Nutritional and Health Benefits of Pineapples: Overview | Types | Origin | Nutritional Value | Health Benefits

The pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical edible plant and the most economically important member of the Bromeliaceae family. The pineapple is a herbaceous perennial that grows to a height of 1.0 to 1.5 meters (3.3 to 4.9 feet), though it can reach even higher. The plant has a small, stocky stem with tough, waxy leaves in appearance.

It can produce up to 200 flowers while developing its fruit, but certain large-fruited cultivars can produce more. The separate fruits of the flowers join together to form a several fruit until it blooms. After the first fruit is produced, side shoots (known as ‘suckers’ by commercial growers) emerge from the main stem’s leaf axils. These may be extracted for propagation or left on the original plant to yield further fruits. Suckers that appear around the base are cultivated commercially. It has 30 to 100 cm (1.0 to 3.3 ft) long, slender, fleshy, trough-shaped leaves with thin spines along the edges that cover a thick stem.

The axis lengthens and thickens in the first year of growth, bearing multiple leaves in near spirals. The stem develops into a spike-like inflorescence with over 100 spirally spaced, trimerous flowers, each subtended by a bract after 12 to 20 months. The ovaries form berries, which clump together to form a large, dense, multiple fruit. A pineapple’s fruit is usually set in two interlocking helices. There are usually eight in one direction and thirteen in the other, each of which is a Fibonacci number. The pineapple performs CAM photosynthesis, storing carbon dioxide as the acid malate at night and extracting it during the day to aid photosynthesis.

Ananas comosus, or pineapple, is a shallow-rooted tropical plant that grows two to four feet tall. Pineapples are a well-known fruit, but many people are unaware that they are a compound fruit, meaning that they are made up of several smaller fruits that combine together along a central stalk. Temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees are ideal for their growth.

Types (Species) of Pineapples

In various parts of the world, different varieties of pineapples are cultivated. The styles differ in size, shape, colour, and other characteristics. Pineapples are cultivated in over 37 different varieties around the world, each with its own set of characteristics. Here’s a quick rundown of the ten most popular pineapple varieties.

  • Abacaxi Pineapples
  • Queen Pineapples
  • Red Spanish Pineapples
  • Smooth Cayenne Pineapples
  • Pernambuco Pineapples
  • Mordilona Pineapples
  • Kona Sugarloaf Pineapples
  • Brecheche Pineapples
  • Singapore Red Pineapples
  • Panare Pineapples

Abacaxi Pineapples

Abacaxi pineapples are delicious and disease-resistant, making them a common crop to produce. They can be somewhere between two and eleven pounds in weight. They’re spiny and tall, with flesh that’s almost transparent. They’re delicious, but they’re a little too delicate for commercial purposes.

Queen Pineapples

Queen pineapples are dark-yellow in color and have a narrow center. They are mainly found in Australia and South Africa. The fragrance and taste of the Queen pineapple are good, but it does not can well. It’s preferable to eat them raw. Other varieties of pineapple are more susceptible to diseases and freezing temperatures than queen pineapples.

Red Spanish Pineapples

Red Spanish pineapples are orange-red in colour and cultivated in the Caribbean, as their name suggests. It grows fruit with a light yellow hue and a taste that is herbal. They’re tough and fiber-rich, but they’re not as soft as other varieties.

Smooth Cayenne Pineapples

Smooth Cayenne pineapples are probably what you’d find in a traditional American grocery store. They’re the most common pineapple variety grown in Hawaii, and they’re larger than most others, weighing four to ten pounds. They have a distinct yellow flesh that is very juicy.

Pernambuco Pineapples

Pineapples from Pernambuco are mostly cultivated in Brazil. They have a mild taste and are white, tender, and juicy. They’re yellow on the inside and out, with long, spiny leaves that stand out.

Mordilona Pineapples

Mordilona pineapples are cultivated in Colombia and Venezuela’s northeastern Andes. They have a yellow to orange peel and are broad, irregular, and cylindrical. The flesh is sweet and cream-colored.

Kona Sugarloaf Pineapples

Smooth Cayenne pineapple is known as Kona Sugarloaf. It has a white flesh with a lot of sugar and no acidity. It’s sweet and delicious in an unusual way. The heart of this kind of pineapple is not woody, but tender and totally edible.

