Did you know? The pineapple plant is not a single fruit, but a group of berries that fuse together as they ripen. The technical term for this is a “collective fruit.” Some other collective fruits are the fig, mulberry, and jackfruit. Pineapple is an exotic, tropical plant, grown in Hawaii, the Latin Americas, Caribbean Islands, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. It’s the second most cultivated exotic fruit on the planet after bananas.
This sweet, juicy summer fruit is more than just delicious. Pineapple is chock full of healing benefits. From a western perspective, pineapple is low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals—including more than a daily dose of Vitamin C per serving. It is also thought to aid in tissue growth and repair. Pineapple is highly revered from an eastern perspective as well. In this viewpoint, taste, color, length of time to harvest, and time of year the peak harvest occurs are important to understanding the Qi-value of given foods. For example, an apple, which has weathered all seasons before maturing has more healing benefit than lettuce which grows in just a few weeks.
Pineapple can take 24 months or more to grow, acquiring, at the least, two years of energy for healing in just one fruit. Pineapple is harvested almost year-round, with April through September as its peak season for sweetness. Enjoy pineapple during this timeframe to reduce summer heat and support Heart health. As its taste and color is sweet and yellow, pineapple also supports Stomach and Spleen function, while aiding digestion and supporting immune health. In TCM, the Stomach is recognized as the first line of defense. It’s in charge of breaking down food so its partner, the Spleen, can deliver the nutritive essence of the food to the Lung. The Lung then distributes this essence to the other organ systems throughout the body.
Of course, pineapple can be freshly sliced and enjoyed as-is. It can also be prepared in a multitude of ways. Grill it to bring out its natural sugars. Roast it atop snapper to infuse moisture and sweetness into the fish. Blend it with watermelon and strawberries (Hold the ice!) for a cooling smoothie. Think creatively! How can you use pineapple to energetically support your body?
Here are a few delicious recipes to try this weekend:
Combine pineapple with other summer fruits to create a wow factor! Pineapple Peach Salad
Or whip up this Pineapple Mango Salsa to enjoy over baked fish.