ingredient spotlight: pineapple!
pineapple is so in right now.
If you haven't noticed, pineapples have seemed to really catch on lately. The tropical fruit is appearing everywhere, from posters to piggybanks. There's no denying that pineapple is popular, but what has kept this fruit on everyone's radar for decades? Let's look back at it's debut.
In the early 1400s, Columbus returned to Spain from his Caribbean voyage with many exotic treasures in tow, including (you guessed it) the pineapple. For hundreds of years the pineapple was a symbol of wealth, with it's value coming from it's rarity. It wasn’t until the early 1900s, when an American businessman named James Dole (yup, that Dole) started growing pineapples on a giant plantation in Hawaii, that the fruit became accessible to all.
BENEFITS OF PINEAPPLE
Pineapples are exotic, delicious, low sodium, fat-free, and cholesterol-free. But beyond being a sweet healthy snack, pineapples offer a myriad of health benefits such as:
Immune system support - A single serving of pineapple contains half of the FDA daily-recommended dose of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps fight against problems like heart disease and joint pain.
Eye health - The Vitamin C in pineapples can also help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a disease that affects the eyes as people age.
Bone strength - The mineral manganese, which helps develop strong bones and connective tissues, is abundant in pineapple with almost 75 percent of the FDA daily-recommended value. Some studies show that manganese may be helpful in preventing osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.
Digestion - Like many other fruits and vegetables, pineapple contains heaps of dietary fiber, which is essential in keeping you regular and in keeping your intestines healthy. Unlike most fruits and veggies however, pineapple also contains significant amounts of bromelain, an enzyme that breaks down protein and aids in digestion. Fun fact: bromelain is also the enzyme that makes your tongue hurt when you eat a little too much pineapple.)
Cold and sinus - In addition to having lots of vitamin C, pineapple’s bromelain may help reduce mucus in the throat and nose. So if your cold has you coughing, try some pineapple chunks. And those suffering from seasonal allergies may want to consider incorporating pineapple into their diets more regularly to reduce sinus mucus long term.
PINEAPPLE FUN FACTS
- Pineapples begin as a flower, but eventually blossom into a fruit.
- What we think of as one fruit is actually many individual berries that fuse together around a central core.
- It takes almost three years for a pineapple to mature
- For all its sweetness, one cup of pineapple contains only 82 calories.
Have fun. Be Amazing.