Far from being just an exotic extra in your smoothie or a tropical twist in a fruit salad, pineapple is actually one of nature’s superfoods when it comes to health. This strange spiky fruit is actually not a single fruit. Rather, it consists of coalesced berries which form what we know as the pineapple. It’s also an excellent source of nutrition loaded with vitamins, minerals and proteins essential for optimum health.
Pineapples are unique in that they contain the enzyme bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties and can support healthy function and healing in the body.
Read on to find out how you can harness the power of pineapple to improve your health and expand your culinary horizons.
Pineapple for disease prevention
Pineapple is overflowing with vitamin C, an antioxidant that is essential for your immune system and is key in slowing the aging process and preventing the development of potentially cancerous cells. Pineapples contain considerably higher levels of vitamin C than oranges. Just one cup of pineapple pulp or flesh provides more than your recommended dietary allowance of this potent antioxidant.
Water-soluble vitamin C helps your body minimize the oxidative damage of free radicals, which can otherwise cause cellular decay and result in the development of cancerous cells in your body. Free radical damage has also been associated with a range of other conditions, including asthma, arthritis and heart disease, so getting your fill of vitamin C from your daily dose of pineapple can go a long way towards keeping you happy and healthy.
Pineapple for younger looking skin
Vitamin C, the same wondrous antioxidant that can be instrumental in keeping disease at bay, can help you maintain healthier, younger-looking skin. Vitamin C is an essential component of collagen production in your body, which helps to fortify your skin cells, keep them hydrated and generally keep your skin looking young and vibrant.
Pineapples just so happen to contain a bucketload of vitamin C, so you’re doing your skin a favor every time you eat some pineapple chunks or drink some pineapple juice. They’re also high in beta carotene, which has been found to counter a specific type of oxidative stress on the skin as a result of exposure to sunlight. For this reason, the beta carotene contained in pineapple can help prevent premature skin aging due to UV exposure.
Pineapple for cold and flu prevention
Okay, one more rant about how good vitamin C is, then I’m done. I promise. So, you know how pineapples are chock full of this wondrous antioxidant? Well, it turns out that this has positive implications for seasonal sickness as well.
Vitamin C, as many people know, is a vital component of a properly functioning immune system. Getting your daily C intake from a few chunks of delicious pineapple or half a glass of pineapple juice can help prevent you from getting colds or the flu in the first place or reduce their longevity and severity if you’ve already succumbed.
But it doesn’t stop there. The vitamin C in pineapple works in tandem with bromelain, that unique protein-eating enzyme we mentioned earlier. The high levels of bromelain in pineapples reduce inflammation of the nasal cavity and help break down mucus buildup in the respiratory system. This means that eating pineapple can not only boost your immune system but also frees up your airways and eases congestion in your nose.
Pineapple for unwinding and getting active
Pineapple contains high concentrations of magnesium, an essential mineral utilized by our metabolic system to create enzymes that fuel the production of energy in our bodies. Eating pineapple can therefore give you that energy boost you need at the start of the day or before a workout, without the health issues associated with toxic energy drinks or excessive caffeine intake.
If you’re down for something a little more chill, pineapple can help with that as well. The B vitamins it contains, including vitamins B1 (thiamine) and B6 (pyridoxine), support healthy brain function and allow your body to more efficiently deal with stress and associated hormonal imbalances.
Pineapple for efficient digestion
Often, our digestive system doesn’t function quite as well as it should. This results in undigested proteins hanging around in the stomach and intestines, creating all sorts of trouble. The undigested proteins form harmful compounds which are then absorbed into our bloodstream, stimulating allergic responses and making us feel tired, weak, and prone to headaches.
Enter the pineapple. The bromelain contained in pineapples helps to break down these troublesome proteins loitering in your digestive tract, allowing your body to finish the job and deal with them appropriately. This is good news for your body, as it’s more likely to gain nutritional benefit from protein-heavy foods such as meat and poultry, and less likely to have any digestive issues. All hail the pineapple!
Now that you’re aware of all the wonderful benefits pineapple can provide for your health, click here to find out how pineapple can be utilized to treat specific diseases and conditions.