Apart from being a nutritious and delicious tropical fruit, Pineapples come with many health benefits. But landing on the perfect and ripe one in the market might be a challenge.
Many fruits, unlike pineapple, can simply be picked based on their color and appearance. Unfortunately, picking that juicy, fresh, and ripe pineapple goes beyond prejudgment. You need to be a little bit extra choosy when at the grocery. You will want to check for the smell of your fruit, its texture, weight. This article will explain how to pick a pineapple perfectly. It will also discuss some of the benefits of consuming pineapple on your health.
Tips for Picking the Perfect Pineapple
1. Pay Close Attention to the Color
No one would like to eat a fruit that is not ripe.Pineapple is one of the fruits that changes its color when fully ripe. When you hunt for pineapples in your local supermarket or grocery, focus on those with healthy leaves and more vibrant colors. These two are real indicators of freshness.A fully ripe pineapple will have a greenish-yellow color on the exterior. But unripe pineapple is generally green and slowly changes this color until it fully ripens.Nevertheless, green pineapple in some cases may be ripe, so you need to look at the exterior color.
2. Squeeze Your Fruit
It is always a common practice to squeeze fruits to determine their level of ripeness. Similarly, the texture of pineapple can be perfectly used to determine whether it is fully ripe.Unlike most fruits that form depressions and pits when ripe upon squeezing, a ripe pineapple’s shell is firm and a bit soft when squeezed. If the shell is solid, hard, or firm, then your fruit is not ripe.
3. Try to Sniff
In this step, you need not have a blocked nose due to that common cold. You have to be a good sniffer. If you want to enjoy a perfectly ripe pineapple fully, one of the best ways of landing into that is by sniffing it.Give it a sniff, especially at the bottom. A ripe pineapple will have a sweet smell in that particular area. If you smell and it ejects no scent, then your fruit might not have ripened. Conversely, an indicator of an overripe pineapple is a typical pungent or bitter odor.
4. Try to Weigh It
Weighing it does not necessarily mean that you need to walk with a weighing machine. For instance, weigh your fruit with your hand. This is another sure way of checking if the pineapple is fully ripe or not. You will need to check for a pineapple with a weight proportional to its size. This surely means that it is riper. A heavy pineapple indicates juicy and therefore is probably sweeter and palatable.
5. Give it Fronds a Pull.
Fronds are large leaves of pineapple that protrude just right at the top of the fruit. Giving a gentle tug at these leaves is another sure strategy of telling if the fruit hasripened or not. If the fronds are hard or firm on pulling, then the fruit is not fully ripe. A ripe pineapple has its fronds pulling out easily.
Health Benefits of Pineapple
Now that you have already picked your perfect pineapple, the only remaining thing is enjoying it in your way. Pineapple is an incredibly nutritious fruit loaded with lots of nutrients, powerful plant compounds, and antioxidants. These contents make pineapple boast many health benefits. Here are some of them;
1. Incredibly Nutritious
Pineapples contain very few calories but are loaded with nutrients. Based on the database on Self NutritionData, one cup or 165 g of pineapple contains the following nutrients: 82.5 calories, 1 g of proteins, 1.7 g of fat, 21.6 g of carbs, 2.3 g of fiber, 3% of the recommended daily value (RDV) of iron, 131% of the RDV of vitamin C, 9% of the RDV of thiamine and 4% of the RDV of pantothenic acid. Additionally, it contains other minerals and vitamins, such as riboflavin, niacin, manganese, copper, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, folate, vitamin A, K, and B6.
2. Contains Very Powerful Antioxidants
Apart from providing the said nutrients, pineapples are packed with powerful antioxidants that can help fight diseases. Antioxidants shield the body from tissue damage caused by oxidative stress. Flavonoids and phenolic acids are the main antioxidants found in pineapple. They reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with inflammation and compromised immunity.
3. Contains Enzymes that Can Improve Digestion
According to the study carried out by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, bromelain is a type of digestive enzyme contained in pineapples. They can specifically help break down amino acids, tiny peptides, and another building block the same way proteases could.This eases digestion by making these protein molecules be absorbed faster in the small intestines. For individuals with pancreatic insufficiency, bromelain can help complement the pancreas. Pancreatic insufficiency is characterized by no or very little production of the pancreatic enzyme.
4. Pineapple May Help Fight Cancer
Cancer is a debilitating disease associated with the uncontrolled growth of cells. Researchers strongly think that it is mainly caused by chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.Several studies have shown that pineapple contains powerful plant compounds and antioxidants that reduce cancer risk by preventing inflammation and oxidative stress.
Pineapple is a delicious and nutritious tropical fruit. Picking a perfect fruit at the grocery will demand that you do a few things. For instance, you should check its color, squeeze, give it a sniff, weigh, and try to pull the fronds. A ripe pineapple will have a sweet smell, heavy for its size, greenish-yellow color, softshell, and its fronds will easily pull out on tugging.