Coconut isn’t a fruit, although it’s often used in fruit dishes. It grows in tropical regions on tall palm trees and is a type of nut. Coconut is high in protein and iron. You can buy fresh coconuts in the store, although shredded coconut is more convenient.


Fun Facts

  • Spanish explorers called this plant coco which means “monkey face.” They thought the dark spots on the fuzzy brown coconuts resembled a monkey’s face.
  • Almost one-third of the people on our planet rely on coconuts as a major part of their diet.
  • Pacific Islanders revere coconuts, calling the trees “The Tree of Life.” They believe coconuts can cure all diseases.
  • Coconut oil is considered one of the healthiest oils.
  • Coconuts are considered a type of nut.
  • Coconut flesh is high in protein. Coconut water is a light, refreshing drink.
  • Coconut milk is often used as a dairy substitute. It is used in Thai food and can even be used to make ice cream.
  • Coconut oil is used in cosmetics and medicines.



  1. Rely: depend
  2. Thai: from Thailand


Questions and Answers

Question: Is the outside of the coconut edible?

Answer: The outside, called coir, isn’t edible. It’s used for making ropes, brushes, mats, and compost.

Learn More

Martha Stewart explains how to open and use fresh coconut.