Pineapples are generally sweet and exceptionally juicy, streaming volumes of health benefits. It helps boost our immune system and reduce many lifestyle-related health problems. But what really makes up a fresh pineapple?
I emphasize the word ‘fresh’ because the nutrients you get from it are far more than what you get in canned pineapples. I also have to say that pineapples are “generally” sweet. Because if you’re not lucky enough in choosing the right one, a fresh pineapple can be tangy. Although, this doesn’t mean a tangy fruit is less healthy. Anyway, I’ll give you some tips on how to identify a ripe and sweet pineapple later on in this article.
Why is the pineapple called a superfood? Did you know that a cup of fresh pineapple gives you these much nutrients?
● Fat - 0 gram
● Cholesterol - 0 gram
● Protein - 1 gram
● Sodium - 2 milligrams
● Fiber - 2.3 grams
● Calories - 82
● Carbohydrates - 22 grams
Besides, fresh pineapples are a good source of essential vitamins and minerals. And in terms of Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), the same cup of fresh pineapple provides you with:
● Vitamin A - 2%
● Vitamin B6 - 9%
● Vitamin C - 131%
● Manganese - 76%
● Magnesium - 5%
● Folate - 7%
● Potassium - 5%
● Copper - 9%
● Pantothenic acid
● Beta-carotene and other antioxidants
The Vitamin C, fiber, and potassium content in the pineapple promotes heart health. And if your potassium intake is high, you’re less likely prone to stroke and kidney stones formation. You’re also protected against loss of muscle mass. Moreover, due to its fiber and water contents, pineapples promote digestion. It prevents constipation and keeps your digestive tract healthy.
But, just a word of caution, though. Pineapple contains a little bit more than 16 grams of sugar. This amount is about half the daily recommended allowance in one snack.
Pineapples are a good source of bromelain, too. Bromelain is an enzyme that serves as an inflammatory agent. It reduces bruising and swelling. It promotes healing of injuries. Bromelain is also used to cure hay fever symptoms, slow down blood clotting, and aids in the absorption of antibiotics. Likewise, it helps in the digestion of protein. This means that if you consume pineapple with other foods, bromelain works to digest the other foods.
Fast facts about the superfood pineapple
● Fresh pineapples are the only known source of bromelain.
● Pineapples stop ripening once picked. So, the fruits should be harvested only at their peak ripeness.
● When buying a pineapple, choose the one with a firm, plump body without bruises, soft spots, and darkened “eyes”. These factors are signs that the fruit is past its prime.
● To make sure you get a ripe pineapple, smell the butt. Yes, smell the bottom or stem end of the pineapple. If it’s fragrant, it must be ripe. If you don’t smell anything, that means the fruit must have been harvested prematurely. And don’t pick the one with a musty, tangy or fermented smell.
● Check the fruit’s skin. Look for the yellow, golden color. If the yellow color rises all the way up to the crown, the fruit must be sweet. But, if you see a yellow color on the bottom and green on the top, that indicates an inconsistency in sweetness. That means some parts of the pineapple is sweet, and the other parts tangy.
● Store whole pineapples at room temperature for one or two days before serving. This makes the fruit softer and juicier. If you don’t intend on consuming it within those days, wrap it in a plastic bag and keep in the refrigerator. This will extend the fruit’s freshness up to five days.
● Cut pineapples must be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. This keeps the fruit fresh and retains its taste and juiciness. Don’t freeze cut pineapples.
There you have it! A cup of fresh pineapple a day might be all you need to stay healthy. Remember, the most expensive bed is a hospital bed. And you don’t want to lie down on it, do you? So, it’s better to keep ailment at bay now with this superfood.