“Be like a pineapple. Stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside.”Katherine Gaskin
I’m on a summer fruit kick. It’s so hot outside, all I want to eat is fruit. Pineapple is one of my favorite fruits. I know several super healthy people who swear by eating a few slices of fresh pineapple every day. Actually I thought up until researching this healthy blog post that pineapples were from Hawaii. Pineapples immediately make me think of the Hawaiin islands, but they are native to South America. Pineapples come originally from South America, probably from the region between South Brazil and Paraguay. From there, they spread all over the South American continent, to the West Indies and eventually Hawaii.
Why does your mouth hurt after eating pineapple?
Pineapples contain an enzyme called “bromelain”. This enzyme breaks down proteins in your mouth. So when you eat a pineapple, it is eating you back. The bromelain breaks down proteins and essentially attacks your tongue, cheeks, and lips.
How do you stop your tongue from hurting after eating pineapple?
A quick gargle of salt water is an easy way to stop the burn if you eat too much pineapple.
Pineapples aren’t single fruits, they are actually a group of berries, my mind was blown too. Pineapples were very helpful for early sailors in preventing scurvy because of their high vitamin c content. Pineapples in fact have many health benefits.
The Health Benefits of Pineapples
- Pineapples are low in calories but have an amazing nutrient profile. They satisfy a sweet tooth while boosting your nutritional intake for the day, all while being low in calories. They are especially rich in vitamin C and manganese.
- Pineapples are a good source of many antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
- Pineapples contain bromelain, a group of enzymes that breaks down proteins. This may aid digestion. Pro-tip: Try it as a meat tenderizer. These enzymes will help make the most tender fajitas.
- Pineapples have anti-inflammatory properties. When you pair these properties with over 100% of your daily vitamin C needs, you get an immune system boost.
- The anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain in pineapple may provide some relief for people with common types of arthritis.
- Pineapple’s bromelain anti-inflammatory properties may also aid recovery after strenuous exercise by reducing tissue inflammation making it an excellent post workout snack.
How do you pick a good pineapple?
Squeeze it. A ripe pineapple should have a firm shell but be slightly soft with a bit of give when you squeeze it. Pineapples that are completely solid or hard when squeezed are unlikely to be fully ripe and may need some time on your countertop.
Smell it. A ripe pineapple should give off that sweet wonderful pineapple smell.
Pineapples are delicious, found at every grocery store and easy to add to the diet. Try the recipe below for an amazing Pineapple Salsa! I like to make extras and put it on everything from sandwiches to tofu!
Pineapple Salsa Recipe:
Prep Time: 10 minutes
1 cup Pineapple (Diced)
1 Tomato (Chopped)
1 Red Bell Pepper (Chopped)
¼ Red Onion (Chopped)
10 Cilantro Sticks (Minced)
1 Serrano or Jalapeño Pepper (Sliced or Minced)
2 Limes (Lime Juice)
Salt to Taste
To serve: Tortilla Chips
Step 1: Wash and cut the pineapple, tomato, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, serrano pepper and limes.
Tip: Make sure to use gloves when cutting serrano or jalapeño peppers. If you want your recipe to be spicy, leave the seeds when cutting the peepers. To make your salsa milder, remove some or all the seeds before slicing or mincing the serrano/jalapeño peppers.
Step 2: Mix all your ingredients in a large bowl.
Step 3: Add lime juice and salt to taste.
Final Step: Serve and enjoy with tortilla chips!
One cup of fresh pineapple chunks contains approximately:
- 82 calories
- 0.2 grams (g) of fat
- 0 g of cholesterol
- 2 milligrams (mg) of sodium
- 21.65 g of total carbohydrate (including 16 grams of sugar and 2.3 grams of fiber)
- 0.89 g of protein
As a percentage of your daily requirements, the same amount of fresh pineapple chunks provides:
- 131 percent of vitamin C
- 2 percent of vitamin A
- 2 percent of calcium
- 3 percent of iron
Pineapple is also a source of important vitamins and minerals, including:
- vitamin B-6
- pantothenic acid
- beta-carotene and other antioxidants