Historians believe that the pineapple originated in Brazil in South America.
It was imported to Europe later. It is also believed that Christopher Columbus and his crew members were probably the first few people from the European continent to have tasted the fruit.
They imported the fruit and cultivated it in hot houses. Members of European royal families soon developed a liking for it.
It gradually became available to the rich, the noble and the elite.
James Dole did a lot to popularize the fruit and make it affordable with his pineapple
plantations in Hawaii, his goal was to have the convenient canned pineapple in every
grocery store in the country.
Origin of the Word
The word pineapple in English was first recorded in 1398.
When it was originally used to describe the reproductive organs of conifer trees (now termed pine cones).
When European explorers discovered this tropical fruit they called them pineapples (term first recorded in that sense in 1664) because of their resemblance to what is now known as the pine cone.
The term pine cone was first recorded in 1694, and was used to replace the original meaning of pineapple
10 Top Health Benefits – Pineapples Nutrition
One of the most celebrated uses of pineapple in terms of health is its ability to reduce the inflammation of joints and muscles.
Particularly those associated with arthritis, a truly debilitating disease that affects millions of people around the world.
Pineapples contain a relatively rare proteolytic enzyme called bromelain, which is primarily associated with breaking down complex proteins.
But it also has serious anti-inflammatory effects.
And has been positively correlated with reducing the signs and symptoms of arthritis in many test subjects.
A single serving of pineapple has more than 130% of the daily requirement of vitamin-C for human beings.
Making it one of the richest and most delicious sources of ascorbic acid.
Vitamin C is mainly associated with reducing illnesses and boosting the immune system by stimulating the activity of white blood cells.
And acting as an antioxidant to defend against the harmful effects of free radicals.
Free radicals are dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that can damage various organ systems and disrupt function.
As well as cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous ones.
The vitamin C content of pineapples defends against this.
Tissue and Cellular Health
One of the commonly overlooked benefits of vitamin C is its essential role in creating collagen.
This is partly the reason why it is seen as a healing vitamin.
Because collagen is the essential protein base of blood vessel walls, skin, organs, and bones.
High vitamin C content helps you heal wounds and injuries to the body quickly, along with defending against infections and illness.
In addition to the antioxidant potential of vitamin C in the battle against cancer.
Pineapples are also rich in various other antioxidants, including vitamin A, beta carotene, bromelain, various flavonoid compounds, and high levels of manganese.
Which is an important co-factor of superoxide dismutase, an extremely potent free radical scavenger that has been associated with a number of different cancers.
Pineapple has been directly related to preventing cancers of the mouth, throat, and breast.
Like most fruits, pineapples are a rich source of fiber.
But they are special in the way that they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
This means that eating a healthy amount of pineapples can protect you from a vast amount of health conditions.
Including constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, atherosclerosis and blood clotting, as well as blood pressure.
Fiber can bulk up stool, which promotes the passage of food through the digestive tract at a normal rate.
And also stimulates the release of gastric and digestive juices to help food dissolve.
Furthermore, it bulks up loose stool, which helps with diarrhea and IBS.
Fiber also strips the blood vessels clean of excess cholesterol and eliminates it from the body, thereby boosting cardiovascular health.
Coughs and Colds
The normal immune system boosting power of vitamin C is well known.
But that special enzyme, bromelain, is also connected with the reduction of phlegm and mucus build up in the respiratory tracts and sinus cavities.
It therefore prevents the illnesses that cause phlegm and mucus build-up.
While also treating them by loosening those materials and helping you eliminate them from your body if you’ve already contracted an illness or infection.
Although pineapples are not famous for having a strong calcium content.
Which most people immediately associate with bone health, it does have an impressive amount of manganese..
Which is another trace mineral that is essential in the strengthening of bones, as well as their growth and repair.
Manganese is the most prominent mineral in pineapple.
And a single serving can deliver more than 70% of your daily requirement of this essential mineral.
Along with the antioxidant compounds that protect against oral cancer, pineapples also have astringent properties.
Which strengthen gums and make sure that your teeth do not become loose.
Astringent agents help to tighten up tissues and tone the body so things like tooth loss, hair loss, and muscle weakness or skin loosening does not occur.
Pineapples are very powerful astringents and are often prescribed as a natural remedy to fix loosening of teeth or for the retraction of gums.
Pineapples are a valuable source of many minerals, and potassium is among them.
This is one of the most important minerals in our body, and potassium deficiency can result in a wide array of health hazards.
One of the most important functions of potassium is as a vasodilator, meaning that it eases the tension and stress of the blood vessels and increases blood circulation to various parts of the body.
When your blood vessels relax, your blood pressure is reduced and the flow of blood is less restricted.
This can prevent clots from blocking the flow of blood and reduces the accumulation of plaque in the arteries and vessels.
This helps people prevent conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes. So eat your pineapples for a healthy heart!
In a related benefit to the vasodilating potential of potassium, pineapples also provides the body with copper.
Another essential mineral that functions in a number of enzymatic reactions and compounds in the body.
