Palm trees bring to mind far-off, exotic locations that most of us can only imagine. Just the mention of Palm trees could send anybody into a daydream of being on the beach, hearing the waves, and drinking some exotic beverage out of a coconut. Aside from its association with beach holidays, palm trees have several widely used benefits.
There is a wide variety of benefits of the Palm tree. It is one of the most widely used plants around the world due to it being so economic since every part of the tree can be harvested for various uses, including food and beverages, various oils, wood for construction, and food for wildlife.
Despite being so prevalent in many gardens, beaches, and vast tropical regions, many people are unaware of just how essential Palm trees are and the resources that they provide us. Let us have a closer look into the benefits of the Palm tree.
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1. Source Of Food And Beverages
One of the immediate things that come to mind when you think about Palm trees is, of course, coconuts.
Coconuts are the edible fruit that grows on the coconut palm. Coconuts are one of the most significant tropical crops and are said to have originated somewhere in Indo-Malaya. The flesh of the coconut has a high-fat content and can be dried, eaten raw, or made into coconut milk or oil.
The transparent liquid within coconuts is called coconut water. Despite some confusion, it’s not the same as coconut milk, which is found in mature brown coconuts and made from a combination of coconut water and flesh from the coconut.
As a result, coconut water is a juice. Unflavored coconut water, unlike other drinks, is low in sugar and calories. Coconut water is around 94 percent water. It is substantially lower in fat and nutrient content than coconut milk. Coconut water has become a trendy beverage due to its rehydration abilities and electrolyte content.
Coconut milk is produced from the white flesh of mature brown coconuts, the coconut tree’s fruit. This milk is often used in Thai and other Southeast Asian cuisines. It is also a trendy milk alternative to the more traditional dairy milk.
Coconut milk differs from coconut water, which comes from young coconuts typically green in color. Coconut milk, unlike coconut water, does not occur naturally. Instead, coconut milk is formed by blending the flesh from the coconut with water. Coconut milk is roughly 50% water.
Dates are a fruit produced by the date palm tree, which is native to the Middle East but is currently also grown in many other parts of the world.
Dates are high in antioxidant-rich plant components that protect the body from harm. Polyphenols, carotenoids, and lignans, for example, are found it dates and have been found to reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Syrups made from dates can also be used as a sweetener and a great alternative to sugar. Date syrup is a paste produced from dates blended with water. The syrup has a lower fructose content and a lower Glycemic Index than the majority of other sweeteners.
2. Palm Oil
Palm oil is a popular vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of Palm trees, specifically Oil Palms. There are two variants of Palm oil produced, Crude palm oil and Palm Kernel oil. Crude palm oil is obtained by squeezing the fleshy fruit, while palm kernel oil is obtained by crushing the kernel or the stone in the middle of the fruit.
Palm oil is found in practically all foods, including pizza, doughnuts, chocolate, and other commercial products such as deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, and lipstick. In many nations of the world, it’s also utilized in animal feed and as a biofuel.
Medicinally, Palm oil has been used as a treatment for malaria, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even cyanide poisoning and to prevent vitamin A deficiency, cancer, brain disease, and aging. Palm oil is used to help people lose weight and speed up their metabolism.
Oil palm trees are native to Africa, but they were introduced to South-East Asia as an ornamental tree crop just over a century ago. Currently, Indonesia and Malaysia account for over 85% of world production, but palm oil is also produced in 42 other nations.
3. Good Material For Construction
Palm trees are commonly utilized in the construction of house walls, rafters, and roofing. The fibrous wood and the leaves can be peeled apart and weaved together to make thatch for roof coverings, and pillars for hanging hammocks are fashioned. The residual fiber is used for grazing, fertilizer, and firewood and can be woven into carpets and wall coverings.
Palm tree wood is frequently utilized in the construction of fences. Because the wood is inherently straight and has flexible natural growth rings that are resistant to breaking, it makes excellent fence posts. The wood from Palm trees is also favored due to its resistance to various potential issues like damage from weather and termites.
4. Source Of Food And Shelter For Wildlife
Many birds make use of Palm trees for their nests. Like the Hooded Oriole, for example. Because of their proclivity for building nests on Palm trees, hooded orioles in California have earned the moniker “palm-leaf oriole.” The female Hooded Oriole pokes holes in the palm leaf from underneath and pushes the fibers through, thereby sewing the nest to the leaf.
Several animals love to eat coconuts from Palm trees. Elephants eat coconuts as one of their favorite foods. The thick white flesh of this tree nut is a favorite of theirs. On the other hand, Elephants cannot separate the flesh from the shell of the coconut. Thus, they must consume the entire fruit.
Bears are omnivores who are known to like a variety of nuts. Bears are known to forage on acorns, chestnuts, and even coconuts in the wild. Because black bears can climb trees, they can get to the coconut fruit anytime they want, rather than having to wait until it falls to the ground.
Gorillas are herbivores belonging to the ape family. They’re known to eat coconuts in the wild, and they’re fed a constant diet of ripe coconuts while they’re grown in captivity. Gorillas only eat the flesh of the coconut. In the wild, they access the flesh by breaking open the coconut on a rock.