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Although he may not have actually discovered America, according to Spanish historical records, Christopher Columbus discovered the pineapple. The enterprising European found them on his voyage to Guadalupe, although of course it had been growing in the West Indies for centuries. Pineapples were known to the Indians as na-na, a word meaning fragrance.

Pineapples are available all year long, but they are most abundant from April through July. Peak months are June and July.

Ripe pineapples possess a fresh, clean appearance and a distinctive dark orange-yellow color. They will also have an aromatic fragrance when ripe.

To test for ripeness, pull out the spikes. If they remove easily, the fruit is ripe. Soft spots or discolorations indicate bruised fruit.

Pineapples, like melons, do not have any starch reserves, so they do not become sweeter after they are picked. They must be harvested after they start ripening. The sweetest part of the pineapple is at the base.

Beneficial Effects

Pineapples are rich in Vitamin C, making it a wonderful maintainer of the body's immune system. The enzymes in pineapples, like bromelain, help in digestion, especially proteins. This will help in elimination diets.

Pineapple juice is an excellent addition to any marinade as the bromelain will tenderize the meat quite effectively)

Juicing Pineapples

Pineapple goes well with other fruit, particularly oranges and strawberries. When juicing pineapple, be sure to juice the rind as well. Simply remove the top of the fruit, and put the rest in the juicer.

Nutrition facts for Pineapples

231 calories, 2 grams fat, Carbohydrates: 59 grams, Fiber: 6 grams, Protein: 2 grams

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