Pineapple is believed to have originated in the region where Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay meet.
The pineapple has been cultivated in South America for centuries.
Up until the 1980s, Hawaii was the primary source of canned pineapples to the world, making up 80% of the supply.
In Hawaii, a plant called “hala” has fruit similar to the pineapple.
Hala is traditionally used by Hawaiians for food, dyes, and medicine.
The pineapple is called “hala kahiki” in Hawaii. “Kahiki” is Hawaiian for “foreign”, so a pineapple is a foreign hala.
Hummingbirds are the primary way of pollinating wild pineapples although some night bats also consume them.
The import of hummingbirds is illegal in Hawaii to prevent the spread of wild pineapples.
Cultivated pineapples are bred to be seedless, and any pineapple seeds are only used for breeding new variants. (Source)
A pineapple plant only produces one fruit, and flowers, matures and then dies.
Before it dies, it propagates baby plants that grow beside the leaves of the parent plant.
Those baby plants will also be seedless.
Commercially grown pineapples use cloned plants.
Successful pineapple farms have to be a distance from other farms or grow the same clone type, as pineapple plants are highly incompatible with each other.
Even if a flower is pollinated, the growth of seeds is halted if the plant is a clone or of the same genotype, promoting cross-breeding in nature. (Source)
What Are The Little Black Things In Pineapple?
Contrary to popular belief, pineapples do not grow on trees, it is a ground plant that grows a stem in the center, with a series of flowers in the shape of two interlocking helixes.
The flowers produce berries that fuse together to one unit, the pineapple fruit.
The black seeds can be grown into pineapple plants, but it takes a very long time.
Commercial pineapple growers usually get the baby pineapple plants from a mature plant and plant them away from the parent plant.
These plants will usually produce fruit in a year or two.
You can grow your own pineapples at home from seed if you can find them.
Alternatively, pineapple plants can grow from the crown of the fruit.
You could cut the top of the fruit, clean out the flesh and let it dry for a few days before planting.
Plants can be started in a glass of water or planted straight into the soil.
The pineapple plant is a tropical plant originating from South America.
It needs warm temperatures and plenty of sunlight.
If planting in a cold climate, plants need to live indoors and get as much sun exposure as possible.
A fully grown pineapple plant can be almost 2 meters high.
It takes two to three years for it to mature and produce fruit.
When the plant matures you should find one or more baby plants growing out between the leaves of the plant that can be removed and planted.
Are Pineapple Seeds Harmful?
To grow the seeds you need to rinse them and remove any traces of the pineapple flesh from them.
You can then put them on a wet kitchen towel to germinate them.
Since germination can take up to 6 months, you can place them in a container and wait it out.
Another method to grow a pineapple is to use the crown; the leafy part in the top.
To remove the crown you grab the fruit in one hand and the leafy crown in the other and twist, just like you would do wringing out a towel.
Alternatively, just lop it off with a knife.
When you have separated the crown from the plant, clean away all residue of the plant’s flesh and let it dry for about a week.
When the pineapple crown is dry, you can either plant it right into the soil or root it in a glass of water which also makes a nice tabletop accessory.
After the seeds sprout or the crown has roots, it’s time to stick it in the ground.
The pineapple, being a tropical plant originating in South America, needs plenty of sunlight and a warm environment.
If living in a cold climate, the plant will have to stay indoors with maximum sun exposure.
Are Pineapple Cores Poisonous?
Bromelain is found in the core, stem, crown, and rind of pineapples.
Readily available as a dietary supplement, it has been credited with reducing pain and inflammation, helping with sinusitis, osteoarthritis, muscle soreness, and pain from cancer.
Topical bromelain is often used to treat burns.
Pineapple cores are also a rich source of vitamin C, copper, and manganese.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient to maintain a healthy immune system, skin, bones, and blood vessels.
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps your body fight free radicals and prevents oxidative stress from contaminants and pollutants.
Antioxidants are the powerful good guys that help your body combat severe diseases like cancers and heart disease.
When the levels of free radicals and antioxidants are unbalanced, this results in a condition called oxidative stress.
Too much oxidative stress can lead to serious diseases like Parkinson’s, heart disease, inflammatory conditions, and cancer.
The core of the pineapple isn’t as sweet as the flesh of the fruit.
Blending it would be a good way of consuming it.
What Happens If You Eat The Core Of A Pineapple?
The core can be hard and not as welcoming as the tender sweet flesh.
It would suit being blended into a smoothie or combined with other fruits.
The nutritional value of pineapple cores per 100 grams is:
In addition, the core contains a specific compound called bromelain, a group of enzymes only available in pineapples.
You may notice a tingly sensation when consuming pineapples.
Bromelain will digest protein and is sometimes used as a meat tenderizer.
Wrapping some tough meat in thinly-sliced pineapples will break down the proteins in the meat and result in a more tender dish.
The potential health benefits of the bromelain found in pineapple cores include:
Bromelain May Help Prevent Cancer
Studies have shown Bromelain to have anti-cancer effects, by preventing tumor growth and by promoting apoptotic cell death, meaning that the cancerous cells will have a shorter life span.
Helps The Digestive System
Bromelain is helpful with healing tissue in the gastrointestinal tract.
It is beneficial to people with gastrointestinal issues like inflammatory bowel disease and peptic ulcers.
Since bromelain breaks down proteins, it helps the body digest food and absorbs nutrients.
Bromelain has been showing anti-inflammatory properties in studies and is believed to be helpful in treating the symptoms of arthritis, muscle soreness, or swelling from infections.
Contributes To Heart Health
Bromelain has been known to reduce blood clots and cardiovascular illness by making the blood less likely to coagulate.
Because pineapples thin the blood, consumption just before surgery wouldn’t be recommended.
In addition, pineapple cores are loaded with vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient and powerful antioxidant, helping our immune system fight free radicals that can cause severe illnesses like cancer.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 90 mg for adult men and 75 mg for adult women.
Our bodies contain a combination of free radicals and antioxidants.
It is nearly impossible to avoid free radicals that come from the environment, smoking, industrial gases, and other pollutants.
When the levels of free radicals and antioxidants are unbalanced, this causes a condition known as oxidative stress.
A body under constant oxidative stress is at higher risk of severe illnesses like:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure and hypertension
- other inflammatory conditions
To keep free radicals in check, we can increase our intake of antioxidants, found commonly in these foods:
- Soy products like tofu
- Green leafy veggies
- Green tea
- Whole grains