Fruits are very beneficial for our health and the benefits can vary from one fruit to another. One fruit that definitely provides a lot of health benefits is pineapple. This tropical fruit is everyone’s top favorite fruit. Pineapple can be consumed fresh or you can also cook it. You can also drink fresh juice of pineapple or you can preserve it as well. No matter which way you consume it, you will still get the health benefits.
Before we take a look at the important information related to pineapple, it is good to know about its history. In 1493, the Europeans first discovered this fruit on a Caribbean Island. The explorers brought the fruit back to Europe and tried their best to cultivate it, finally realizing that the fruit requires tropical climate, like that of the Caribbean Islands, to grow. By the end of the 16th century, Portuguese and Spanish explorers spread the pineapple into various tropical colonies in Asia. The countries that commercially grow pineapples are: Thailand, China, Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines. The US state of Hawaii cultivates pineapple as well.
How does a pineapple grow?
It is very easy to grow pineapples. All you need to know is the right steps to grow a pineapple.
Let’s take a look at how a pineapple grows:
- Pineapples don’t grow on top of trees; rather they grow on the ground from a leafy plant. This plant consists of thick-sized leaves placed around the central stem. A healthy pineapple plant’s sword-like leaves can grow up to be 5 feet long. The fruit, i.e. the pineapple will grow on top of the central stem. This fruit is the result of dozens of individual flowers that are fruit-producing which fuse into a single pineapple fruit.
- Most fruits are grown from seeds, but this is not the case with pineapple. When it is removed, the pineapple foot crown will contain small sized roots. When this is planted in the ground, it will produce new pineapples, as the fruit-producing plant grows.
- Pineapple requires a suitable climate to grow. The geographical areas with heavy rains as well as humid tropics are the best places to grow pineapples. This fruit will grow near the interior and the sea coastal areas as well. The temperature should not be extreme, otherwise the fruit will not be able to grow and the best temperature range is 15.5 to 32.50 C. For the cultivation of pineapple, low temperatures, bright sunshine and complete shade is harmful and will be resistant to its growth.
- Pineapple can grow in any kind of soil, however, the soil needs to be slightly acidic with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.0 and it should also be free draining as well. The texture of the soil should be light as well. Pineapple doesn’t grow well in heavy clay soil, but it can grow in sandy, laterite or alluvial soil.
- The land is first prepared well by ploughing it and the digging of the ground should be done after leveling it. The nature of the land where the pineapple is being cultivated will determine the convenient length of the trench and this can be about 90 cm in depth. The width should be of 15-30 cm in length. Pineapple doesn’t tolerate very high temperature or very cold temperature. The pineapple plant will flower during the months of February to April and the fruits will be ready during the month of July to September. In some cases, pineapple off-season flowers can also appear and they will be ready to produce the fruits during the months of September to December.
- In pineapple farming, the plant will flower within 12-15 months and the pineapple fruit will be ready by 15-18 months. This timeline will depend on various factors such as: the variety of pineapple fruit, the plantation time, the type and the size of the plant material used and the temperature. The fruit will ripen within 5 months of the flowering. The irregular flowers will result in a longer harvesting time. Then, plant the crown of the pineapple into the soil, where the roots will be exposed to the ground. The white sprouts of the plant roots will come out within few days or few weeks. Two or more pineapples should be grown together as this will provide more chances of the pineapple plant to fruition.
- For commercial cultivation, the flowering of the plant is done artificially. Early harvesting of the main fruit can contribute to the second crop of smaller sized fruits. Once the top of the pineapple is removed for cleaning, it can be used for producing more pineapple, by planting the crown of the pineapple in the soil. The slips and the suckers are commercially planted.
- If you want to grow pineapples, you will need to select a green leafy pineapple that is fresh. It shouldn’t be overripe or under-ripe. The leaves should be removed from the top and the stem should be exposed. You can also Google: “how to cut pineapple” as well to see how it is done. Then you will need to plant the crown in the soil, after drying it for a week. You will also need to soak the crown in the water in a controlled temperature and sunlight. Excess of these two will not allow the pineapple to grow.
Pineapple Nutrition Facts
A fresh pineapple contains about 50 calories per 100 grams. This will amount to 83 calories per cup. Pineapple fruit consists of 86% water and the rest 13% is carb. It doesn’t have any protein or fat in it.
