Trivia: Is a Coconut a Fruit, a Seed, or a Nut?

Posted by – June 12, 2013
Categories: Food & Nutrition

Yesterday on the North Atlantic Books Facebook page, we asked fans to guess whether coconut is a fruit, a seed, or a nut.

The answer?

Well, it’s tricky, because the answer could be all three, OR, none of them!

A coconut is actually considered a drupe, which the Library of Congress defines as “a fruit with a hard stony covering enclosing the seed.” That said, what you see in the store is not the full coconut — it’s actually the seed, and the fruit, which is why you can consider a coconut to be both! When coconuts grow on the tree, they’re not the round, brown bowling balls that most of us picture. They actually grow in hard, green, oblong husks that encase the brown shell that covers the delicious fruity “meat” inside.

Broken Coconut by Tom WoodwardAnd why could you consider it a nut, besides the fact that “nut” is in the name? Well, the Library of Congress says that a loose definition for a nut is “a one-seeded fruit.” That definition certainly fits the coconut.

To read more about the coconut classification and origins, visit this coconut info page from Library of Congress.

Some other cool facts about coconuts:

  • Coconuts are a superfood, which means that they pack a powerful punch of vitamins and nutrients.
  • Coconut shells make great compost material, so don’t throw them in the garbage, throw them in the garden!
  • According to Superfoods author and raw nutrition expert David Wolfe, coconut water is an excellent source of potassium and electrolytes, making it an ideal and refreshing choice after a workout.

Check out this video of  David Wolfe sharing how he uses every part of the coconut at his beautiful NoniLand ranch and retreat center:

Tags: David Wolfe Video

About the Author

Kat is New Media Specialist for North Atlantic Books. Kat contributes occasionally to pop culture and music sites and enjoys music, film, writing, cooking, and trying not to over-water her small cactus collection. Her latest obsession is finding winning combinations of fruits and vegetables for delicious and nutrient-packed green smoothies.