Winter days are in full swing, and you might find yourself reminiscing about warm summer days. It might be colder and darker, but we can still include some delicious, tasty summer fruits in our diets! Pineapples are tropical fruits that we associate with summer due to their high water content and refreshing taste, which helps keep us hydrated in the heat. However, we can enjoy these fruits all year round. Melons are part of the berry family, with a high water content of 90%, making them a perfect hydrating snack.
Not only do pineapples and melons taste great, but they are also packed with nutritional benefits. These fruits are rich in vitamin C, essential for iron absorption, growth and development, and supporting our immune system. Maintaining immune health over the winter months is a crucial step in trying to avoid those nasty bugs and infections that come to life around this time every year.
Let’s take a deeper look at the benefits of pineapple. Pineapple contain a digestive enzyme known as bromelain, which is responsible for breaking down protein molecules and improving the digestion of meat. Have you ever seen pineapple on a gammon steak? The reason for this goes beyond flavour, as bromelain is used to tenderise meat.
Pineapple also contains high amounts of an essential trace mineral called manganese, a coenzyme involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins. Manganese also works with vitamin K to aid in blood clotting and wound healing. Pineapples contain antioxidants, particularly flavonoids and phenolic compounds. Antioxidants may help protect your body against free radicals and protect the body from heart disease and certain cancers.
Melons are a type of berry in the Cucurbitaceae fruit family. There are many different variations of melons, for example, watermelons, cantaloupes, honeydew, casaba, and canary melons. Each melon has various health benefits. For example, watermelon contains an antioxidant called lycopene, linked to improving heart health and reducing the risk of certain cancers. Cantaloupe has all your daily vitamin A requirements; this helps maintain healthy eyes, skin, bones, and immune system.
Add these delicious fruits to smoothies and salads, have them by themselves, or pair them with savoury foods (dare we add to the ongoing debate on whether pineapple goes on pizza, but we firmly believe it does!). Opinions aside, here are some ways you can include these fruits in your diet:
- Roasted pineapple sprinkled with cinnamon
- Cheese and pineapple canapes
- Pineapple bites wrapped in bacon
- Melon wrapped in prosciutto
- Melon balls served with lime
- Greek-style watermelon salad
- Melon Granita