The coconut craze

Coconuts are easily one of the most versatile natural products known to mankind. It might not be such a stroke of bad luck to be marooned on a beautiful tropical island if there were a laden coconut tree or two nearby. You could eat the fruit, drink the milk, weave the husk to make rope and cook with the oil as well as apply it to your skin as a moisturiser, teeth whitener and wound salve.

Coconut oil in decades past was primarily used to add flavour, nutrients and texture to dishes but it has now found its way into raw foods, desserts, smoothies and cosmetics. Coconut water has also become the new health drink of choice for many because it is extremely high in electrolytes.

A surprising fact about coconut water: while it might be the health brew for the new millennium, in the past it was used to save lives. During periods of history — in wartime, especially — when hospital IV fluids were in short supply, it was a viable substitute because of its microbial properties.

Despite its many uses, the humble coconut () is not without controversy. Health

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