Most tropical fruits originate in Asia or Africa and then are propagated in the Americas. Pineapples seem to have moved in the opposite direction as they are said to be native to South America. It was only later during the Age of Discovery that European explorers brought the fruit out of the region and to other parts of the world.
It was supposedly no less than Christopher Columbus himself who first encountered the fruit and brought it to Europe. It was around the early 1700’s that the fruit was successfully cultivated there through hothouses. Hawaii which is the main producer of the fruit in the US was introduced to the pineapple earlier when a Spanish ship landed there in the 1500’s.
The Superhuman Food Pyramid wholly recommends regularly including this fruit in your diet to take advantage of its nutrients and its culinary as well as medicinal uses. Read on to know more about the benefits of pineapples.
The two most abundant nutrients in pineapples are Vitamin C and manganese. Every 100 grams of the fresh fruit provides around 36 mg of ascorbic acid which is 44% of what your body needs daily. As for manganese, the same base amount delivers 0.9 mg. This is equivalent to 43% of your daily requirement for this nutrient. Assuming that one whole pineapple already has an average weight of 1 kilo, just eating half a fruit every day will keep you more than well supplied of these nutrients.
The virtues of Vitamin C are well known but manganese is not so popular. This trace mineral is also necessary in the body as it is relevant to energy production and antioxidant protection. The enzyme called superoxide dismutase, for example, is a crucial substance that requires manganese. This enzyme serves to defuse free radicals within mitochondria, the energy factories within cells.
Another nutrient that is important to energy production because it is an essential factor in enzymatic reactions is thiamin or Vitamin B1. 100 grams of raw pineapple can provide up to 0.079 mg of this vitamin or 7% of your body’s daily requirement.
Pineapples significantly contain bromelain. This is actually a group of substances that, among other components, includes enzymes which specifically break-down protein. It is mainly found in the stem but small amounts can also be found in the fruit’s core. It is probably this substance that lends pineapples their digestive-aid properties.
Pineapple Practical Uses:
Besides being an excellent addition in fruit and vegetable salads, you’ve probably noticed that pineapples are not infrequently used in certain meat dishes. They lend a unique balance of sweet and tart flavors as well as tenderize the meat.
There are several ham and other meat recipes that include this fruit. The juice or crushed flesh of the fruit is used as a marinade or sauce. Pineapple chunks or cored slices are also cooked along with the meat as a main component of the dish. Take note that heat can neutralize the protein digesting effect of bromelain. Cooking pineapples beforehand becomes necessary if you intend to use it with gelatin mix or any milk and dairy products. This is so the protein digesting enzymes don’t interfere with the preparation.
Pineapples can be used medicinally as an expectorant to mitigate coughing and sore throat. Slice and mix the fruit in Manuka honey. Then boil the mixture to make a syrup. Two or three tablespoons everyday of this syrup can alleviate symptoms.
Some traditional folk medicine practices boil the leaves of the plant to make a tea that expels intestinal parasites. The proportion is 1 liter of water for every 20 grams of the leaves. The dose can be 4-5 a day. Eating the slightly unripe fruit raw is said to produce the same effect.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the benefits of plums that will help you in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the fruits on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
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