The Coconut Tree
In the Philippines the Coconut tree is called the “Tree of Life’’, because it is said that every part of the tree can be used for a specific purpose. They say that if you are stranded in an island all you have to do is find a coconut tree and you will survive. When it comes to culinary then this tree and its fruit has countless offers to make.
The Coconut meat is a decent source of protein and is also known as a natural laxative which can definitely help those with intestinal constipation. It is also a source of other products such as coco flour, desiccated coconut, coco milk, coco sugar, and even animal feeds.
Coconut water is used as an electrolyte drink, mostly for re-hydration and kidney cleansing. It also contains carbohydrates that is easily absorbed and provides needed minerals such as potassium and magnesium that athletes lose during workouts. These minerals are vital for optimal performance during training or tournaments. Potassium assists in muscular contraction, nerve transmission, and heart function. Adults need between 2,600 to 3,400 mg of potassium per day. A single cup of coconut water provides 600mg of potassium. Magnesium is another mineral that is quite important as it is key in regulating muscles and nerve functions. Adults need between 320 – 420 mg per day. Approximately 60mg of magnesium is can be found in one cup of coconut water. More and more people are starting to be aware of the benefits of coconut water especially those that do sports. Aside from rehydration purposes, it is also being included as an ingredient in several cocktails!
Coconut oil is another derivative of the tree of life, more popularly used for its benefits to the skin. Aside from keeping your skin moisturized, the fatty acids found in the oil possess antimicrobial properties that can help treat acne. These same fatty acids are known to help your hair grow faster, thicker and nourishes the scalp preventing sebum build-up from hair follicles. This product is also starting to gain terrain in the culinary world as it adds a unique flavor to dishes when used for cooking. Not only does it make your food taste better evidence of studies show that it boosts heart health, fat-burning and raises your HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol).
Another product that is gaining steam (and what we offer in our store) is coconut milk. Not only does it taste good but it can be used as a natural substitute for cow’s milk for several dishes, cakes and drinks. Coconut milk does not have any lactose therefore it is easier for your body to digest. Just like the water, it is rich in electrolytes which can help prevent fatigue, can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, helps build muscle and burns fat.
What is not mentioned though in many sources is that the quality of the coconuts is very important for the milk to be tasty, the oil to rich in fatty-acids and for the water to taste authentic and natural. Using organic coconut products is very important to get the results you are looking for as there are a lot of products in the market with a lot of preservatives, artificial coloring and additives which take away the savor and freshness.
As for the rest of the tree, its roots can be used for dyes, the trunks for crafts and construction purposes, the shell is used as charcoal for cooking, the husk also a part of is also used as fiber for rope and matting. Lastly, the coconut leaves produce good quality paper, brooms, hats and even used as to wrap food such as rice.
Just for added information, the Philippines is actually the world’s second largest coconut producer with a production capacity of 154 million tons per year, so it is easily understandable how its people have learned to optimize every part of the tree. People in Spain and the rest of Europe are still learning how to use and appreciate these coconut products, and Filipinan Market is here to help bring the far-east tropics closer!