Glossary of Foods: Pineapple

| Diet & Nutrition

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Sweet, tart and drip-down-your-arm juicy, a bite of pineapple is your golden ticket to a warm, tropical beach vacation! Pineapple is one of our favorite versatile summer fruits that can go from savory to sweet, and grill to dessert flawlessly.

Named pineapple for its resemblance to a pinecone, the spiny and strange looking pineapple comes from a tropical plant that grows in warm, sunny regions. The plant grows to be about five to eight feet tall and spreads to have a three or four foot radius. Not a very large plant to hold such a large fruit! It has a short, thick stem with long, waxy, needle-tipped leaves.

one serving pineapple

Pineapples originated in South America, in what is now Brazil and Paraguay, and was enjoyed as a sweet staple long before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas. The pineapple was highly sought and traded by Europeans and in Colonial America. It came to be recognized as a symbol of hospitality in well-to-do homes as hosts would spare no expense to ensure their guests' pleasure. How's that for a history lesson? (via Dole Plantation)

A digestive enzyme called bromelain is plentiful in pineapple. Bromelain works to break down proteins in food, making pineapple a popular ingredient in marinade or sauce to tenderize meat. Some suggest that bromelain may also have anti-inflammatory properties to help with arthritis and other ailments. (via World's Healthiest Foods)

A one-cup serving of pineapple contains about 85 calories and 16 grams of sugar. Definitely stick to a single serving of this sweet fruit! A serving will also provide 105 percent of your daily vitamin C and 75 percent of your daily manganese.

Hawaiian Pork and Pineapple Kabobs

We adore pineapple on the grill! If you're heating up for a summer barbecue, add these Hawaiian Pork and Pineapple Kabobs to your menu. For a sweet and savory appetizer, this quick and easy Pineapple Salsa is always a hit. And though it's not quite the same as sipping a piña colada on the beach, try our Skinny Piña Colada Cupcakes for a tropical treat straight from your own kitchen.