Health benefits of Pineapples

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Pineapple Quick Facts
Name: Pineapple
Scientific Name: Ananas comosus
Origin Inherent to South American Tropics and was introduced widely during 16th and 17th century.
Colors Yellowish to orange, greenish
Shapes Oval to cylindrical, 15 to 25 cm long, 14 to 17 cm diameter
Flesh colors Pale to golden yellow
Taste Sweet, tart
Calories 452 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin C (480.67%)
Manganese (364.74%)
Copper (110.56%)
Carbohydrate (91.34%)
Vitamin B6 (78.00%)
Health benefits Lower inflammation, Prevents cancer, Enhance immunity, Lowers constipation, Blood pressure regulation
Pineapple with its botanical name Ananas comosus belongs to family Bromeliaceae possesses various health promoting properties. Pineapples are wide cylindrical in shape, have scaly green, yellow or brown skin and spiny blue to green leaves. The plant is tolerable to drought and grows upto 5 feet tall and bears fruit of 15 to 25 cm long with spiky and tough exterior. The fruit weighs upto 2.5 kg. It has sweet and tart taste. Pineapples are also known as Common Edible Pineapple, Ananas Bromeliad, Abarba, Ananas, Anana, Anaras, Andras, Anarash, Aneh, Apangdang, Annasi, Bonat, Bhuin kathar, Danas, Kanas, Ennanansi and Maneas.

Inherent to Paraguay, pineapple was named from the Spanish word pina which means pinecone. It is a fruit which has 100 to 200 fruitlets fused together. Its cultivation was started from northward to still warm regions along Indians and was discovered by those explorers who claimed Americas back in 1492. It became a hearty food source on ships. In these present days, pineapples are highly produced by Southeast Asia, Thailand. Historically, Hawaii produce pineapples in largest quantities but it is now cultivated largely in Philippines, Brazil and Costarica.

Pineapple contains Bromelain which is an enzyme that assist in food digestion by breaking down food to lower feeling of heaviness and bloating. It provides the medicinal benefits such as prevent lung disorders, improves respiratory system, cures infections such as cold, cough, assist to lose weight, improve digestion process, prevent cancer, lower inflammation, improves immunity, strengthen bones and promote blood circulation.

Plant

Pineapple is an herbaceous and perennial plant which measures 3.3 to 4.9 feet tall. Plant have short and stocky stem which bears tough and waxy leaves. The plant usually produces up to 200 flowers. When the first fruit is produced, side shoots form in the leaf axils of main stem. Leaves are long, trough shaped, narrow with sharp spine on margins which are 30-100 cm long encircling a thick stem. The color of the flower varies which depends on variety from light purple to red. It consists of many long pointed bracts having three petalled flowers in their axils. Flowers turn into fruits without being pollinated. Ovaries form into berries which is large, compact and multiple accessory fruit. Fruits are organized in two interlocking helices, eight in one direction and thirteen in other. Fruits have roughly diamond shaped with flattened sides.

Leaves

Leaves are long- pointed; needle tipped which bears sharp and upcurved spines on margins. Leaves measures about 20 to 72 inches long, 5 to 8 cm wide. It might be green or diversely striped with yellow, red or ivory down the middle or near margins.

Flowers

When the flower blooms, stem elongates and enlarges near apex puts outward the bloom of small red or purple flowers. Humming birds pollinate flowers and the flowers later on develop into small and hard seeds. Seeds are not used to grow pineapples commercially.

Fruit

Fruits are oval to cylindrical in shape and the compound fruits are developed from many small fruits which are fused together. It is fleshy and juicy. The stem serves as a fibrous core. The rind is tough and waxy which might be yellow, dark green, yellow to orange or reddish in color. Flesh is nearly white to yellow. Fruit weighs about 1 to 2.5 kg.

