Latin Name: Ananas cosmosus
What is a Pineapple?
Throughout history, the tropical pineapple has been enjoyed for its taste and health benefits. The name “pineapple” is reputed to have come from Christopher Columbus’s second voyage to the Caribbean, wherein he came upon this fruit with an exterior appearance resembling a pinecone and an interior as firm as an apple.
Before this event, pineapples were known in South America and parts of the Caribbean as nanas, meaning “excellent fruit” in the language of the Tupi of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. From the fifteenth century onward, the Spanish brought this fruit into Western Europe, the American colonies, Hawaii, Guam, Zimbabwe, and the Philippines.
Since cargo ships would take a long, hot, and humid trip from the tropics to the thirteen colonies, the presentation of fresh pineapples was a lavish gift to guests that declared the host’s affluence. Being such a sensational welcome for a guest, pineapples became an American artistic motif on gateposts, weather vanes, walls, and napkins.
What are the health benefits of Pineapple?
Considered hot and damp in nature, traditional Chinese medicine uses pineapple to dispel summer heat and heat stroke, aid in digestion, reduce irritability and thirst, and stop diarrhea.
Pineapple’s high levels of vitamins A, C, and E not only support a strong immune system and cardiovascular health, but also protect your eyes from the development of macular degeneration.
A particularly important enzyme present in pineapples is bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme that is very helpful in the digestive process and in clearing the intestinal tract; recent studies link it with anti-inflammatory, anti-coagulant, and anti-cancer properties.
Pineapple’s high levels of vitamin B1 and manganese also make it a very energizing fruit. B vitamins excite our metabolism and cause us to gain more energy from the foods we digest, and manganese supports the health of our energy-producing mitochondria.
Where can I find Pineapple?
Pineapples can be found in most grocery stores throughout the year.
To unlock more health secrets from the Natural Health Dictionary, download your copy for Amazon Kindle.