Experts advise people to use pineapple to avoid heatstroke

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Experts advise people to use pineapple to avoid heatstroke

ISLAMABAD, JUN 02 (DNA) —Defeating an unemployment with a share will power and determination, Zakir Ali (45), a poor fruit-seller despite sizzling temperature in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa loads his handcart with mangoes and pineapples every morning at Chamkani fruit market where he earns upto Rs.5,000 per day.

As the sun rays bath his stones made house at Dheri Ishaq in Nowshera district, the motivated fruits seller starts his motorcycle and arrives Chamkani fruits market located near motorway at Peshawar city where he loads his handcart after purchasing mangoes, banana and pineapples through an open auction.

“After the death of my father Pashum Khan , I left my education incomplete in 1998  and adopted fruits selling business as profession. With the grace of Allah Almighty, today my children are reading in top private school, constructed own house and performed an umra with wife,” he said.

He said the demands of pineapple has been increased in local markets keeping in view of its unique quality of hydrating people for a longer hours that help fight heatstroke.

“Pineapple is very useful summer fruit as it carries about 86 percent water, and can help prevent people from heatstroke and dehydration if used in natural form,” said Professor Dr Aurangzeb Khan Wazir, head of the medical department, government hospital Pabbi, Nowshera.

Packed with vitamins B and C, he said the fruit carries magnesium, potassium, manganese and an anti-inflammatory enzyme which was also useful for people with kidney problems. Dr Fazal Bhari, Director General, Agriculture Research KP said that pineapple plant is valued universally for its edible fruit with very sweet taste and aromatic odour.

Advised people to make it part of their diet due to high water content, he said the plant thrives in tropical and sub-tropical climate mostly between March-August and can adapt itself to even moderate climates such as in the interior Sindh and southern districts of Khyber Pakthunkhwa and Punjab provinces.

He said pineapple is grown in a variety of soils that are fertile, have free drainage, and ample supply of water at fruiting stage. He said that stagnation of water is, however, harmful to the plant because it not tolerant of extremes of temperatures and frosts.

Dr Fazal said that pineapple can also be successfully grown in earthen pots especially in the populated cities such as Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi and Peshawar, where mostly land is not available for cultivation.

He said pineapple is propagated from its seed and rainy season gives better results to farmers to get maximum production. The agriculture guru said the plant produced from suckers fruit in 18 months and from the other methods, it takes about two years to fruit, adding vegetative propagation yields two crops in three years.

The fruit is not only delicious but also nutritive enough and that one cup of raw slices of pineapple (155 gms) give calories 77, protein 6, carbohydrates 14.2, fat 6, sodium I mg, potassium 175 mg, magnesium 21 mg, iron 5 mg, zinc 12 mg, Vitamin A 3.5 (RE), Vitamin C 23.9 mg, thiamine, 14, riboflavin, 05, calcium 11 mg, phosphorus 11 mg, fibre 1.8, and water 88pc.

He said it is also diuretic and removes stones from urinary tracts and that its slices are served at breakfasts, luncheons and dinners. In Indo-Pak sub-continent, the people also used it in rice that makes the dish sweet besides utilizes it in bakery products like cakes, confectionery, ice-creams, beverages and non-alcoholic products. Dr Fazal Bhari said that climate change has also adversely affected cultivation of pineapple in the country including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The effects of climate change on pineapples include irregular rainfall patterns, excessive heat, drying of streams, rising temperatures, change in colour and taste, reduction in fruit size and yield, and a decrease in income from pineapple production. He said Pakistan could earn maximum revenue through commercialization of the pineapple. — DNA