Pineapple (Ananas comosus)
Main Facts about Pineapple
Pineapples are actually not just one fruit but a composite of many flowers whose individual fruitlets fuse together around a central core. Each fruitlet can be identified by an "eye," the rough spiny marking on the pineapple's surface. Pineapples have a wide cylindrical shape, a scaly green, brown or yellow skin and a regal crown of spiny, blue-green leaves. The fibrous flesh of pineapple is yellow in color and has a vibrant tropical flavor that balances the tastes of sweet and tart. The area closer to the base of the fruit has more sugar content and therefore a sweeter taste and more tender texture. The word "pineapple" in English was originally used to describe the reproductive organs of conifer trees (now termed pine cones). When European explorers discovered this tropical fruit in the Americas, they called them "pineapples". Originally indigenous to local Paraguayans in South America, it spread from its native land by the local Indians up through the South and Central Americas and to the West Indies. Later, it was brought to Spain when Columbus discovered Americas’ in 1493. In the 15th and 16th centuries, it spread to rest of the world by the European sailors (just like tomatoes) who carried it along with them to protect themselves from scurvy, a disease caused by the deficiency of vitamin C.
Using PineapplePineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. It is also a very good source of copper and a good source of vitamin B1, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, folate, and pantothenic acid. Pineapples, because of their fiber and water content, help to prevent constipation and promote regularity and a healthy digestive tract. Pineapple fruit contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain that digests food by breaking down protein. Some studies have shown that bromelain can reduce swelling, bruising, healing time, and pain associated with injury and surgical intervention. Bromelain is currently being used to treat and reduce inflammation from tendinitis, sprains, strains, and other minor muscle injuries as well as swelling related to ear, nose and throat surgeries or trauma. Both the root and fruit may be eaten or applied topically as an anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown that consumption of Pineapple regularly helps fight against arthritis, indigestion and worm infestation. The fiber, potassium and vitamin C content in pineapple all support heart health. High potassium intakes are also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.
Caution!Pineapple fruit contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain that may cause excessive uterine bleeding if consumed in large quantities during pregnancy. Beta-blockers, a type of medication most commonly prescribed for heart disease, can cause potassium levels to increase in the blood. High potassium foods should be consumed in moderation when taking beta-blockers.
Cooking with PineapplePineapples can be consumed fresh, cooked, juiced, and preserved, and are found in a wide array of cuisines.
How to grow PineappleGrowing pineapple plants is easy and possible just about anywhere in the world because this plant grows well in pots indoors. Pineapples don't need much water. Pineapples don't need much soil or high quality soil. They do not have a big root system. Pineapples get a lot of their water and nutrition through their leaves. They grow in full sun, even in the hottest climates, but they also do well in dappled shade. Pineapples do not like soggy, waterlogged soils, frost, and having their leaves burned with concentrated fertilisers.