We've probably all eaten a pineapple at some point in our lives. We've enjoyed the fresh tropical taste and are likely to have added it to everything from a curry to a cocktail - but is it just a simple fruit!
The answer is, like many fruits and vegetables, no, it's more than that.
Mother Nature provides aids and remedies for many of our common ailments and we sometimes forget that these aren't simply produced to make delicious foods and drinks. They had and have a purpose and we should consider using them for more than a simple treat every now and again.
The pineapple is a classic case. It generally reminds us of sunny holidays and walks along beaches (or at least that would be nice if it were true). But what did Mother Nature actually provide us with when she gave us the Power of the Pineapple - lets take a look and you can decide for yourself if you are going to engage more frequently.
Pineapples are part of the *bromeliad family (*tropical monocot flowering plants, found in tropical Americas - did you know that cultivated bromeliads flower only once in it's lifetime!!).
A pineapple is actually made up of lots of individual berries which fuse together around a central core. Each section on the skin of a pineapple was once a berry.
Pineapples contains high concentrations of vitamin C, manganese, important for antioxidant defences, thiamine, vitamin B that helps produce energy and not forgetting it is high in essential fibre.
Amazingly though, a glass of fresh pineapple juice has less than 90 calories, is fat free, cholesterol free and low in salt - but it would contain sugar - around 16grams per glass. It is not to be confused with canned pineapple though as this is set in syrup and doubles the amount of calories.
Immune System SupportPineapple contains the recommended daily amount of vitamin C - helping to fight cell damage which affects the heart and joints.
Pineapples contain 3/4 of the daily recommended amount of manganese, essential for bone and connective tissue strength. It has also been suggested that manganese is helpful to women who are post-menopausal and could suffer from osteoporosis.
The vitamin C and antioxidants are help reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
It is believed that as pineapples contain bromelain and other proteolytic enzymes, they can help reduce severe inflammation and tumour growth.
Again, it's the fantastic Vitamin C that gets to work here, helping us recover more quickly from the dreaded cold!
A word of caution though!Pineapples have been known to cause tenderness in the mouth, tongue, cheeks and lips. Although the effects do not last long, they can be uncomfortable.
Also, large quantities of vitamin C can cause diarrhoea, nausea and sickness and have been reported as causing skin rashes and excessive menstrual bleeding.
However you decide to use your pineapples, I think the evidence for including them (in moderation) in your diet, is stacked in their favour.