Is Coconut a Fruit? Or is it a Nut? Read this detailed article to clear all your confusions related to the identity of coconuts!
Coconuts grow on the Cocos Nucifera in tropical regions. They are full of essential minerals that aids in improving heart and mental health. Coconuts have numerous uses in the food and cosmetic industries that make them quite versatile.
So, with it having so many benefits on offer, Is Coconut a Fruit? Let’s find out!
Is Coconut a Fruit?
In botanical terms, coconut is a one-seeded drupe or a dry drupe, containing a seed. The white flesh inside the hard woody shell is a part of the seed. Botanically, it is termed as Eendosperm containing a clear liquid that we also know as coconut juice or water. It includes three layers:
- Exocarp– The green hull, which is the outer shell.
- Mesocarp– A fibrous layer or husk that comes in the middle part.
- Endocarp– The hard woody part that contains seed.
Coming back to the main question-Is Coconut a Fruit? The answer to that is-Yes! Botanically, coconut is a single-seeded drupe fruit. But, the discussion doesn’t end here, due to the name, often creating a question in the mind of coconut lovers, which ends with the word ‘Nut.’
Is Coconut a Nut?
According to botanists, a nut is a kind of fruit, consisting of a shell and seed. Thus, coconut can be both a fruit and a nut. Even though coconut has a hard shell and a seed, still, coconut cannot be considered as a real nut.
The factor that discriminates coconut from the nut category is its formation. While coconut has three layers, a nut has only one layer around the seed. After full growth, the outer shell (Endocarp) of the nut becomes hard and stony, which secures the seed inside. Real nuts are Indehiscent (that do not open on their own while reaching maturity) such as, Pecans, Acorn, Walnuts, Chestnut and, Hazelnuts. However, coconuts are Dehiscent (splitting or bursting open), and their seeds germinate and sprout from the end of the shell (from three open pores) that ultimately breaks open (Dehisces).
World Leaders Of Coconut Production
Coconuts are grown around the world, in a total of 80 countries. Philippines and Indonesia are the biggest producers of coconuts, followed by India, Sri Lanka, and Brazil. These countries cover about 80 percent of the total world’s coconut production.
The Versatility Of Coconut!
Every part of this exotic tree is valuable that never goes into waste.
- The coir or husk, which is a fibrous part of the coconut fruit, has multiple uses in making ropes, doormats, compost, etc.
- Cocopeat is also produced from coconut husk.
- The water inside the fruit is full of Protein, Vitamins, Minerals, providing hydration, and energy.
- Oil processed from coconut has many medicinal, topical, and nutritional properties as well.
- Milky white flesh from coconut is widely used in the preparation of various dishes worldwide.
- Coconut milk also has multiple uses in cuisines, mainly in Southeast Asia.
Also Read: How to Make Homemade Cocopeat for Garden
Nutritional Facts Of Coconut
- Coconuts have loads of essential minerals, fiber, proteins, and amino acids.
- It is a rich source of manganese that promotes bone health. The fruit also contains a good amount of copper, iron, and selenium, which helps in protecting cells of your body.
- It improves cholesterol levels and also aids in reducing belly fat, which is a common cause behind heart ailment.
- The high content of fiber and fat in coconuts also maintains sugar levels.
- Coconut water also contains powerful Antioxidants, Potassium, Vitamin C, Fiber, and Magnesium, helping to boost metabolism and provide instant energy.
The Coconut Is a Fruit!
According to botanical studies, coconut is a fruit and not a nut. Since it does not possess any properties that are found in nuts, we can put them in the category of fruits.