A pineapple is quite a mysterious fruit. Not exactly a pine cone, yet also not an apple. This article will explore all of the fun facts about pineapple from its history to its nutritional benefits, and of course, facts about pineapple cannabis strains.
“When life gives you lemons, sell them and buy a pineapple. How to better your life 101.”
― Davin Turney
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Historical Facts About Pineapple
Dating back to 1398, the term “pineapple” was first used as an anatomical term for the reproductive organs of conifers (cone-bearing seed plants), such as cedar, pine or redwoods. (1)
Then 266 years later, European settlers stumbled upon a prickly-looking fruit that resembled, what we know today as, pine cones and termed them “pinaepples”. (1)
And that is because pine cones were originally called pineapples because they looked like apples that fell from a pine tree! Isn’t that crazy? Especially considering the fact that this tropical fruit could not be more opposite to the conifers you typically find around snow. (1)
Pineapples Are Not Native to Hawaii
Despite its reputation, popularity and association as the fruit of the island, pineapples are actually thought to originate from the Americas, specifically in the regions near Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina due to their climate.
It’s been credited that Spanish sailor (and confidant to King Kamehameha I), Don Francisco de Paula Marín, who first brought citrus fruits and mangoes to the islands, also introduced pineapples to the islands around 1790. (2,3)
Unfortunately, there was no canning process yet, so local fruit would spoil quickly, requiring refrigeration for both storage and transport that the islands just didn’t have at the time.
Not until 1901, when “The Pineapple King” himself, James Dole, a Massachusetts native who arrived on the islands two years prior, opened up the Hawaiian Pineapple Company.
If that’s not the greatest lesson in dismissing Imposter Syndrome completely, I don’t know what is! I like the way you think, your Pineapple Highness.
Facts About Pineapple Symbolism
Don’t judge a book by its cover!
Despite its prickly appearance, pineapples symbolize friendship, hospitality, generosity, loyalty, warmth, affection, celebration, welcome and home. (4)
And let’s face it, it’s by far the coolest looking fruit in sunglasses.
King of Fruits
Once known for intangible wealth, the pineapple was deemed “King of Fruits” not only for its representation of (now reachable) wealth, but for that fun, little pineapple crown he’s got goin’ on up there! (4,5)
Fun Facts About Pineapple
- It’s actually considered a berry, neither a pine(cone) nor an apple, yet is also a relative to the cactus family
- Pineapples can take up to 3 years to grow, and only one pineapple is produced per plant per season
- Native to South America, pineapples are also known as “ananas” meaning “excellent fruit”
- You can grow your own pineapple houseplant by chopping off the top crown, but will take up to 2-3 years to bloom, if at all
Did you know that pineapples contain a pink pigment in their flesh (i.e. the part you eat) known as lycopene? In the growing process, lycopene is usually converted enzymatically to beta carotene, giving gold pineapples their wonderfully bright yellow color. (6)
Only approved by the FDA in 2016, pink pineapples are actually genetically engineered to provide a more pink color by producing lower levels of the enzymes responsible for the conversion of lycopene to beta carotene. (6)
And according to the FDA, since lycopene is what makes tomatoes/ketchup red, and watermelons pink, they say not to get discouraged by the “GMO” moniker since it’s a natural pigment already found in foods. Del Monte actually owns the patent on pink pineapples due to its modification. (6)
According to Del Monte, they are slightly sweeter, juicer and less sour than their golden brothers. However, don’t be fooled by doctored photos of this unique version.
Although they’re still beautiful on the inside, many photos online appear as if they are a much richer pink color. In reality they appear a bit more pale pink as you can see below. (6)
Nutrition Facts About Pineapple
Although that sweetness is what makes pineapples most attractive, they are very high in sugar. According to the USDA, one whole pineapple (~905g) contains 119g of carbohydrates (86g coming from sugar), and 13g of fiber.
While it’s unlikely that anyone would eat an entire pineapple in a single sitting (I’m not saying it’s not possible or has never been done), still take caution with moderate portion sizes of this feisty fruit to avoid excess spikes in blood sugar levels.