History

The herb is inherent to South America and was originated from areas between Southern Brazil and Paraguay. Natives of Paraguay and Southern Brazil spread pineapple to South America and reached ultimately to Central America, Caribbean and Mexico where it was been cultivated by Aztecs and Mayas. In 1493, pineapple was confronted on leeward island of Guadeloupe. He called it pina de Indes which means pine of the Indians and brought back to Europe which makes the pineapple first bromeliad to leave New World. It was introduced in early 19th century in Philippines, Hawaii, Guam and Zimbabwe. Firstly this fruit was introduced in Hawaii which was brought by a Spanish ship. Portuguese introduced it to India from Brazil in 1550.

Dutch brought pineapple to Northern Europe from their colony in Surinam. First pineapple was cultivated successfully in Europe which was grown by Pieter de la Court in 1658 at Meerburg. In 1733, pineapple was presented to King Louis XV. In 1796, Catherine the Great consumed pineapples was grown on her own estates before her death. Pineapples became the symbol of wealth due to the expense of direct import and vast cost in equipment and labor prescribed to grow them in temperate climate with the use of hothouses called pineries. Initially, it was used to display at dinner parties rather than consumption and was used till it began to rot. On British estates, the production of the fruit started by second half of 18th century which becomes the subject of antagonism between wealthy aristocrats.

John Kidwell introduced pineapple industry to Hawaii. In 1900s, pineapple was cultivated in large scale by US companies. In 1899, the famous pineapple industrialists known as James Dole moved to Hawaii and started its plantation in 1900. IN 1901 and 1917, pineapple was grown by the companies Dole and Del Monte on island of Oahu. About 60 acres of land was acquired by Dole’s pineapple company in 1901.

In 1909, the pineapple cultivation was stated by Maui Pineapple Company on island of Maui. In 2006, Dole and Maui Pineapple Company were considered as the largest growers of pineapples in Hawaii after Del Monte announced the withdrawal in Hawaii from pineapple cultivation.

Health Benefits of Pineapple

Along the minerals and vitamins found in pineapple, it has high content of Vitamin C which is helpful to suppress colds, coughs and flu symptoms. Vitamin C being a natural antioxidant, it is essential to synthesize collagen which is the predominant protein in the body for healthy organs, blood vessels, tissue support, skin, bone strength and heavy metal absorption. The research shows that consumption of pineapples prevents indigestion, arthritis inflammation, bruising, clotting and harmful bacteria. It is a tropical fruit which has been used for centuries its numerous health benefits besides its taste.

  1. Lower inflammation

Pineapple is a great source of bromelain which is helpful to treat sports injuries. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme which is the combination of enzymes which digest protein. The anti-inflammatory properties help to lower bruising and swelling. It is a scavenger enzyme that assists in eliminating damage cells. It triggers body’s production of substances that counteract pain and lower swelling and it possess chemicals which prevents clotting of blood. It treats various conditions such as lowering inflammation from injuries and infections. It lowers osteoarthritic pain associated with gout, arthritis, chronic inflammation and joint pain. Bromelain is useful for lowering inflammation and swelling. It has chemicals that obstructs with growth of tumor cells and slows down clotting of blood.

  1. Prevents cancer

Pineapple has bromelain which acts as anti-cancer properties. It suppresses the growth of cancer cells. Moreover, beta carotene in it helps to prevent colon cancer and prostate cancer. This fruit have been associated with prevention of cancers in throat, mouth and breast as it has high content of antioxidants such as beta carotene, vitamin A, flavonoid compounds, bromelain and manganese. Manganese is a vital cofactor of superoxide dismutase which scavenges free radicals which is related with various cancers.

  1. Enhance immunity

Pineapple provides 130% of Vitamin C in a single serving which makes the delicious and richest source of ascorbic acid. Vitamin C helps to lower illnesses and promote immune system with stimulation of white blood cells activity and acts as antioxidant which counteracts harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals are the harmful byproduct of cellular metabolism that damages organ systems and also disturb function and causes mutation of healthy cells to cancerous ones. Vitamin C found in pineapple helps to defend.

