Pineapples originate in Central and South America and are a member of the Bromeliaceae species. The name was coined in the 17th century when explorers found that the fruit looked like pine cones.
Pineapples have a sweet but tart taste, and the fruit is juicy and yellow when ripe. Pineapples can be easily added to your diet, cut into chunks and eater raw, or juiced or added to detox smoothies. You can crush the fruit and add it to cakes, ice creams, desserts, and yogurt.
These fruits are low in calories, but high in vitamins and fiber. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one cup of pineapple chunks (165 g) provides:
- 82 calories
- 2.3 g fiber (9% RDI)
- 79 g vitamin C (133% RDI)
- 30 g folate (7% RDI)
- 1 mg thiamin (9% RDI)
- 2 mg vitamin B6 (9% RDI)
- 5 mg manganese (77% RDI)
- 6 mg calcium (2% RDI)
- 20 mg magnesium (5% RDI)
- 181 mg potassium (5% RDI)
- 28 mg omega-3 fatty acids
- 0.89 g protein
- 16.25 g sugar
Pineapples also contain traces of iron, zinc, copper, phosphorus, B-group vitamins, vitamins A and K. There are 6 g of carbohydrates in 100 g pineapple.
They are also a rich source of bromelain, an enzyme which fights inflammation, treats muscle soreness, soothes pain, teats osteoarthritis, and improves digestive disorders. Bromelain is found in the fruit and stem of pineapples.
Here are the health benefits of this delicious fruit:
— Pineapples improve digestive health and bromelain treats various intestinal disorders and digestive issues like indigestion, fatty stool, excess gas, constipation, inflammation, and IBS
— The numerous beneficial compounds and antioxidants in pineapples treat chronic inflammation and oxidative stress and offer anticancer properties
— Pineapples relieve coughs and a sore throat, as well as other cold symptoms. To soothe a cough, mix it with fresh lemon juice, ginger, honey, and cayenne pepper, and drink the natural syrup 2-3 times daily.
— A glass of pineapple juice daily prevents the formation of kidney stones as it lowers uric acid levels and prevents gout
— Pineapples fight inflammation in the body and prevent the development of serious diseases
— The high vitamin C levels in pineapples boost the immune system and prevent viral and bacterial respiratory infections
— The numerous antioxidants in pineapples protect eyesight from macular degeneration, and they are also rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A, which improve eyesight
— Bromelain boosts blood circulation and improves cardiovascular health, strengthens the heart and prevents the formation of blood clots
— Pineapples are rich in antioxidants like phenolics, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid, that prevent free radical damage and premature aging
— The anti-inflammatory effect of pineapples alleviate the pain and discomfort of osteoarthritis, and bromelain relieves joint pain
When buying pineapples, make sure you choose the heavy ones, with dark green leaves, no soft spots, bruises, or wrinkled skin. To get the most antioxidants, choose fully ripened pineapple.
You can keep them at room temperature for a few days, and afterward, store them in the refrigerator. Frozen pineapples can be kept for up to 6 months, but their flavor will be greatly lost.
Here are some delicious pineapple recipes that will help you reap the benefits of this tasty fruit:
- 1 banana cut in half
- 1 1/2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
- 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
- 3/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- Fresh pineapple wedges and mint sprigs for garnish
In the blender, mix banana, pineapple juice, frozen pineapple, and vanilla Greek yogurt, blend until you get a homogeneous mixture, and garnish with pineapple wedges and mint sprigs
Coconut Pineapple Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups light coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup fresh or canned pineapple coarsely chopped
- cooking spray
- For the glaze:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons light coconut milk
- slices pineapple and shaved coconut for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and in a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of mixture.
In another bowl, mix the oil, eggs, and coconut milk, and add to the first mixture. Stir just until moist. Gently fold in pineapple and coconut flakes, and spoon the batter into muffin cups which have been previously lined with paper wrappers.
Bake the muffins at 400° for 18 minutes, and then remove them from the pan.
Leave them to cool on a wire rack. In a bowl, mix powdered sugar and coconut milk, and drizzle the glaze offer the muffins. Use coconut shavings and pineapple slices to garnish them. Enjoy!
Pineapple and Papaya Digestive Smoothie Recipe
- 2 slices pineapple
- 1/2 papaya, cubed
- 2 tablespoons plain bio yogurt
- 1 sprig of mint
- 1/2 lemon (optional)
Blend all the ingredients in the blender. You can add a little bit of water, and enjoy the detox smoothie after meals to help digestion.
Pineapple juice is rich in sugar and pineapples have a medium glycemic index, so consume them in moderate amounts only if are diabetic or pre-diabetic. Also, before you start taking bromelain supplements, make sure you consult with your physician first, as supplements can cause side effects or interact with medications.