu, typical of the North and Northeast regions.
It is also a source of mineral salts, fibers, enzymes and starch, and has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and immunological properties.
Types of coconut tree
The existing types of coconut palms are the giant coconut palm, the dwarf coconut palm and the hybrid coconut palm. The giant coconut tree, as the name implies, can exceed 30m in height and its production is around 70 fruits per year.
And They are used mainly in the fruit derivatives industry. The dwarf coconut tree, already has a smaller stature, and does not exceed 12 m in height. It is he who gives rise to the green coconut, which we consume the water.
Its production is 120 fruits per year. And finally, we have the hybrid coconut trees whose fruits can be used both in industry and in water consumption. Its productivity can reach 150 fruits per year.
Benefits of green coconut
Green coconut provides numerous benefits for human health. Check out some good reasons to consume more coconut: Green coconut water is excellent for cardiovascular health.
Drinking coconut water can reduce the risk of suffering from low blood pressure, hypertension and heart attacks. However, as the fruit has a relatively high amount of sugar, it is good to control the amount of liquid ingested; Reduces body swelling.
That’s because it’s rich in potassium, which helps counteract the effects of high sodium intake; It helps to speed up the metabolism, and consequently assists in weight loss; Helps in body rehydration. That’s because when our body dehydrates, we don’t actually lose water, but mineral salts.
And since coconut is rich in these nutrients, it helps with recovery; The green coconut, despite containing a certain amount of sugar, has an anti-diabetic effect when it matures.
But, attention diabetics: no exaggeration; It even helps to improve skin infections, and can be used in case of irritation or rash; Amenizes the signs of aging; It helps with digestion because it contains fibers in its composition; Relieves muscle cramps and strengthens bones; Prevents kidney stones.