Pineapples are tropical fruits which are produced on a herbaceous perennial which grows to around 5 feet tall and is indigenous to South America.
Pineapple is now cultivated in many countries with Brazil being the largest producer closely followed by the Philippines and Thailand. Costa Rica, Indonesia and India also cultivate large amounts of pineapples.
Pineapples have been cultivated in Northern Europe but need to be grown in heated greenhouses and were considered a great delicacy in the 19th century.
Pineapple is the second most popular fruit in the US behind the banana and is used in many recipes having a unique taste that goes well with many foods and drinks.
Pineapples can be eaten straight from the fruit which has a protective coating but is very easy to slice. It is often prepared into chunks of pineapple and makes a refreshing start to a meal or as a desert as well as a healthy snack.
Pineapple is a great source of manganese, vitamin C, Vitamin B6, folate, potassium, thiamin, and dietary fiber, it also contains a proteolytic enzyme, bromelain, which breaks down protein. The fruit has been used as an anti-inflammatory and many studies have shown that eating fruits such as pineapple decreses the risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
The potassium in pineapples helps with lowering blood pressure and sudies have shown that people on a high potassium diet have a 20% decreased risk of dying from any cause.
Pineapple is high in beta-carotene which helps in the prevention of cancer related diseases particularly prostate and colon cancer.