A raw pineapple of 100 grams serving will consist of:
- 50 calories.
- 86% of water content
- 0.5 g of protein
- 13.1 g of carb
- 9.9 g of sugar
- 1.4 g of fiber
- 0.1 g of fat- of which- saturated fat is 0.01 g, monosaturated fat is 0.01g, polyunsaturated fat is 0.04 g, Omega 3 is 0.02 g and Omega 6 is of 0.02 g. There is no Trans-fat.
The fibers are 99% insoluble and mainly in the form of cellulose, hemicelluloses, and pectin.
Unsweetened pineapple juice (1 cup serving of 250 g) consists of:
- 132 calories
- 215% of water content
- 0.9 g of protein
- 32.2 g of carb
- 25 g of sugar
- 0.5 g of sugar
- 0.3 g of fat of which – saturated fat is 0.02g, monosaturated fat is 0.04g, polyunsaturated fat is 0.11 g, Omega 3 is 0.05g, Omega 6 is 0.06g. There is no Trans-fat present in the pineapple juice.
What are the important vitamins in Pineapple?
There are various important vitamins present in pineapple, which offer a lot of health benefits. One cup of pineapple provides 132% of the required intake of the Vitamin C and it also provides about 76% of manganese. Other vitamins that are present in pineapples are:
- Vitamin C: it is an antioxidant vitamin that will maintain healthy functioning of the immune system and is also required for healthy skin.
- Folate (Vitamin B9): is one of the vitamins of vitamin B group and it is very important for the growth of the tissue and the normal functioning of the cell. It is important for pregnant women as well.
What are the benefits of eating pineapple?
There are various benefits of eating pineapple like:
- Pineapple provides you with antioxidant protection and better immunity, as it is a rich source of Vitamin B9 and Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a type of water soluble primary antioxidant. It protects the body from the free radical attacks, which damage the normal cells. Free radicals are also one cause of the artery plaque buildup of the atherosclerosis and diabetic, heart disease. The free radicals can also cause the spasm that can cause asthma attacks and also contribute to many other deadly diseases in the body. Vitamin C helps the body to strengthen its immune system and prevent these diseases effectively. It will also prevent common diseases such as ear infections, colds and flu.
- Pineapple can also prevent the occurrence of macular degeneration. This fruit will effectively help you to protect your eyesight. Studies have shown that eating 3 servings of this fruit can lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). ARMD is one of the primary causes of the loss of vision in older people. There are various ways you can have three servings of this fruit per day by adding this fruit to various dishes and consuming it.
- Pineapple promotes the healing of wounds as well. Healing of wounds is one of the abilities of the body to repair itself from any type of injury. However, there are various age-related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and also old age which can interrupt this ability of the body.
Pineapple also contributes to improved gut health. The bacteria that live inside our body outnumber out cells and they mainly live in the gut area. There are various benefits of maintaining a healthy gut flora. Pineapple can be digested easily by the helpful gut bacteria and this will cause minimal bloating and minimize the presence of gas.
Various studies that were carried out on animals showed that pineapples and bromelain can help in the treatment of various types of digestive diseases. Some types of diseases that can be treated are diarrhea, gut inflammation and inflammatory bowel diseases. Bromelain can also help in the digestion of the proteins, and this is very beneficial for those who suffer from indigestion after a protein-rich meal.
In conclusion, it can be seen that, there are a variety of benefits of this tropical fruit for our health. Pineapple can also help to produce a textile fiber called pina in the Philippines and this is done by getting the material from the pineapple leaves. This textile fiber is used for producing Barong Tagalog for men and Baro’t saya for the women in Philippines. The fiber is also used as a wallpaper component and also in other types of furnishing.
The world production of pineapple was about 25.4 million tones, which was an increase of 2% from the year 2013. Costa Rica is one of the top countries that contributed to the production of pineapples by 11% on a global production scale.
You can enjoy this tropical fruit in many ways. The first step that you need to follow is to take a knife and remove the crown of the pineapple and also the base. After that, you need to remove the skin and then carve out the eyes using a knife. Remove the core of the pineapple and slice the pieces of pineapples. You can use the pineapple to make fruit salad. And you can also refrigerate it for up to 6 days and it will retain most of its nutrition.
With so many amazing benefits, pineapple is a truly amazing fruit which everyone should eat!