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Pineapple: Precious for Keeping Your Eyesight and Digestion

September 17, 2014       Health & Healing
For Eyesight Health and Good Digestion

Pineapples are very juicy and have that distinct tropical flavor that is sweet and tart which is why it is a favorite ingredient of smoothies and mixed drinks.  Pineapple left at room temperature will help it to become softer and more juicy as it ripens.  Wrap the fruit in a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator so it will keep for three to five days, if you don't plan to consume it immediately after ripening.  Cut up pineapple that is stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container stays fresher and retains more taste and juiciness.  Some prefer to freeze pineapple chunks but this dulls the taste as it retards ripening process. 

Get fresh pineapple, and wait for it to fully ripen to get
the best health benefits from antioxidants

Enjoy Your Pineapple Like a King!

In the days of yore, before cold storage technology was available, fresh pineapples were rare and were coveted by early American colonists. Fresh pineapple itself was a rarity and expense because the fruit did not keep for long, transported from plantation in Caribbean to the dinner table.  Displaying the fruit as part of a dinner presentation was a mark of status at that time.  So enjoy your pineapple today like a king!  

You can mix diced pineapple with shrimp and other ingredients like a shrimp salad special and season with  a little olive oil.  Or you can make salsa with pineapple and chili peppers as a complement to fish like tuna and salmon.  Pineapple is amazing with fruit salads, especially with other tropical fruits such as papaya, kiwi and mango.

Fully Ripened Pineapple Is Best!

Research at the University of Innsbruck in Austria reveal that as pineapple fruits fully ripen, almost to the point of spoilage, their antioxidant levels actually increase.  They build up NCCs which are extremely powerful antioxidants, that deliver very potent antioxidant protection within our bodies. Bromelain is a complex mixture of substances that can be extracted from the stem and core fruit of the pineapple.  This substance is believed by food nutrition researchers to aid digestion in the intestinal tract.  Health problems such as excessive inflammation, excessive coagulation of the blood, and certain types of tumor growth may all be reduced by therapeutic doses of bromelain when taken as a dietary supplement.  Vitamin C is the body's primary defense against free radicals that attack and damage normal cells.  In addition, vitamin C is prevents the recurrence ear infections, colds, and flu.

Protection against Macular Degeneration

As an adult, fruit is even more important for keeping your sight. A study by the Archives of Ophthalmology indicate that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day lowers your risk of age-related macular degeneration by 36%.  Add fresh pineapple to your morning smoothie, or favorite salads.

How the World Got Pineapple

Pineapples were first discovered by Europeans in 1493 on the Caribbean island that came to be known as Guadalupe. When Columbus brought pineapples back to Europe, and farmers tried to cultivate the prized fruit but they soon found out that only a tropical climate produced the best fruits.  In the 18th century, pineapples began to be cultivated in Hawaii.  In addition to Hawaii, other countries that grow pineapples today include Thailand, the Philippines, China, Brazil and Mexico.

Pineapples used to be so difficult to bring to the West that having
one on the table was a marvel and status symbol, today you can
find pineapples at the local fruit stand, so count your blessings
and enjoy your fruits to stay healthy

How to Select and Store

Look for pineapples that are heavy for their size.  Pineapples should be free of soft spots, bruises and darkened "eyes," all of which may indicate over-ripening. Pineapple stops ripening as soon as it is picked.  Check fruits with  fragrant sweet smelling stem ends to get the best sweet pineapple.  Avoid pineapple that smells sour or fermented.


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