Pineapple reduces risk of coronary heart disease
Pineapple is not a single fruit but a bunch of seedless fruits fused together under a common stem. The world relishes pineapple as a fresh fruit and the best flavor is achieved by allowing the fruit to mature on the plant before harvesting. Once a pineapple is picked it will not ripen further nor will it increase its sweetness but kept at room temperature it will decrease its acidity. The starch in the fruit’s sword like leaves converts to sugar and passes it on to the fruits. On removing the fruit from plant this sweetness link is severed.
Pineapple is used in a variety of dishes and its global presence can be seen in Indian chutneys, Indonesian rice, Latin American flan, etc. Pineapple comes packed with vitamins A, C and bits of B. it is a good source of natural sugar and is 85 percent water. It is low in fact and cholesterol but high in fibre and minerals like potassium and sodium. However, the fruit is best known for its protein digesting enzyme, brome lain. Columbus was equally impressed by its medicinal practices in vogue – healing wounds sustained in battles, a digestive drink, especially after heavy feasts rich in non vegetarian dishes. Women used it as a cleansing agent. Caribbean youths were required to run barefoot on the pineapple plantings to demonstrate their daring machismo.
Today the proteolytic enzyme is extracted from the stem and put to various uses in the foot steps of ancient practices. It reduces risk of coronary heart disease as it inhibits clot formation and breaks down the plaque build up in the arteries. Bromelain reduces pain, swellings, rheumatoid arthritis, joint inflammations. It serves as a digestive enzyme, heals gastric ulcers and acts as an appetite suppressant; it aids the absorption of drugs and enhances the access of various antibiotics. Bromelain helps clear bronchial conditions and provides relief in sinusitis and headache. It is effective in swellings, pains, burns and wounds and this leads to the cosmetic use of breaking down the dead layers of skin and promoting the softer inner layers. The juice is an ideal ingredient in various skin care products. Bromelain is ideal for removing warts and the natives of Guadeloupe used the juice concentrate to remove body hair. The enzyme is so powerful that plantation workers are required to wear gloves or else they risk their hands being eaten away.
Besides medicinal benefits, bromelain makes an excellent marinade, tenderizes meat, helps preserve bakery items, chill proofs beer, recovers silver from a photographic and X-ray film. The outside peel and the central core of the pineapple is recycled and used for cattle feed and vinegar. Pineapple leaves yield a strong white silky fiber used in creating a semi-transparent fabric in the Philippines. It is usually embroidered and used as a table cloth. The Chinese mix straw and bamboo to the pineapple leaf fibers to create paper suited for their paintings.
Prefer pineapples that are slightly soft with crisp green leaves and an appealing aroma. It should be heavy for its size. Usually yellow pineapples indicate that they were allowed to ripen longer. A really ripe fruit can also be ascertained by its leaves that can be easily pulled out from the top. However, colour is no indication in the long list of pineapple varieties. Pineapple tops make spectacular house planets. After trimming the pineapple cut off the crown with a thick slice of fruit attached and planet it.