At the very least, be sure to pair it with a protein or fat source to slow down carbohydrate digestion in order to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Immune System Boosting Facts About Pineapple
Pineapples are excellent sources of vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, and bromelain. (7)
Bromelain is the digestive enzyme naturally found in pineapple that can aid in digestion, reduce inflammation, and is also used as a meat tenderizer in cooking due to its ability to break down tissue. Pineapples serve a much more critical function than just flavor and aesthetics on your BBQ pork. (7)
Pineapples can be an excellent addition to your wellness regimen to keep your immune system running smoothly. There’s a new adage in town: A (pine)apple a day keeps the doctor away (just not the whole thing!)
Facts About Pineapple for People with Kidney Disease
While an excellent source of several micronutrients, pineapples are actually low in sodium, potassium and phosphorus, making them a kidney-friendly fruit option. In addition, bromelain may also be helpful in breaking down kidney stones. (7,8)
Facts About Pineapple Strains
Pineapple strains* are great for stress relief, relaxation and mood-boosting. Most tend to be hybrid strains that are energizing, and improve productivity and focus with THC levels anywhere from 17-21%.
*hybrid strains are typically named by the combination by weight of their parent strains
In terms of flavor and aroma, Pineapple Express embraces it all with apple and mango aromas, along with cedar, pine and, (you guessed it) pineapple flavors. (10)
Get your cross joints out!
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
With an impressive THC profile, this strain produces muscle relaxation, tension relief and mood improvement in a more sedative fashion, and may help with chronic stress, pain and inflammation.
It has a distinctive aroma very similar to it’s confectionary namesake, and is highly flavorful. (11)
How fun are strain names by the way?? They crack me up just much as the names of sushi rolls!
Kill Cliff CBD Flaming Joe
Pineapples and cannabis are great friends. And since it’s so damn popular, I haven’t been able to try it myself yet to give any type of review, but Joe Rogan worked with Kill Cliff to develop a pineapple jalapeño CBD sports beverage called the Kill Cliff CBD Flaming Joe.
One of these days I’ll get to try it!
(I have no affiliation or financial interests in Kill Cliff nor Joe Rogan/The Joe Rogan Experience – just a superfan!)
Facts About Pineapple for Sleep
Pineapples can be great, natural sleep aids. They contain melatonin, which can assist in optimizing your circadian rhythm by providing higher concentrations in the blood to help your body signal that it’s time to sleep when it should.
Pair it with some sleep-inducing terpenes and cannabinoids, such as myrcene and THC, respectively, and you’ll be off to tropical dreamland in no time!
Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say…
Facts About Pineapple for Athletes
Recalling the nutrient profile of pineapples from above, this fruit king is a powerhouse for athletes to include in both their pre- and post workout fueling, and as part of their hydration routine. Remember that you can also eat your electrolytes!
Facts About Pineapples for Optimal Hydration
Pineapples are filled with vitamins and minerals, and can be an excellent source of electrolytes (14):
- Vitamins A & K
- B vitamins (for blood flow)
Facts About Pineapple as Pre Workout Fuel
Due to its fiber content, pineapples can serve as great complex carbohydrate sources for athletes prior to a workout to provide energy during a workout! Note that pineapple-flavored sports drinks will not have the same beneficial effect as the whole fruit itself. (14)
Facts About Pineapple for Post Workout Recovery
Bromelain is back! We already know that bromelain is a highly diverse enzyme that serves several purposes.
As an anti-inflammatory agent, other functions of this enzyme include reductions in joint pain, sprains, and muscle strains (oh my!) so that you can keep returning to your training to get after those PRs you’ve already been working so hard towards! (14)
Pineapple Express Yourself!
Kings are powerful, and by now you can see exactly why this fruitful monarch lives up to his royal reputation! So much more than just tasty (strange-looking) tropical plants, pineapples are nutritious, versatile, and symbolic badasses.
Do yourself a favor, and add a bit more of the coolest fruit around to your life, just one of many ways to pineapple express yourself.
Until next time, go Pineapple Express Yourself!
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