Pineapple (Ananas comosus) – Health Benefits, Nutritional Value Information and Interesting Facts.

 Pineapple
 ( Ananas comosus )

Pineapple Scientific Plant classification:

Species: Ananas comosus
Family: Bromeliaceae

Pineapple Nutritional values and Health Benefits 

The pineapple fruit provides an instant mineral and vitamin recharge and is an excellent source of potassium, vitamins B1, B2, B9 (a 150 g serving provides more than 7% of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) and especially vitamin C: a 150 g portion provides 27 mg, or more than one-third of the recommended daily intake.)

Rich in fibres.

Its fiber content is significant, since it reaches 1.4%. Pineapple therefore helps the fight against intestinal laziness, and without risk of bad reactions or intolerance by the intestines.

An original action on digestion.

Because of the presence of Bromelain, pineapple intervenes in a quite original way on the digestive process. This enzyme starts and helps the digestion of proteins, this is why during a meal, which consists of fresh pineapple and a dish of meat (or fish) is more easily and rapidly digested. Moreover, the organic acids of pineapple gives it a tart taste, which is capable of stimulating the digestive secretions. This also facilitates the good proper assimilation of food.

 Nutritional Information:

               Pineapple, raw

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 209 kJ (50 kcal)
Carbohydrates 13.12 g
– Sugars 9.85 g
– Dietary fiber 1.4 g
Fat 0.12 g
Protein 0.54 g
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.079 mg (7%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.032 mg (3%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 0.5 mg (3%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.213 mg (4%)
Vitamin B6 0.112 mg (9%)
Folate (vit. B9) 18 μg (5%)
Choline 5.5 mg (1%)
Vitamin C 47.8 mg (58%)
Calcium 13 mg (1%)
Iron 0.29 mg (2%)
Magnesium 12 mg (3%)
Manganese 0.927 mg (44%)
Phosphorus 8 mg (1%)
Potassium 109 mg (2%)
Sodium 1 mg (0%)
Zinc 0.12 mg (1%)
Percentages are roughly approximated
using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database and Wikipedia

Pineapple has many health benefits and acts efficiently against cancer, cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis.

The Bromelain contained in pineapple is recognized for its anti-inflammatory effects, pain management, anti-hypertensive and immune system boosting properties. This is due to its high antioxidants content (polyphenols and flavonoids) which are effectively fighting against cancer, heart disease, and help in the treatment of osteoarthritis.

A slimming food. The pineapple is a delicious, refreshing, refined and light dessert: a 150g portion brings less than 80 kcalories!

Pineapple and Its history

Pineapple cultivation dates back to thousands of years.

The first to practice its cultivation were the Indian tupi-Guarani. They were the first who gave the name to the fruit. In their language, the ‘a’ refers to a fruit (in general) and “nana” means “excellent”. They have made this fruit widely known in South and Central America. Christopher Columbus discovered the pineapple in the Caribbean at the end of the 1500s. It is in 1535 when the discovery is submitted to the Court of Spain. Its release will follow the opening of the major shipping lanes by the Portuguese (Philippines, China, India…).
It was still quite a rarity in the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe. It will benefit from the culture in greenhouses in Holland and France, but the resulting production was not so conclusive. Then a decision was made to import the pineapple rather than produce it.

Pineapple and its Production

In western Europe, pineapple is imported mainly from Côte d’Ivoire (more than 90% of the marketed tonnage), a bit of Cameroon and Martinique and in the US nearly 90 % of pineapple is imported from Costa Rica, which is the world’s biggest exporter and producer of pineapples in the recent years.

The main varieties and types of the fruit are:

-“Smooth Cayenne“: comes mostly from Côte d’Ivoire and Martinique. The most popular variety among consumers, with a yellow, juicy and sweet flesh.
-“Queen“: imported from Mauritius and South Africa. This sort represents a smaller fruit, more pale and very juicy flesh.
-“Red Spannish“: cultivated in Central America and the Caribbean.

Pineapple Season

The supply is done throughout the year, with peaks in winter and spring.

Some tips on buying and choosing the right one

To properly choose a pineapple, you must search for fruit that has more aroma coming from it, because this indicates that the fruit  is mature, also take into account its weigh ( if it’s heavy, it means it’s ripe) and observe its leaves. A good pineapple has closed leaves with  a nice dark green color, which stands out quite easily from the fruit.

What to avoid: a pineapple which parts are soft and brown in color. In addition, please be aware that the color of the shell is in no way an indicator of the maturity of the fruit. It may very well be green and the pineapple still could be good enough for consumption. Once purchased, the pineapple can be stored for 1 or 2 days at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

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One Comment

  1. Anonymous June 8, 2014 12:01 am Reply

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