Pineapple, the Golden Fruit
Pineapple, the golden fruit, is considered one of the most appealing tropical fruits in the world because of its sweet and refreshing taste.
Pineapple, Ananas comosus, is a first-class fruit due to its beneficial health properties. It is consumed fresh and natural and also processed into juices, ice cream, and slices. An excellent and very aromatic vinegar is made from the juice.
It emanates a pleasant and unmistakable sweet smell when it is ready to eat. Inside the fruit is yellow, very sweet, and juicy, with a great taste.
The plant comes from the American continent, specifically from the upper Paraná basin, that is, the border between Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, and its production is limited to tropical regions.
Currently, pineapple is the second tropical crop in volume, only surpassed by the banana. Its main producers are Brazil, Costa Rica, and China.
Pineapple is quite fleshy, refreshing and fragrant, whose pleasant taste ranges from sweet to sour, very much appreciated in gastronomy and with variable dimensions according to the characteristics of the particular variety.
The fruit must be harvested when it is ripe because once cut, the ripening process stops completely.
Its optimal conditions of conservation are between two and four weeks. The main harvest normally takes place from early summer to early autumn.
The fibrous flesh of the pineapple is yellow in color and has a distinctly tropical flavor. The area closest to the base of the fruit has a higher concentration of sugar and, as such, a sweeter taste and a more tender texture.
Nutritional Composition of Pineapple
Pineapple is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These include vitamins C, B1, B6, folic acid, and minerals such as potassium.
Another benefit of pineapple as food is that up to 85% is water. It contains hardly any fat and is very low in calories.
One cup provides 40% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C and 128% of manganese. It has only 2.3 grams of fiber and about 55 calories per 100 grams.
Manganese acts in the formation of connective tissue and bones and plays an important role in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, as well as facilitating the absorption of calcium and the regulation of blood sugar.
This mineral is important for the normal function of the brain and nervous system and has antioxidant properties. It is essential for the energy production of some enzymes.
It is also a rich source of vitamin B6, which is good for energy production and for the breakdown of sugars and starches in our digestive system.
Pineapple also provides iron, sulfur, and potassium, and promotes the activity of sex hormones. Is also a rich source of vitamin A and beta-carotene. It helps the immune system, eyesight, and protects against dangerous free radicals.
In pineapple, we find high levels of copper, which synthesize red blood cells.
It contains bromelain, a powerful enzyme capable of digesting approximately one thousand times its weight in protein. It is of great help in the process of digestion because it helps the stomach to perform its function.
Bromelain not only digests proteins, but it has also been proven that it has the power to digest fats, which can be useful in the treatment of obesity.
It also purifies the digestive tract and helps eliminate bacteria that cause an undesirable intestinal breakdown.
Bromelain dissolves any clots that may form and makes the blood more fluid. It helps control blood pressure, preventing circulatory problems such as thrombosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Bromelain produces an anti-inflammatory action and may be useful as part of the treatment of arthritis, decreasing pain, and restoring flexibility.
In addition, it inhibits the growth of tumors and, according to some studies, may even prevent cancer.
Another of the minerals in pineapple is potassium. It facilitates the elimination of liquids due to its diuretic effect, avoids edemas, and collaborates in the control of blood pressure. In addition, it purifies and detoxifies the body.
Pineapple is a fruit that promotes the absorption of iron.
It helps to lose weight because it is a food with negative calories: the body spends more calories in metabolizing it in relation to the calories provided.
It helps to reduce bad cholesterol and triglycerides due to its high content in fiber and antioxidants. It also prevents constipation.
Pineapple is very appreciated to flavor peculiar salty dishes, as well as serving to soften meats and ease their consumption, also in salads made with lettuce, rice, or corn.
Due to its high content of bromelain and fiber, it improves digestion and is one of the few fruits that can be introduced into any dish before or after cooking.
How Do You Know if a Pineapple is Ripe?
The color of the lines between the diamonds on the outer surface of the pineapple should be homogeneous and of a bright yellow tone, neither green nor brown; and the aroma should be pleasant of fresh pineapple, sweet but not sour, in which case the pineapple has passed the point of ripeness.
The outer leaves should be bright green, and if we try to pull one out of the center, it should be easily removed.
Also, check that there are no bruises or soft spots.
The pineapple should be stored in a cool and dry place, but not in the refrigerator, as it does not withstand low temperatures well.
They do not ripen after picking but can be made sweeter if left upside down overnight. The sugar accumulated at the bottom will circulate through the rest of the fruit.
Gold Fruit, Pineapple Recipes
Chicken Salad with Pineapple
1 boiled chicken
1 fresh pineapple
- Start by washing the lettuce, cutting it into small pieces according to the desired amount, and then doing the same with the pineapple and bananas.
- Then we peel the celery, chop it, place it in the salad bowl and add the lemon juice, a pinch of pepper, and a few mustard seeds.
- Let these ingredients macerate for about thirty minutes.
- When we have the chicken boiled, we debone it and cut the meat into small pieces.
- Now we add all the ingredients in the salad bowl: the chicken, the pineapple, the bananas, the celery.
All this will have a pleasant taste of lemon, mustard, and the variety of flavors of the fruits included.
A nice dessert for any diner.
Sweetener to taste
2 ripe bananas
1 cup meringue
- First, we split the pineapple in half and empty it. We reserve the juice and meat.
- Put the pineapple juice in a bowl and add the beaten yolks. Put it on a saucepan with water, add the cornstarch, and continue stirring until it forms a cream. Add the chopped pineapple meat and the bananas. Stuff the pineapple with this mixture.
- In another bowl, add the egg whites and the sweetener to beat them and make a meringue.
- Put this meringue on top of the pineapple. Sprinkle with a little sweetener and take it all to the grill in the oven for a few minutes to brown it, and the dessert will be ready to serve.
Pineapple Juice for Weight Loss Diets
It is very easy to prepare a shake that should be taken in the morning on an empty stomach.
2 slices of pineapple
1 teaspoon of vinegar
1 glass of water
Sweetener to taste
- Cut two slices of fresh pineapple and pass them through the mixer with the glass of water until you get a thick juice.
- Then, add to a glass the vinegar, the lemon juice, the beaten pineapple and mix well with a spoon.
This shake is special for burning fat and also for improving digestion.