  1. Lowers constipation

Pineapple helps to support digestion and lower constipation and bloating. It breaks down protein faster which speeds up digestion and lowers constipation and bloating in the process. Moreover, bromelain assist in treatment of bowel problems such as ulcerative colitis and lowers ulcers and swellings. The consumption of pineapple protects from various health problems such as diarrhea, constipation, atherosclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure and blood clotting. High content of fiber promotes food passage through digestive tract and stimulates release of digestive juices and gastric which assist in dissolvation of food. It adds bulk to loose stool which treats IBS and diarrhea. Bromelain assist in stimulation of digestion of protein, treats digestive diseases and lowers inflammation of gut.

  1. Blood pressure regulation

Pineapple is a great source of minerals and potassium. The deficiency of potassium results in health problems. Potassium has vasodilator activities which eases tension and stress of blood vessels and promotes blood circulation to various body parts. Relaxation of blood vessels helps to lower blood pressure and flow of blood is less restricted. It prevents blocking of blood flow and lower plaque accumulation in vessels and arteries which prevents the chances of health conditions such as heart attacks, atherosclerosis and strokes.

  1. Supports digestion

Pineapple has enzyme bromelain which supports digestion by breaking down of proteins. It is used in marinades as bromelain assist in tenderizing meat. Pineapple juice has protein which lower inevitable spike in levels of blood sugar. It keeps the teeth and gums healthy and strong. This fruit prevents plaque formation and restricts the activity of bacteria in mouth by lowering the chances of periodontal diseases and gingivitis. Bromelain break down proteins in food effectively. Dietary fiber and Vitamin C is found in ample amounts which promotes metabolism and assist in digestion of food. It promotes the movements of bowel and eliminates intestinal parasites such as tapeworms. An intake of pineapple juice could effectively counteract motion sickness and nausea.

  1. Vision health

Pineapple assists loss of vision for older adults which are caused by damage to retina. Add pineapple to the diet which lowers the chances of diseases as it contains beta-carotene which is essential for healthy eyes. Vitamin A and beta carotene are vital nutrients for development of eye health. With its deficiency, one could suffer from vision loss. Daily intake of pineapple juice helps to lower the chances of macular degeneration in old ages. Antioxidants assist to maintain good health of eyes and prevent its related problems.

  1. Bone health

Magnesium is found in small bit amounts in the body but the diet we consume everyday might not be rich in magnesium. Magnesium is vital for construction of DNA and is essential to strengthen bones and connective tissues. Pineapples are the great source of magnesium. Pineapple juice provides 73% of magnesium in one cup. During child development, pineapples supports bone growth in old age and also strengthen them.

  1. Hair and nails health

Pineapples are great for hair health that assist in prevention of hair loss and also thicken hair strands. Pineapples are great source of Vitamin C which also prevents the chances of hair loss. The antioxidant properties help to combat free radicals that damages growth of hair. It provides nourishment to follicles of hair. Its extracts are rich in enzymes which provide nutrients to follicles of hair. It promotes elasticity as well as thickness which make it sturdier and more resistant to breaking. Bromelain helps to counteract scalp inflammation and prevents the infections of scalp which are the cause for unwanted hair loss. It has high content of vitamins which effectively counteract deficiency symptoms of vitamins such as brittle and cracked nails. Apply the wedges of pineapple directly on nails which helps to soften and strengthen them.

  1. Skin health

Pineapples have vitamin C which makes it to treat acnes effectively. Use it topically or consume it for treating acne and other inflammatory problems related to skin. Bromelain helps to enhance healing effect of Vitamin C. It has collagen synthesizing properties that counteracts fighting processes and makes the skin firm and smooth. Amino acids and vitamin C nourishes damaged cells and tissues which enhance the repairing process. Apply the juice of pineapples to the face and let it remain for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water. Make hydrating pack by combining crushed pineapples with some milk and egg yolk and apply it on dry. Pineapples have alpha hydroxyl acid which provides you radiant and hydrated skin.

