World Coconut day 2021; Know the origin, significance, and some of the benefits of the wonderful fruit

World Coconut day is celebrated every year on September 2. Coconut is known as one of the most versatile foods and provides raw materials, and water to everyone. A lot more benefits are there for this wonderful fruit and it is also called ‘tree of life’.

Especially for Keralites, the fruit plays an important role and is an integral part of the food habits of Keralites.

Origin

It is believed that in the 16th century the name “coconut” was given by Portuguese sailors because the three holes on the coconut shell looked like a human face. In Portuguese, “Coco” means “laughing face,” or “grimace” and the English word “nut” was added later on.

Significance in India

India is the third-largest producer of coconuts worldwide. It founded the Coconut Development Board (CDB) – a statutory body under the ministry of agriculture, which aims to develop the “tree of life” and the products related to it. With its headquarters in Kochi, Kerala, the CDB organizes programs in the country on World Coconut Day.

In India, coconuts are cultivated in states including West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka, Odisha, Goa, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. They are even grown in the north-eastern part of the country, with almost 33,493 hectares of land being dedicated to cultivating coconuts.

Coconut is being planted in tropical places for millions of years and has benefited humanity in a variety of ways. The entire globe celebrates one of nature’s healthiest fruits on this day. So, on this World Coconut Day, let’s look at some of the health and other advantages of coconut.

  1. Coconut improves oral health: Research suggests that coconut oil can reduce inflammation. This may benefit oral health and inflammation in the mouth. According to a small 2015 study, oil pulling with coconut oil reduced plaque and could help prevent plaque-induced gingivitis.
  1. Help Lose weight and reduce Heart risk: Even though it contains saturated fat, it is not as harmful as saturated fat that is heavy in calories and cholesterol. Coconut provides good cholesterol (HDL). Virgin coconut oil, which is derived from dried coconut pulp, may help you lose belly fat. This is especially useful because abdominal fat raises your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  1. Help control blood sugar level: Coconut water comes loaded with protein and fibre, both of which are essential nutrients for diabetics. Both the nutrients take time to digest, further raising blood sugar levels gradually. Coconut water makes a better option than an aerated drink or a sweetened beverage.
  1. Contains powerful Antioxidants: Coconut oil does have antioxidants, compounds that may help reduce the risk of disease. It contains phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants that may help protect cells from oxidative damage.

Other advantages 

  1. Very popular among vegans, bowls and spoons fashioned out of coconut shells are easy to make, use and dispose of. 
  2. Instead of using toothbrushes made of plastic, use brushes made of coconut husk and wood. These brushes are biodegradable and reduce the degradation of the environment.
  3. Coconut husk can be used for making biodegradable chairs. To make these chairs, coconut husks are combined with a small amount of latex and molded into chairs.