The Coconut Research Center reports that approximately one-third of the world population relies on coconut and coconut products for nourishment and economic growth. Coconuts are the fruit of the Cocos nucifera tree, which is revered as “The Tree of Life” because nearly all of its elements, from the roots to the fronds, are useful for sustaining life. In particular, the coconut and its oil are valued sources of nutrition and medicine.The nutritional value of the coconut is dependent upon its stage of maturity. The mature coconut, which contains the thick white meat known as copra, contains more fiber, protein, carbohydrate and fat compared to the green, or immature, coconut, which predominately consists of water with a small amount of white flesh that is jelly-like in consistency. Coconut also contains essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iron, manganese, selenium and potassium. Coconuts are a rich source of fat energy, with approximately 35 to 40 percent of the copra consisting of coconut oil, which is predominately made up of medium chain saturated fatty acids.