Brecheche Pineapples

Brecheche pineapples are cylinder-shaped, small, and olive in color. There are no spikes on this herb. Brecheche has a yellow flesh that is fragrant and moist, with a narrow center.

Singapore Red Pineapples

Singapore Red pineapples feature green leaves with a reddish stripe at the end. The reddish, cylindrical, small fruits have golden-yellow flesh. They’re disease and pest resistant, and they’re excellent for canning.

Panare Pineapples

This pineapple is named after a Venezuelan Indian tribe that grew it. The orange-colored fruit has a container shape. The skin is a rich yellow color with a thin heart and a faint fragrance.

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Historical Background (Origin) of Pineapples

The Paraná–Paraguay River drainages in southern Brazil and Paraguay are home to the wild plant. Although little is known about its domestication, it became a popular crop in South America. It eventually made its way to the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico, where the Mayas and Aztecs cultivated it. Cropped pineapple was widely available and a stable component of native Americans’ diet by the late 1400s. Columbus was the first European to encounter the pineapple, on November 4, 1493, in Guadeloupe. By 1550, the Portuguese had taken the fruit from Brazil and introduced it to India. The ‘Red Spanish’ cultivar was also brought to the Philippines by the Spanish, and it has been grown for textile purposes since the 17th century.

Columbus brought the plant back to Spain, naming it pia de Indes, which means “Indian pine.” The pineapple first appeared in Peter Martyr’s Decades of the New World (1516) and Antonio Pigafetta’s Relazione del primo viaggio intorno al mondo (1524-1525), with the first known illustration appearing in Oviedo’s Historia General de Las Indias (1535).

The pineapple fascinated Europeans as a fruit of colonialism. However, it was not successfully grown in Europe until about 1658, when Pieter de la Court invented greenhouse horticulture near Leyden. In 1719, pineapple plants were sent from the Netherlands to English gardeners, and in 1730, they were sent to French gardeners. The first pineapple was cultivated in England at Dorney Court in Dorney, Buckinghamshire, and a massive “pineapple stove” was installed at the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1723 to keep the plants warm. In 1733, King Louis XV of France was presented with a pineapple grown at Versailles.

Before 1796, Catherine the Great of Russia consumed pineapples planted on her own farms. Pineapple became a sign of prosperity due to the high cost of direct import and the tremendous cost of machinery and labor needed to cultivate them in a temperate climate in greenhouses known as “pineries.” They were originally used mostly for display at dinner parties rather than for consumption, and they were reused until they rotted. The cultivation of fruit on British plantations became a source of fierce competition amongst wealthy aristocrats in the second half of the 18th century. The Dunmore Pineapple was named after John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, who constructed a hothouse on his estate with a 14-metre-high stone cupola in the form of the fruit. Pineapple figures are decorative features of architecture, symbolizing hospitality.

For European glasshouse cultivation, several different varieties, mostly from the Antilles, were attempted. The most important was “Smooth Cayenne,” which was smuggled to France in 1820, then re-exported to the United Kingdom in 1835, and then to Australia and Africa by Hawaii. Smooth Cayenne is now the most widely grown cultivar in the world. From the beginning, pineapple jams and sweets were shipped to Europe from the West Indies, Brazil, and Mexico. New pineapples were being shipped directly from the West Indies in sufficient enough quantities to lower European prices by the early nineteenth century. Because of the limited trade routes, later pineapple production was dominated by the Azores for Europe and Florida and the Caribbean for North America.

The pineapple was first imported to Hawaii by the Spanish in the 18th century, but it wasn’t until 1886 that the first commercial plantation was established. James Dole, the then well-known businessman, arrived in Hawaii in 1899 and began a 60-acre (24-hectare) pineapple plantation in 1900, which would eventually become the Dole Food Company. On the island of Oahu, Dole and Del Monte started growing pineapples in 1901 and 1917, respectively, and the Maui Pineapple Company began cultivation in 1909. Dole employee Henry Ginaca patented an automated peeling and coring system in 1911, and Dole employee James Dole started commercial pineapple production in 1911.

Because of competition and the transition to refrigerated sea transport, Hawaiian demand began to decline in the 1970s. Dole shut down its cannery in Honolulu in 1991, and Del Monte shut down its pineapple-growing operations in Hawaii in 2008. By 2013, only the Dole Plantation on Oahu produced pineapples in a volume of about 0.1 percent of the world’s demand, after the Maui Pineapple Company decreased its activities to supply pineapples only locally on Maui. Despite this, the pineapple is still used as an emblem of Hawaii on occasion. Furthermore, foods containing pineapple are often referred to as “Hawaiian” for this purpose alone.

