An aromatic fruit brought from South America to Europe by Cristopher Columbus is very popular due to its taste and health benefits. It is an ally of those trying to improve their skin condition and lose weight.
The most extensive plantations of pineapples are located in Brazil, China, Thailand, the Philippines, and Hawaii.
Hawaii was a dominant producer of pineapples in the 20th century, but about one-third of the world’s production comes from Brazil, Costa Rica and the Philippines.
It is a herbaceous perennial plant in the family Bromeliaceae.
Pineapples are formed on a strongly shortened stem that grows up to 1,5 meters tall.
Reddish-purple flowers of pineapple are inconspicuous, but there are nearly 200 of them in an inflorescence.
Pineapple fruits are usually seedless berries, fusing with an inflorescence axis and the cotyledons to form a fruiting body.
If hummingbirds pollinate the flowers, they develop small, hard seeds.
The fruits are about 20 centimeters long and 14 centimeters wide.
There are also miniature varieties.
There are distinctive plumes of leaves on the top of the fruit, which are the shoots.
Pineapple fruits ripen in summer.
Pineapples plantations are sprayed with naphthylacetic acid to produce fruit all year long.
Pineapples can be consumed both raw and processed.
They are used to make jams, juices, and compotes.
The caloric value of pineapples is small since it is only 55 kcal per 100 grams.
Apart from consumable purposes, pineapples are also used as medicinal plants.
The raw material is the pericarp and stems, which produce a mixture of five enzymes called bromelain by extraction.
Bromelain shows many positive effects.
It acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-edema, improves digestion, and has an anti-aggregative effect on platelets.
Bromelain can potentiate the effects of antibiotics.
It is crucial to use caution while taking the drugs.
Unripe pineapples can irritate the throat and cause diarrhea.
Bromelain is an allergen.
Pineapple juice contains many valuable substances.
It is a source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, K, folic acid, and many minerals: calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron.
Pineapples contain a lot of fiber.
Pectin swelling in the stomach gives a prolonged feeling of satiety, and therefore pineapples are recommended for people losing weight.
Pineapples are also used in cosmetics.
They are great in enzymatic peelings, creams for discoloration, and anti-cellulite lotions.