Monday, November 1, 2010

Fruit of the Week: Pineapple


The word "Pineapple," is derived from the word pina, which was used to describe a pine cone by the Spanish.

Selecting
Select pineapples with a nice fragrant smell. If possible choose pineapples that have been jet shipped from Hawaii or Central America because they will be the freshest. Avoid those pineapples with sour or fermented odors. It is really ripe if you can easily pull one of the leaves out of the top.

Storing
Store at room temperature for 1 or 2 days before serving to allow the pineapple to become softer and sweeter. Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days or cut pineapple into chunks and store for up to 7 days. Cut up pineapple also freezes well.

Health Benefits:
- Loaded with Vitamins and Minerals: The obvious benefits of pineapple are all the vitamins and minerals the fruit is loaded with. Its nutrients include calcium, potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. In addition it is low in fat and cholesterol.

- Strengthens weak bones: One of the benefits of pineapple is that it helps to build healthy bones. Pineapples are rich in manganese, a trace mineral that is needed for your body to build bone and connective tissues. Just one cup of pineapple provides 73% of the daily recommended amount of manganese. The benefits of pineapple can effect the growth of bones in young people and the strengthening of bones in older people.

- Good for Gums: Your gums are very important to keep healthy. The gums hold the teeth in place and your teeth would be in bad condition if you have unhealthy gums. By eating pineapple, you are strengthening your gums to make it through the hard years later.

- Prevents Macular Degeneration: Pineapples contain a lot of beta-carotene that is good for the eyes and for your vision. Studies show that eating three or more helpings of pineapple a day may lower your chance of getting age-related macular degeneration, the main cause of vision loss in older folks.

- Helps Arthritis: Bromelain is also considered an effective anti-inflammatory. Regular ingestion of at least one half cup of fresh pineapple daily is purported to relieve painful joints common to osteoarthritis. It produces mild pain relief. In Germany, bromelain is approved as a post-injury medication because it is thought to reduce inflammation and swelling.

- Coughs and Colds: While many people often take extra vitamin C or drink extra orange juice when they have a cold, few consider eating pineapple. The benefits of pineapple when you have a cold or cough are the same as the benefits of orange juice, but there is an additional benefit of pineapple. Bromelain, which is found in pineapples, has been found to help suppress coughs and loosen mucus.

- Digestion: The bromelain found in pineapples aids in digestion. Eating one slice of pineapple after each meal will reduce gas, bloating, nausea, constipation and the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Fresh pineapple juice also aids in removing intestinal worms.

- Sinusitis and Bronchitis: Bromelain has been shown helpful for upper respiratory tract infections such as Sinusitis and Bronchitis. Bromelain helps to reducing nasal inflammation and break up the mucus in the nasal, sinus and respiratory area.

- Blood Clots: Pineapples can help reduce the risk of blood clots due to the bromelain present in the fruit and thereby preventsing heart problems.

Sources: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov, http://www.lifemojo.com

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