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Grown in tropical regions for more than 4500 years, the crunchy yet juicy fruit is no stranger to us. Covered in hard husks, coconuts are (almost) a part of our daily diet. 2 September is observed as World Coconut Day every year. The day signifies the importance of enhancing coconut farming with a focus on productivity and product diversification. World Coconut Day was initiated by the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) headquartered at Jakarta, Indonesia.
In India, the day is celebrated with the support of Coconut Development Board (CDB) in various coconut growing states across the country such as Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Orissa, West Bengal etc. India is the topmost country in the global list of countries with coconut production and productivity  .
Apart from production and diversity, the day also attempts to signify the important role coconut can play in the alleviation of poverty by promoting the coconut industry. World Coconut Day 2021 marks the 23rd year of the celebration.
On this World Coconut Day, let's learn about the different ways in which you can incorporate this amazing and healthy fruit into your diet.
4 Healthy Ways To Eat Coconut
1. Coconut oil
Not only does it increase the taste of your food, but also help improve your health in various ways. That is, coconut oil helps lowers cholesterol, aids weight loss, moisturises your skin, improves your brain function and can kill harmful microorganisms  .
Coconut oil coffee
- 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil
- 1 cup coffee
- ½ tsp vanilla flavour
- Pour the coffee into a blender cup.
- Add the coconut oil and vanilla.
- Blend for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour into a cup and enjoy.
2. Coconut water
Coconut water refresher
- 1.5 litres coconut water
- 10 mint sprigs
- 3 limes, quartered into wedges
- ½ cucumber, cut into thin strips
- ice cubes, to serve
- Mix 4 mint sprigs and the juice of ½ lime into a paste.
- Place the remaining mint, cucumber and lime wedges into a large jug.
- Top up with coconut water, and stir in the mint and lime paste.
- Add the ice cubes and serve.
3. Dried coconut flakes
Rich in dietary fibre, iron, zinc and various other nutrients, dried coconut flakes help in preventing damage to your cells and promotes wound healing. It is also beneficial for your metabolism  .
Coconut breakfast pudding
- ⅔ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- ¼ cup unsweetened large coconut flakes, toasted
- Pinch of salt
- In a bowl, combine oats and shredded coconut with 1½ cups water and refrigerate overnight.
- Transfer mixture to a saucepan and add milk, cinnamon, and salt.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until creamy, about 12 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir.
- Drizzle with coconut flakes.
Normal (un-dried) shredded flakes can also be used in a similar manner.
4. Coconut milk
Coconut green pasta
- 2 cups pasta (400 g)
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 400 ml of coconut milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 cups spinach
- Cook the minced garlic in olive oil until golden brown.
- Add the coconut milk, lemon juice, ground ginger and pepper and cook over medium heat for at least 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a blender and add the spinach and blend until it becomes smooth.
- Cook the pasta, drain it and place it in a pan.
- Add the sauce and mix well.
- Cook for 5 minutes in low flame and enjoy  .
-  Ahuja, S. C., Ahuja, U., & Ahuja, S. (2014). Coconut-History, Uses, and Folklore. Asian Agri-History, 18(3).
-  Ma, Z. F., & Lee, Y. Y. (2016). Virgin coconut oil and its cardiovascular health benefits. Natural product communications, 11(8), 1934578X1601100829.
-  Dissanayake, A. S. (2017). Health benefits of coconut oil, coconut sugar and coconut water consumption.
-  Gabriel, A. A., Tongco, A. M. P., & Barnes Jr, A. A. (2017). Utility of UV-C radiation as anti-Salmonella decontamination treatment for desiccated coconut flakes. Food control, 71, 117-123.
-  SMITH, L. F. (2018). A STUDY OF THE SELECTED HEALTH BENEFITS OF COCONUT. Ann Arbor, 1001, 48106-1346.
-  Shafia, L. (2013, October 01). 5 Ways to Eat (and Drink) Coconut for Good Health [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/healthy/slideshow/5-ways-to-eat-and-drink-coconut-for-good-health