Most notably, copper is a necessary element for the formation of healthy red blood cells.
High red blood cell count increases oxygenation to the various organ systems and makes them function at optimal levels.
It also increases cognitive abilities and can maintain neural pathways to prevent neural disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Adverse Effects and Individual Concerns
Most people tolerate pineapples well, but they may cause mouth irritation in some individuals.
Pineapples may also interfere with the function of some medications, and there are some people who are allergic to them.
Some people experience mouth discomfort after consuming pineapples, a harmless condition that should resolve in a couple of hours.
This is caused by bromelain, the protein-digesting enzyme found in pineapple fruit and stem.
Pineapple Allergy and Cross-Reactivity
Pineapples may in some cases cause allergic reactions, with symptoms like itching, rashes, runny nose, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea, and even severe allergic shock.
Individuals who suffer from allergies to latex, birch pollen or grass pollen, may also experience allergic reactions to pineapple, as a result of cross-reactivity.
The cross-reactivity is a result of the body mistaking the proteins found in pineapples for similar allergy-causing proteins found in pollen or latex, causing allergic reactions to the fruit.
Individuals taking medication, such as blood thinners, should consult with their doctor before incorporating pineapples or bromelain supplements into their daily routine.
Pineapples are known to prevent accumulation of blood platelets, and may have a blood thinning effect.
How to Properly Cut Up a Pineapple
Many people often feel intimidated when faced with a whole pineapple, mainly because they don’t know how to start slicing up this exotic-looking fruit.
So how do you cut a pineapple easily (and safely)?
Here’s a simple technique from Good Housekeeping you can try:
- Trim off the top using a sharp serrated knife or chef’s knife. Watch out for the stiff, pointy leaves.
- Carefully trim the pineapple straight across the bottom – this will make it stand up straight.
- Holding the pineapple upright, its bottom resting on the chopping board, slice down the sides, cutting off not just the tough outer skin but also the inner spikes. Keep doing this all around the pineapple, making sure you’re following the fruit’s natural contour.
- Once all the skin has been removed, you can now slice the pineapple.
To make pineapple rings: cut the pineapple widthwise into slices. Afterwards, use a cookie cutter to stamp out the inner core.
To make pineapple chunks: Slice the pineapple lengthwise, around the core, according to the thickness you want.
Cut each piece lengthwise one more time, and then finally dice crosswise (following the thickness you prefer) to create chunks.
While the above technique works for people with little experience in the kitchen or have no idea how to properly cut a whole pineapple, there’s one major drawback, which is that you’ll be trimming huge chunks of the flesh along with the skin, making them go to waste.
If you’ve got time to spare and you have pretty good knife skills, then you can use this method from Serious Eats instead:
- Same with steps 1 and 2 of the previous technique, slice off the top and bottom of the pineapple.
- Hold the pineapple upright, letting it stand on the chopping board, and then work your way around, taking off the skins. Don’t remove large chunks, though – instead, take off enough so no dark green or pale brown skin remains. Don’t worry if the “eyes” are still there – they’ll be removed later.
- You will see the eyes making a distinct array of straight parallel lines that run diagonally. Carefully cut the eyes out through these lines. Start by placing the knife in the pineapple, along one of the lines at an angle that allows the knife to slide underneath. Avoid cutting too deep and removing too many of the eyes at a time.
- Slice diagonally along the opposite of the first cut, removing the eyes in one wedge. Repeat this, going along the whole pineapple and removing wedge-shaped rows.
- Once all the eyes have been removed, you can now cut up the pineapples as you wish: in round slices, halves, quarters or in chunks.
Benefits of Pineapple for Men
“Men’s Health” listed pineapple in a guide to the top forty foods with superpowers because of its “potent mix” of antioxidants, vitamins, enzymes, and minerals.
Men and women have an equal risk of developing colon cancer, but men have a higher risk of developing rectal cancer.
The risk increases in men who have inflammatory bowel disease.
Some of the compounds in pineapple have been shown to ease the inflammation caused by IBD.
So adding pineapple to your diet could help you reduce your risk of rectal cancer as you age.
Dr. Laura Hale studied the effects of bromelain on certain immune cells.
After the application of bromelain, some molecules came back quickly, but others took time to reappear.
Inflammatory bowel disease is linked to an overactive immune system, so her research is very promising for those who have IBD and are concerned about their risk for colorectal cancer.
Benefits of Pineapple for Women
Because pineapple is an excellent source of manganese, experts from the Buffalo Center for Integrative Medicine recommend eating it to help prevent osteoporosis.
Approximately 80 percent of Americans with osteoporosis are women. So it is especially important for women to eat foods that help build strong bones.
More than 60 percent of adult women in the United States are overweight, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Pineapple contains just eighty-three calories per one-cup serving, making it a good alternative to high-calorie foods that contain a lot of fat.
Pineapple is very versatile, so you can enjoy the weight-related benefits of this fruit by drinking pineapple juice.
Eating pineapple chunks as a snack, or mixing crushed pineapple with fat-free whipped topping for a delicious dessert.