During the American colonial era in the Philippines, the US Bureau of Agriculture introduced “Smooth Cayenne” in the early 1900s. In the 1920s, Dole and Del Monte founded plantations on Mindanao’s island, in the provinces of Cotabato and Bukidnon, respectively. Since 1920, large-scale canning has been practiced in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines. World War II severely harmed this trade, and until the 1960s, Hawaii dominated international trade.

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The Philippines continues to be one of the world’s leading pineapple exporters. The Del Monte plantations are now locally managed, after Del Monte Pacific Ltd., a Filipino company, completed the purchase of Del Monte Foods in 2014.

Nutritional (Composition) Value of Pineapples

Pineapples have become well-known as a result of their various nutritional benefits. Pineapples are low in calories, but they offer a powerful nutritional punch. Vitamin C (131 percent of the RDI), manganese (76 percent of the RDI), vitamin B6 (9 percent of the RDI), copper (9 percent of the RDI), thiamin (9 percent of the RDI), folate (7 percent of the RDI), potassium (5 percent of the RDI) and potassium (5 percent of the RDI) are all contained in one cup (5.8 ounces or 165 grams) of pineapple chunks (3 percent of the RDI).

Vitamins A and K, phosphorus, zinc, and calcium are all contained in trace quantities in pineapples. They’re particularly high in vitamin C and manganese, supplying 131 percent and 76 percent of daily requirements, respectively. Vitamin C is needed for normal growth and development, as well as a healthy immune system and the absorption of iron from food. Manganese, on the other hand, is a naturally occurring mineral that promotes growth, regulates metabolism, and has antioxidant properties.

Health Benefits of Pineapples

It is a common knowledge that pineapples are good for our health, but not very many people had find in what way pineapples are of benefit to health. Here are some pineapple health benefits that you need to know.

  • Cold and Cough Treatment
  • Bones’ Strengthening
  • Gums and Teeth Strengthening
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Enhances Smooth Digestion
  • Enhances Good Eyes Sight
  • Prevents Arthritis
  • Prevents Hypertension
  • Inhibits Risk of Blood Clots
  • Rich in Antioxidants
  • Prevents Nausea
  • Acts as Natural Energiser
  • Acts as Stress Buster
  • Treats Acne
  • Anti-Ageing Properties
  • Prevents Pimples
  • Removes Black Spots
  • Makes Hair Softer and Shinier
  • Helps in Growing Thick Hair
  • Treats Scalp’s Inflammation

Cold and Cough Treatment

If you have a terrible cough, pineapple can be one of the ideal foods to consume to naturally eliminate it. This is due to bromelain, an enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties that can combat infections and destroy bacteria, which is found in this nutritious fruit. It will help you avoid coughs and colds if you eat it regularly.

Bones’ Strengthening

Pineapple is high in manganese, which is good for the bones. Simply incorporating this fruit into your daily diet will aid in the maintenance of a strong body as well as the preservation of your bones. Manganese helps to preserve bone strength, and when mixed with zinc, copper, and calcium, it can be very beneficial. As a result, pineapple contains all of the necessary ingredients, which is why it can help build stronger bones.

Gums and Teeth Strengthening

Pineapple is said to boost your gums and improve your overall wellbeing. Calcium is found in the teeth and bones, and pineapple has a high calcium content. It also contains manganese, which aids in the strengthening of bones and teeth. Keep good by drinking pineapple juice every day.

Cancer Prevention

A pineapple a day keeps cancer at bay, and this is true of this nutritious plant. To enjoy the rewards of pineapple juice, all you have to do is drink it every day. The greatest part of this fruit is that it reduces cell loss while still making you look younger. This fruit is high in antioxidants, and will shield you from a variety of diseases as well as combat certain potentially harmful organisms.

Enhances Smooth Digestion

Gulping down one of those delicious dishes will make you feel bloated and cause indigestion. To get rid of a stomach ache, all you have to do is drink pineapple juice or eat pineapple. Pineapple is high in bromelain, dietary fiber, and vitamin C, all of which aid digestion.

