Going out for dinner? Forget the wine, and bring a pineapple instead. Nothing tastes better than freshly juiced pineapple. Look at its geometric-patterned skin and spikey green leaves. In the Colonial U. S., families used the pineapple as a centerpiece that became the symbol of welcome and hospitality. Today, pineapple is a symbol of good health and longevity, and a powerful aid for better digestion.
Pineapple is no ordinary fruit
In general, it is not a good idea to eat fruits with meat because they digest at different rates and this causes fermentation in the gut. However, fresh pineapple contains an enzyme known as bromelain. This enzyme is a fantastic digestive aid for the proteins of meat, and papaya is another fruit with similar actions. Paring pineapple or papaya with meats can turn a meal into a memorable event thanks to the ability of their enzymes to promote better digestion.
Pineapple contains significant amounts of:
- Vitamin B-6
- Pantothenic acid
It also contains antioxidants and polyphenols, such as beta-carotene. One cup of pineapple has 70 to 85 calories. It is rich in fiber and low in fat and cholesterol.
Health benefits of pineapple
Pineapple is recommended for anyone fighting off the viruses that cause colds as well as for fighting pain and inflammation. Research shows that bromelain (a protein-digesting enzyme derived from the stem, fruit, and juice of the pineapple plant) is effective in suppressing coughs, loosening mucus, and fighting inflammation!
Here are some more surprising health benefits you can get from eating pineapple:
- Improve fertility
- Quell inflammation
- Strengthen the cardiovascular system
- Keep kidney stones away
- Strengthen bones
- Keep gums healthy
- Lower risk of macular degeneration
- Help block intestinal parasites
You can even forget the chemical facial peel and use pineapple juice instead. Leave on the skin for two minutes then wash off.
How to choose a pineapple
Choose a fresh pineapple with a firm, plump body, without bruising or soft spots, and with green leaves at the crown. If the outer shell is green, this does not mean the pineapple is unripe. Pineapples should be picked very close to ripeness, and they can continue to ripen a day or two after they are brought home. When you can pull out the leaves easily, they are ready for eating.
Canned or packaged pineapple should be packed only in its own juice, not heavy sugar syrup. Whole or cut pineapple should be stored in the refrigerator for three to four days at most.
Tasty pineapple dishes for food lovers
Here are two great recipes that feature pineapple, but if you need even more inspiration on how to use pineapple in your weekly meal plans, check out the list below!
- Pineapple Grilled Chicken Tenders
- Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
- Grilled Pineapple
- Acorn Squash and Pineapple
- Pico De Gallo
- Pineapple Casserole
- Polynesian Chicken
- Pineapple Sorbet
- Pineapple Jam
- Pineapple Fudge
- Sweet and Sour Vegetables
- Hawaiian Pizza
- Pineapple Popsicles
- Pineapple Cheese Ball
- Tropical Fruit Salad
- Pineapple Marshmallow Salad
- Squid With Garlic and Pineapple
- Pork and Pineapples
- Honey Roasted Pineapple
The History of Pineapple
Ananas, the original name for pineapple came from the Tupi, native people of the Brazilian coast. It meant excellent fruit. Natives of southern Brazil and Paraguay spread the pineapple throughout South America. Eventually, it reached the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico. The Mayan and the Aztec people cultivated pineapples. In 1493, Columbus found pineapple on the leeward island of Guadeloupe.