I could write posts on pineapples continuously. To me, it is a miraculous superfood undervalued by so many, while for me it is the next best thing to heaven. I can understand some people’s fears though – it isn’t very nice when your mouth hurts after a bowl of pineapple, but not all of them are the same, and if you know what to look like you can safely enjoy a pineapple without any discomfort at least half of the time.
Why are pineapples so great?
I have already mentioned pineapples’ anti-inflammatory properties in one of my previous posts (specifically, here: https://lanafit.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/three-foods-you-should-be-eating-post-workout-2/). But I will sum it up again and add some more.
First of all, due to high vitamin C content + vitamin A and beta-carotene as a bonus, it is an antioxidant. As I mentioned in that post (see the link), its anti-oxidising property makes it a particularly good food post-workout as it fights free radicals, which the produces during strenuous exercise.
Vitamin C makes it also a good food to boost your immune system and decrease susceptibility to viral diseases, and diseases in general. As a potent antioxidant and immune booster it also may help prevent cancer or increase the effectiveness of cancer treatment.
The protein in pineapple, called Bromelain, has strong anti-inflammatory actions. It is said to be 500 times more effective than cough syrups in treating the nasty symptom. And whether it is true or not, I personally do find it quite effective against cough and sore throat. During this winter every time I had a cold I ate a pineapple every day. The symptoms didn’t persist for more than a couple of days. Since it can reduce inflammation during upper respiratory infections, there’s also a chance it could reduce inflammation with other infections and diseases, so why not give it a try? At least you get the vitamins and minerals, even if it doesn’t cure the ailment.
Last, but not least, pineapple contains fibre, both soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre enters the blood stream and binds to cholesterol in the vessels to evacuate them, thus reducing the cholesterol levels in blood. Insoluble fibre creates bulk in the bowels and helps you stay regular. Plus the aforementioned bromelain acts as an enzyme and helps in digestion of proteins, breaking them down into amino acids.
Pineapple is an absolute must-have in every diet, except for those who have to restrict sugar or fruit intake due to medical reasons.
How to choose a pineapple?
Turns out, the colour of the pineapple means nothing. Some may be green yet sweet, others can be yellow and tasteless, worse – even acidic. And there is no way to ripen the pineapple once it’s been harvested. So when looking for pineapple, I personally pay attention to two things:
- See if the pineapples at your store are sold under a particular brand. I have seen a few different brands at our stores, and while some brands say nothing about the taste of the pineapple, other say things like ‘sweet’, ‘juicy’, etc. I noticed that if there is a word ‘sweet’ present on the tag, it usually is sweeter than other pineapples.
- The second and the most important thing I pay attention to is the smell. Yes, I smell every pineapple I pick up (usually I try a few of the nicest ones in colour) and choose which one has the sweetest freshest smell. It must be aromatic. If it’s not, it usually isn’t ripe. Or if you can smell mould and worse you see some at the base, it is gone bad or on the verge of going. Also, if the pineapple is cold, it won’t have any smell. It has to be kept at a room temperature to have the smell.
So these are the two principles I use when choosing a pineapple. They don’t guarantee you the sweetest, juiciest and not at all acidic fruit, but more often than not I am able to enjoy the fruit I picked. And no secret, pineapple is my most favourite fruit ever (peaches, too). One more tip that I can give is to really look around the different stores. I have some stores that are on my no-no list (Lidl is one – too many sour and acidic pineapples), others are my top priority (Supervalu).
That’s it for today. Now go pick yourself a nice pineapple and enjoy the boost it gives you! 😉