Below its spiky headdress and beneath its spiny skin, pineapple’s sweet flesh is packed with quick energy, essential vitamins, and anti-inflammatory nutrients. The only real downside that comes with pineapple is that you have to get past the spikes and spines, but it’s oh so worth it.
Besides their inherent sweetness, pineapples are loaded with a particular enzyme known as bromelain. This potent stuff is the primary reason why pineapples are helpful with reducing pain and swelling and even repairing bruises. In fact, recent research has indicated that bromelain has even more anti-inflammatory power than many over-the-counter painkillers such as Naproxen, Feldene, and Piroxicam. There’s even a study using boxers with bumps and bruises that shows that the fighters who took bromelain overwhelmingly had quicker recovery from their wounds over those who took a placebo.
Bromelain itself is available outside the US as an OTC drug, but you can always get it from our tropical fruit friend, albeit in smaller doses. Pineapple flesh contains a fair supply of bromelain, but there’s way more in the core. So be sure to include the core if you’re making juice. You’ll get the added benefit of extra fiber and vitamins as well. Be aware, you won’t get the same benefits from canned pineapple, however, as the heat used in the canning process destroys the bromelain enzyme.
And of course you surely know how healthful vitamin C is. You know already that C gives a boost to the body’s immune system, helps repair tissues, fights off infection, and promotes healing. All this and more, and pineapples are packed with C.
For all the flavor and fun of eating pineapple, the calorie and sugar content is not too bad. Still, you can gain a lingering boost of energy that so-called energy drinks would be envious of! The fructose carbohydrates get digested and into your bloodstream fast, while the fiber of the fruit also slows digestion of the carbs, providing you sustained fuel. Additionally, thiamin and manganese, which are present in pineapples, are essential in the production of energy.
Pineapples are very easy to digest for most people and, in fact, make for a great post-meal digestif, especially after eating a protein-rich food like red meat. And pineapples are very good for you if you suffer from any digestion issues stemming from inflammation. So when you’re dining out and your entree or your guest check comes with slices of pineapple, be sure to enjoy some to complete the meal and ensure easy digestion.
Once you’ve purchased a pineapple it’s already done ripening so be sure to pick a good one in the first place. Look for green leaves - brown leaves are a sure sign of an overripe fruit - and give it a good whiff to see whether it smells sweet and pleasant (good) or pungent and sour (not good). A ripe pineapple will also feel “heavy” and the bottom should have a little give to a squeeze (but not too much…)
Since the fruit will not continue to ripen when you get it home, if you’re not planning on slicing it right away, just stick the whole thing, wrapped in plastic, in your fridge. It should keep up to about 5 days, uncut, in the fridge. After you slice the fruit into chunks it’s only good for a couple days, although you can store the pieces in the freezer for as long as 4 or 5 months. Store the chunks or slices in an airtight container with some of the juice.
Pineapples aren't just superfruit, they're superfood. Truly, these tropical grenades are exploding with nutrition! Carefully grab yourself one and feed the machine!