Types of Pineapple

The pineapple plant is really a bromeliad which is indigenous to South America. Soon after its finding simply by European visitors, it rapidly increased in recognition and after this is cultivated in huge farms on Hawaii, in addition to being a legendary icon for the state. The variability grown on Hawaii is the graceful cayenne, which can be seen in grocery stores in fresh as well as refined type. The groups differ in accordance with the pineapple’s dimension, industrial accessibility as well as sweet taste. The pineapple is gathered into 4 major classes with plenty of types in every class.

1. Smooth Cayenne:

Smooth-Cayenne

The graceful cayenne pineapple is certainly the most famous of all of the types because of its lower dietary fiber content, ailment resistance, wealthy flavor, juiciness along with reduced acidic content. It features a yellow-colored inside as well as orange outside and is also mostly utilized for processed pineapple. It really is referred to as smooth cayenne because of its beginning in Cayenne, French Guyana, and since it provides an even skin along with hardly any sticking out spines.

Smooth Cayenne pineapple started just before 1820 and was the kind local Venezuelans grown. The Spanish consider it Cayena Lisa. Since that time, this kind was a major pineapple within Hawaii, Australia as well as Taiwan. Modern day cultivars that came about from reproduction or even choice of all-natural variations from the Smooth Cayenne consist of Typhone, St. Michael, Palin , Charlotte Rothschild, Monet Lirio, Perolera,  Esmeralda, Bumanguesa, Hilo,  and Giant Kew . These types of cultivars are cultivated around the world.

2. Abacaxi:

Abacaxi

Abacaxi is definitely the Portuguese term for pineapple. The abacaxi can also be referred to as pernambuco pineapple which is typical selection of Brazil. The fruit may differ extensively in weight from 2.2 to 11 lbs., and is also extremely disease proof, having a spiny external. The fruit usually includes a tiny core, along with white or even very pale yellow flesh and is also undoubtedly one of a lot more scrumptious types. The abacaxi is frequently very soft for industrial handling and shipping.

Nowadays, Abacaxi kinds are wide ranging within Brazil, the Bahamas and also South Florida. Panare, Eleuthera, Black Jamaica, Chocona, English, Brecheche, Sugar Slice, Santa Marta, Caicara, Congo Red, Criolla as well as Sugarloaf are titles of pineapple cultivars based on the initial Abacaxi pineapple choice.

3. Red Spanish:

Red-Spanish

It features a spiny, red-orange external, varies from 3 to 6 lbs. which has a squarish design, pale yellow fibrous flesh, fragrant as well as delicious acid taste.  This particular selection is cultivated in Florida, the West Indies, Cuba, and also Puerto Rico.

The Red Spanish is sold mainly towards the fresh market. The hard covering tends to make this particular variety a popular amongst shippers. The red Spanish deals with shipping perfectly and is also resistant against fruit decay.

4. Queen:

Queen

The queen pineapple is grown in South Africa, Australia as well as the Philippines. It’s really a smaller sized, more compact range which usually varies in weight from 1 to 2 1/2 lbs. It’s a cold- as well as disease-resistant range along with deep yellow flesh along with a conical form. The fruit is succulent as well as aromatic along with tiny soluble fiber.

The pineapple is really a fresh fruit, eaten world-wide like a healthy treat as well as naturally healthy food. The Queen pineapple is really a sweet range pineapple, which makes it a popular component within salads or even stir-fry cooking, however it is in addition a fantastic enhance for beverages or any other drinks.

Queen pineapples are created throughout the year, however the ‘King of Fruit’, since it is also known, is in its very best throughout the summertime. Pineapple farming is really a labor rigorous procedure that requires upto Eighteen months, to supply scrumptious, yellow ananas!

