Pineapple

Pineapple

PineappleSweet on the inside and spiny on the outside, pineapples are a unique fruit. The fruit is made up of many different berries which come together around one core. The nutritional information of a pineapple is as interesting as its anatomy. This article will give a description of the fruit and address the history. Moreover, after reading this article you will also know about the nutritional information of the fruit.

Description

Pineapple is known in the majority of countries as ananas. Its biological name is ananas comosus and the fruit belongs to the family referred to as bromeliaceae family. As mentioned, pineapples are made up of different individual berries which fuse together. The berries are clearly visible on the outside and are also referred to as the eyes of the fruit. The berries are the spiny parts on the surface of the fruit. The shape of a pineapple is cylindrical. They have a green, brown or yellow color, depending on whether the fruit is ripe. The fruit also has spine green leaves on top. The flesh of a pineapple is yellow in color. The taste of the fruit is sweet and provides a good balance between the sweetness and tart. The area which is close to the core of the fruit is sweeter compared to the rest of the fruit. This part is usually also more tender. The core of the pineapple is usually hard. Although it can be eaten, it does not taste as sweet at the flesh around it. Thus, when cutting a pineapple you can cut the flesh around the core to eat.

History

For a long time it was thought that pineapples found their origins in South America. However, this is not the case. The fruit was actually first found by Europeans in 1493. Europeans first found the fruit on a Caribbean Island. This island is now knows as Guadalupe. The European brought the fruit back to their own continent in the hope to be able to cultivate it. This was unfortunately not possible. This was due to the fact that the fruit needs a tropical climate in order to grow. While the Europeans made different attempts to cultivate the fruit, it was not possible for the fruit to flourish in the region. At the end of the 16th century, Spanish and Portuguese explorers tried to grow the fruit in their colonies. They introduced pineapples in their colonies in the South Pacific, as well as Asia and Africa. The fruit was able to grow there due to the tropical climate and is still growing there today. Pineapples are a fruit which are very perishable. This in turn meant that the fruit was not easy to transport from the Caribbean Island to Europe or North America. It is for this reason that the fruit was considered to be a luxury item. It was considered a symbol of high social class and prestige. The fruit was not only rare but it also became very expensive. Thus, the fruit could only be afforded by the elite class in society. Around the 18th century, pineapples also started to be cultivated in Hawaii, in the United States. Pineapples still grow in Hawaii today, in addition to China, Mexico, Thailand and Brazil.

Anti-inflammatory benefits

Bromelain is one of the nutrients in pineapples which provides great health benefits to the human body. This nutrient is found in the core of the fruit as well as in its stem. At first it was thought that bromelain’s sole benefit was to help with digestion in the intestinal tract. However, multiple studies have shown that the bromelain nutrient is not only limited to help with digestion. For example, the nutrients help to reduce inflammation. In order for this to happen, bromelain does need to be taken as a supplement to your diet. The same holds for bromelain to have an effect on the excessive coagulation of the blood. Unfortunately, the amount of bromelain found in pineapples is not sufficient to have an effect on the coagulation of the blood. It is also said that bromelain could reduce different types of tumor growth. As mentioned, the nutrient can be found in both the core of the fruit as well as its stem. Different studies have shown that there is a chemical difference between the bromelain extracted from the core and that which is obtained from the stem. However, what the exact differences are and what effect they have on the human body is presently not understood. In order to understand these differences, further research is required.


Health risks

While pineapples have great health benefits, eating too much of it can cause certain health risks. Studies have shown that pineapple is a meat tenderizer. This implies that when you eat too much of it, it can cause tenderness of the mouth. Normally when you experience this, it usually does not last longer than a couple of hours. In case the feeling does not disappear after a couple of hours, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible. In this case it could mean that you have a pineapple allergy. You usually know that you have a pineapple allergy when you experience difficulties with breathing or you have a rash. Pineapples are also a source of vitamin C. Eating a reasonable amount of pineapple will not cause any health risks. However, consuming high levels of vitamin C could cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, heart burn or abdominal pain. It is therefore recommended not to consume pineapple in large quantities. Moreover, high amounts of bromelain could also pose certain health risks. For example, it could cause skin rashes, excessive menstrual bleeding and vomiting. A research on this topic was conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center. There are also certain medications which could interact with bromelain. It is therefore important to check the information included to your medication whether it could interact with bromelain. It is also dangerous to eat pineapples which are not ripe, or to drink pineapple juice from pineapples which are not ripe. It could be toxic for humans and could eventually lead to vomiting and extreme diarrhea. Moreover, it is also recommended not to eat the core of the fruit since it could cause fiber balls to be created in the digestive tract.

Nutritional information

Pineapples are a healthy fruit. They do not contain cholesterol of fat. One cup of pineapples pieces contains on average about 82 calories and approximately 22 grams of carbohydrates. Also this portion would contain 1 gram of protein and 2 milligrams of sodium. Since the fruit also contains various nutrients, eating one cup of pineapple chunks would provide more than your daily intake of vitamin C. It would also provide 2 percent of your daily iron intake, as well as your daily calcium and vitamin A intake. Pineapples also contain potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamin B. These are just a few of the many nutrients which pineapples include. The main nutrient has been referred to earlier in this article as bromelain. This nutrient is also said to have a positive effect on the recovery time after plastic surgery. Moreover, it also helps to alleviate arthritis and joint pain.

How to select and store

When buying a pineapple in the supermarket or at your local vegetable shop, there are a few things you should pay attention to. For example, buy those which are heavy in size. Pineapples which are heavier and larger usually have more edible flesh. There is no difference between a small and large pineapple with regards to the quality of its flesh. Both are tasty and are sweet. Moreover, when buying a pineapple pay attention to the fact that it should not have any bruises or soft spots. Also check whether the eyes of the pineapples are darkened. If this is the case this usually implies that the pineapple will most likely go bad within the next couple of days. Pineapples stop ripening when they are picked. Thus, it is important to pick a fruit of which the stem end smells sweet. Pineapples which smell sour, fermented or musty should be avoided. Pineapples do not have to be kept in the fridge. They can be left at room temperature before they are served. By leaving the fruit at room temperature the fruit will not only become softer but it will also become more juicy. This does not have an influence on the sweetness of the fruit. Pineapples should usually be ready to be served after being left at room temperature for about two days. If the fruit is still green after this time, you can put it in the fridge. You should put the fruit in a plastic bag and put in the refrigerator. There it can be stored for an average time of five days. A pineapple which has been cut up should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. When doing this it is recommended to add some juice of the fruit as well to the container. This is in order for the fruit to maintain its juiciness and for it to remain fresh. While it is also possible to freeze pieces of pineapple, the taste of the fruit will not be the same compared to when it is just cut open. This process is therefore not recommended.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 1104x
Added: 29-09-2016 00:43
Last modified: 26-10-2016 21:56

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