“Hard on the outside and soft on the inside”, there is one only fruit in the world that describes this statement so perfectly-Pineapple. The looks of the fruit can be deceptive and easily disguise as cactus, but the juicy stem and flesh of the fruit is what makes it a delicacy fruit all across the globe.
The royal-looking fruit is not known for its fresh and delicious taste, but also for the myriad health benefits it possesses. From preventing cancers to improving digestion, healing skin ailments to strengthening the immune system, this fruit offers numerous health benefits that we have covered in this article. Read on to find out more.
If there is one fruit which makes the statement ‘hard on the outside and soft on the inside’ sound credible, it is pineapple. This fruit is not only a blend of golden-yellow juicy pulp with a very sweet tangy taste, but it is also accompanied with nutrients that rejuvenate and reenergise the body. The outer skin of the fruit features rough, tough, and scaly rind. Internally, its juicy flesh ranges from creamy white to yellow and has a mix of sweet and tart taste with a rich flavour. Each fruit weights 1 to 8 pounds and measures up to 12 inches in length.
The origin of the pineapple can be traced back to southern Brazil and Paraguay where they grow as wild varieties. The fruit was later spread by Native Indians to the Southern and Central America before the arrival of Columbus. Columbus took the fruit back to Spain and from there it spread all across the world on sailing ships.
Pineapple is generally grown in rocky soil and takes up very little water for growth. Ideally you can grow pineapples in your own backyard, just ensure that the there is ample sunlight. The pineapple plant is generally drought proof, however, if you need a better yield then try and keep the soil moist.
Talking about the health benefits of pineapple, many will be surprised to know that pineapple contains certain antioxidants that protect the human body from lung and oral cavity cancers. There are several other health benefits of pineapple including strengthening the immune system, improving digestion, and preventing heart-related diseases.
Talking about serving the fruit, there are several ways in which pineapple can be enjoyed:
- It can be eaten as it is, without any additions.
- It can be added to desserts and fruit salads.
- Pineapple can also be made into jams and ice creams.
- It can also be blended with other fruits to make an awesome mocktail or fruit punch.
Interested in know more about health benefits of pineapple? Read the entire article and the links below:
Pineapple season lasts from March until June when fresh fruits available in the markets at their best.
Storage: Pineapples are highly perishable foods and thus, must be consumed quickly.
However, proper storage of this fruit can extend its shelf life for a few more days. A fresh and uncut pineapple may ripen faster when kept at room temperature.
Now, if a pineapple is already cut then it will not ripen further, instead the fruit will lose out on its juices and nutrients. Therefore, it is recommended that you place the pieces of pineapple in airtight containers and refrigerate. This will last for 2-3 days more.
Cleaning & Cutting: Pineapple can be cut and peeled in many ways. Usually, the crown and the base of the fruit are chopped off with a knife. To peel the fruit, place its base side down and carefully slice off the skin, carving out any remaining “eyes” with the tip of your knife. Once the rind is removed, cut the fruit into desirable chunks.
A video of how to buy and cut pineapples
You can use some of the products listed below to cut and peel a pineapple.
How to Buy: It may seem a little difficult to select a perfect pineapple due to its rough exterior. But, the colour of the fruit must be golden yellow. Greater the colour, fresher and sweeter is the flesh. A green pineapple indicates an unripe one.
The leaves attached at the head of the pineapple should be green and not brown or wilted. Make sure that these appendages don’t fall off on touch, as this shows maturity and old age of the fruit.
The pineapple should be firm to touch and without any cracks, molds, soft spots or other signs of discolouration on its surface.
Special Tip: Take a whiff of the pineapple before you purchase it. A sweet and fruity scent means it is ripe and fresh. Very little scent means it is not fully ripe yet and a fermented aroma shows that it is way past its life.
Pineapple fruit contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain that digests food by breaking down protein. Bromelain also has anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting and anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that consumption of pineapple regularly helps fight against arthritis, indigestion and worm infestation.
Mineral Content: Pineapples are rich source of many minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, selenium and manganese.
Vitamin & Compounds: Pineapples are rich source of vitamin-C, vitamin-A and B-complex group of vitamins like folates, thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin.
Water Content: Pineapples are 87 percent water by weight.
Carbohydrate Content: Pineapples provide 50 calories per 100 g.
Pineapples are loaded with vitamin A and C, fiber, potassium, phosphorous and calcium. They offer a wide range of health benefits, some of them are explained below:
Cancer prevention: Pineapple contains a small amount Vitamin A and beta-carotene levels. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required maintaining healthy mucusa, skin and is essential for vision. Studies suggest that consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps the human body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Strengthens the Immune System: This fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is known to possess antioxidant properties thereby providing protection against free radicals and lowering the risk of atherosclerosis, diabetic heart diseases, asthma and cancer. Moreover, it strengthens the immune system and fights signs of infection.
Improves Digestion: Eating pineapple or drinking its juice not only reduces gastric troubles, bloating, constipation, nausea and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, but it also helps in getting rid of intestinal worms.
Healthy bones and gums: Manganese, an important trace mineral needed by the body to build bones and connective tissues, is found in pineapple in large quantities. Therefore, this fruit can be included in the regular diet as it positively affects the growth and strengthening of bones in young people and adults. The calcium present in pineapple further adds to the formation of healthy gums.
Cures throat and respiratory infections: Nutrients in pineapple can suppress cough and provides relief from infections such as sinusitis and bronchitis, by breaking the mucus down in the nasal, sinus and respiratory areas.
Prevents heart problems: Consumption of pineapple is known to prevent heart problems by reducing the risk of blood clots in the body.
Treats Intestinal Worms: Pineapple contains the digestive enzyme bromelain. A diet rich in pineapple helps clear certain intestinal parasites such as tapeworms.
Great for healing acne: The presence of Vitamin C enables this fruit to be used, internally as well as externally, as a cure for acne and other inflammatory skin condition. Bromelain, the anti-inflammatory enzyme in this fruit, boosts up the healing power of Vitamin C.
Excessive Uterine bleeding during pregnancy: Pineapple fruit contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain that may cause excessive uterine bleeding if consumed in large quantities during pregnancy.
Bromelain Reactions: Bromelain is an enzyme found in the pineapple juice and stem. It has the ability to increase the amount of certain antibiotics absorbed by the body. And when it is consumed with blood-thinners, it can increase the risk of bleeding.
Drug Interactions: Pineapple might even interfere or interact with certain types of medications or drugs. This might lead to heightened side effects and other problems.
Tooth Damage: Though pineapple is a healthy and delicious fruit, it can cause desensitization of teeth or tooth decay.