The rough and spiky exterior conceals a deliciously sweet tropical fruit that is especially fascinating to children. We tend to think of the pineapple as typical to Hawaai but the pineapple industry was also very important to the local economy where I lived for many years in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Second only to the banana in the tropical fruit popularity stakes with Americans, the pineapple has many health benefits too making a bowl of fresh chunks of pineapple a great idea for a refreshing snack at any time of the day.
Best eaten on its own between meals, without other food, because pineapple is a great aid to digestion
- Fresh pineapple is full of bromelain which is a sulfur-containing, protein-digesting compound and the most important of the enzymes. Enzymes are effective in reducing swelling and inflammation while assisting in the treatment of such conditions as acute sinusitis, sore throats, arthritis and gout. Enzymes in pineapple are used for treating rheumatoid arthritis successfully while also speeding up the tissue repair associated with general surgery, diabetic ulcers and injuries.
- Pineapple also reduces blood clotting and aids in removing plaque from the arterial walls.
- Those suffering from angina can consume pineapple because it enhances blood circulation in narrowed arteries.
- Pineapple is a useful aid in building up healthy bones.
- A good source of vitamin C, pineapple makes a welcome change to citrus and other vitamin C-rich fruit while offering an excellent protection against free radicals. Vitamin C (which is your body's vital water soluble antioxidant) is invaluable for fighting and treating colds and flu, as well as atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, asthma attacks and even the risk of certain cancers. As pineapple is so rich in vitamin C, it means it is also good for oral health, helping to reduce periodontal disease and gingivitis.
- Pineapple provides a rich source of manganese plus vitamin B1 which are essential minerals and vitamins for energy production.
- We all worry about our eye health, especially as we age, and along with other fruit, pineapple has been shown to help protect against macular degeneration.
The nutritional values of pineapple present in every 100 grams
- Dietary fiber – 1.4 g
- Sugar – 9.5 g
- Vitamin E – 0.62 mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.111 mg
- Vitamin B5 – 0.205 mg
- Vitamin B3 – 0.495 mg
- Vitamin B2 – 0.031 mg
- Vitamin B1 – 0.079 mg
- Vitamin C – 37.2 mg
- Fat – 0.12 g
- Protein – 0.54 g
- Carbohydrates – 13.2 g
- Zinc – 0.11 mg
- Phosphorus – 10 mgIron – 0.29 mg
- Potassium – 110 mg
- Calcium – 13 mg
- Calories – 50
Next time you see pineapples in the fresh produce aisle of your local store, go ahead and buy one or two
- Pineapples should feel heavy for their size and should look, feel and smell clean with no bad or moldy marks on the outer surface. So give them the "feel in the hand" and "the sniffing test" before choosing.
- Remember that a pineapple stops ripening when picked so don't select any that look too immature.
- Pineapples can be stored at room temperature but don't wait too long before you enjoy their juicy sweet taste because they can spoil easily if left and forgotten.
- You can wrap in a plastic bag and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or if you have cut up your pineapple, you can store unused pieces in the fridge for a further day or two in an airtight container. Freezing pineapple will change its flavor.
You can cut and prepare your pineapple ready to eat by using a sharp knife and a cutting board
Turn the pineapple on its side and slice off the top and the bottom of the fruit. Then turn it back up so the top is facing the ceiling and slice down the side rough skin all the way round until you are left with a juicy cylinder of fruit. Turn it on its side again and cut into slices. If the core of each slice is hard rather than soft, use the sharp point of your knife to make little cuts around the edge of the core and push it out.
Your pineapple is now ready to eat. Enjoy!