Traditional uses

  • Pineapple fruit is used for gonorrhea and indigestion.
  • Leaves are useful for gonorrhea and venereal diseases.
  • In Moluccas, unripe fruits are used as vermifuge for children and abortifacient by women.
  • Unripe fruits are used in Malacca for treatment of gonorrhea.
  • In India, the juice extracted from ripe fruit is considered to be diuretic.
  • In Brazil, ripe fruit are used for dyspepsia and to aid digestion.
  • In Philippines, juice extracted from ripe fruit is considered to be laxative, diuretic, digestive and cooling.
  • In Peninsular Malaysia, the decoction made from leaves is used to cure venereal diseases.
  • In India, leaves sap are used as anthelminthic and purgative and also for hiccough.
  • Consume fruit and root or apply topically to get anti-inflammatory and proteolytic activity.
  • Consume ripe fruit to ease sore throat.
  • Pineapple juice helps to promote digestion and also prevents sea sickness.
  • Unripe fruit enhance appetite, promote digestion, relieves discomfort from sore throats and provide relief from dyspepsia.
  • The ripe fruit helps to lower excessive gastric acid.
  • Apply the juice of ripe fruit to boils, itches and burns.
  • Leaves are useful for fractures and to ease painful menstruation.
  • It helps to maintain health of bones and muscles and relieves pain and muscular fatigue.

Precautions 

  • Pineapple causes anaphylaxis in some people.
  • The people who are allergic to latex might be allergic to pineapple as well.
  • Symptoms such as hives, intense itching, swelling of face, throat, tongue and lips, flushing of the face, difficulty in breathing, intense itching or hives, constipation, sinus congestion, dizziness, fainting and anaphylactic shock might be experienced.
  • Consume it in moderate amounts due to the presence of fructose in it.
  • Unripe fruits are harmful and cause gastrointestinal upset and throat irritation.
  • Sap obtained from leaves contains calcium oxalate crystals and ethyl acrylate which causes severe mouth pain and minor skin irritation if swallowed.
  • Avoid use by breast feeding mother.
  • It should not be used on eyes.
  • Avoid by the people who are scheduled for surgery.

How to Eat         

  • Pineapple fruit are consumed fresh and used raw in desserts and fruit salads.
  • Chop and add it to sauces, soups, stews, casserole, curries, prawns, fish, stir fry vegetables and meats.
  • Dried slices of pineapple are used as snacks.Fruits are susceptible to canning as spirals, slices, spears, chunks, cubes and titbits.
  • Fruits are made into chutneys, pickles, candies, crystallized glace fruit, jams, sweets, syrup cakes, juices, ice cream, pastries, drinks, sherbets, beverages, wine and punch.
  • Pour the pineapple juice into ice cube trays and freeze.
  • By-products of canning are used for producing pineapple wine and vinegar.
  • Pineapple chunks are used as toppings for pizza and grilled ring on hamburger.
  • Pineapples crushed are used in sweets, yogurt, ice cream and jam.
  • Juice extracted from pineapples are served as beverage and used as a major ingredient in cocktails such as pina colada.
  • Flowering stem and terminal buds are consumed as vegetable or consumed raw.
  • Young shoots are added to curries and salads.
  • Sugar syrup is acquired from pressed juice.
  • Mix the diced pineapple with grated ginger, chopped shrimp with little olive oil. Add seasonings to taste and serve it with shrimp on bed of romaine lettuce.
  • Sprinkle maple syrup on slices of pineapple and broil it till brown. Then serve it plain or with yogurt.
  • Grated fennel, chopped pineapple and cashews goes well together and also used as a side dish to chicken.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=42335#null

https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/803/

https://www.healthline.com/health/pineapple-allergy#risk-factors3

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=34

http://www.planetayurveda.com/library/pineapple-ananas-comosus

http://www.gyanunlimited.com/health/pineapple-juice-precautions-side-effects-and-warnings/8639/

http://listovative.com/top-10-uses-and-health-benefits-of-pineapple/

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/pineapples.html

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