Enhances Good Eyes Sight

Pineapple intake on a regular basis will lower the risk of macular degeneration, a condition that affects the eyes as you age. However, this nutritious fruit is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which can help with vision.

Prevents Arthritis

Arthritis is characterized by intense joint pain that is mainly caused by inflammation. Bromelain is found in pineapples and is said to have anti-inflammatory capabilities. All you have to do is produce pineapple juice and drink it. This will relieve joint inflammation and help you from developing arthritis.

Prevents Hypertension

If you have hypertension, make it a point to start eating pineapples on a daily basis since this fruit contains high levels of potassium and low amounts of sodium, which will help to maintain blood pressure and make you feel more calm. This is the most natural way to keep your blood pressure in check.

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Inhibits Risk of Blood Clots

Bromelain, the main ingredient of pineapples, helps to prevent blood clots. As a result, you should make this nutritious fruit your go-to snack. Make it a point to eat this fruit on a regular basis for it will help your wellbeing in a variety of ways.

Rich in Antioxidants

Pineapples are high in nutrients and antioxidants, which will help you avoid illnesses that the body is susceptible to. When you become older, the body becomes more susceptible to a variety of infections, which can lead to systemic inflammation and a weakened immune system. Pineapple is high in antioxidants, which help to strengthen your immune system and protect you from a variety of diseases.

Prevents Nausea

Pineapple has digestive enzymes that can help you feel better. This is due to the bromelain enzyme, which relieves fatigue and morning vomiting and is particularly helpful to pregnant women. Is it really so tough to enjoy a cup of pineapple juice? So, what exactly are you asking for? Keep good by grabbing a cup of pineapple juice.

Acts as Natural Energiser

Pineapple is high in valine and leucine, two amino acids that are important for muscle tissue development and repair. One glass of pineapple juice will help you conquer exhaustion and increase your endurance, allowing you to run all day. The best part about this fruit is that it will keep you hydrated during the day and provide you with all of the energy you need.

Acts as Stress Buster

Pineapple contains serotonin, a natural stress reliever that helps to calm the hormones and nerves. All you have to do is eat or drink pineapple juice to stay well. When you are stressed, you open yourself up to a slew of health issues. So it is important to relieve tension by just drinking one glass of pineapple juice.

Treats Acne

Pineapple juice is high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which may help with acne, sun damage, and irregular toning. Bromelain is an anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling agent for the joints. If you want to look fair, all you have to do is drink one glass of pineapple juice, which will help you get rid of all those acne marks. It would also help to keep the skin hydrated and clear.

Anti-Ageing Properties

As you grow older, your skin starts to lose its radiance and you develop wrinkles. Pineapple, on the other hand, will make you appear healthier and prevent cells from dying. Its high antioxidant and vitamin C content is said to improve immunity and keep you energized. The great part of drinking pineapple juice is that it will smooth out your skin and bring a coat of youthfulness to it. You should also add a few drops of lemon to it, which will increase the anti-aging effects.

Prevents Pimples

When you drink pineapple juice, you are consuming Alpha-hydroxy acid, which is the primary agent that prevents cells from dying and hence aids in anti-aging. All you have to do is add pineapple juice to your face and wait 5 minutes for it to dry. After that, you should scrub it off with water, which will remove the chemicals from your face and make your skin look more vibrant and clean.

Removes Black Spots

Pineapple will help you get rid of black spots on your face, and all you have to do is brush some pineapple slices over them. You should leave it on your face for 5 minutes before removing it. After that, you should wash it away with some water, that will nourish and rejuvenate your face.

Makes Hair Softer and Shinier

Pineapple is high in vitamin C, which makes hair softer and shinier. Bromelain enzyme is an anti-inflammatory enzyme present in pineapple that can help reduce acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema. Its high antioxidant content benefits not only your skin, hair, and health, but also your immunity.

Helps in Growing Thick Hair

Pineapple contains hair thickening agents that can strengthen the hair and prevent hair loss. This fruit’s enzymes provide essential nutrients that can help the hair follicles. Your hair’s thickness and elasticity will increase as a result of this.

Treats Scalp’s Inflammation

If you have serious itching, all you have to do is try some pineapple, which will provide you with immediate relief. This nutritious fruit is said to reduce inflammation in the scalp and avoid hair loss. So, if you want to avoid hair loss, make it a point to drink pineapple juice.

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