It is commonly referred to as betel nut , not to be confused with betel Piper betle leaves that are often used to wrap it a preparation known as paan. Consumption has many harmful effects on health and is carcinogenic to humans. Various compounds present in the nut, including arecoline the primary psychoactive ingredient which is similar to nicotine , contribute to histologic changes in the oral mucosa. It is known to be a major risk factor for cancers squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth and esophagus. As with chewing tobacco , its use is discouraged by preventive efforts. Consumption by hundreds of millions of people worldwide — mainly with southern and eastern Asian origins — has been described as a "neglected global public health emergency".
Although there are already several articles on coconuts and dates, this is a general overview of palms as a source of edible fruits. Surprisingly there are a lot of palms commonly harvested for their fruits, and some are hugely important to both local populations and economically throughout the world. And many are delicious! At first you may have to rack your brain a bit to think what sort of fruits come from palms.