Pineapples can be a challenge to cut, but it is definitely worth it! The fruit is a delicious, juicy, tropical treat and so…beneficial to health! It’s interesting that the pineapple got it’s name (in English) because it was similar looking to a pine cone and the inside had a firm interior pulp like an apple. Pineapples look pretty cool, who doesn’t like sipping a smoothie from a pineapple?
Pineapples Inflammation Fighters and more!
From ancient times the pineapple has been used for it’s anti-inflammatory benefits. The pineapple contains the enzyme, bromelain, which has medicinal properties and has been shown to help reduce inflammation.
Several inflammatory diseases have been shown to benefit from the high content of bromelain in pineapples. In particular, pineapples have been reported to help with osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, in addition to inflammatory bowel disease.
The anti-inflammatory properties of pineapples have also been shown to be helpful in reducing swelling, bruising, and pain in musculoskeletal injuries. In addition, the bromelain helps reduce inflammation associated with tendinitis, sprains, strains, and other minor muscle injuries.
One study showed that adults with mild knee pain, experienced reduced pain and improved well being (Walker et. al, 2002).
Bromelain was approved by the German Commission E (which is the German version of the FDA) to treat swelling and inflammation after surgery, particularly sinus surgery. Healing time and pain after surgery has been benefited through the use of bromelain. Studies have shown improvement for dental, nasal, and foot surgeries.
The nutrients and enzymes in pineapples not only help fight inflammation, but slows blood clotting, helps lessen hay fever symptoms, aides in digestion and some research even suggests it can aide in control of growth of tumors and malignant cells.
Pineapples Nutrition and Health Benefits
Pineapple is packed with fiber and is a great source of vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, folate, and copper.
Bromelain– Contains protein-digesting enzymes (cysteine protinases). Some healthcare practitioners have reported improved digestion for patients after adding pineapple to their meal plan.
Fiber– For digestive health
High in Vitamin C– Boosts immune system, great for fighting colds, also the bromelain helps reduce mucous in the throat.
High in Manganese– For development of strong bones and connective tissue – One cup of pineapple provides almost 75% of the recommended daily amount. The trace mineral manganese is important to enzymes for energy production and antioxidant defenses.
Thiamin– Vitamin B1, which is central for energy production.
Antioxidants in Pineapple
Pineapples contain a high amount of antioxidants which help support the immune system. The vitamin C, flavonoids, and vitamin A in pineapples aid in reducing the amount of free radicals in the body causing oxidative stress. Free radicals cause cell damage that can lead to chronic and degenerative diseases. The antioxidants in pineapples help protect the body from free radicals and boost the immune system.
How to Choose a Pineapple
Always choose a fresh pineapple for optimal nutrients. Find one that is heavy for its size without bruises or soft spots and fresh looking green leaves.
Only pick fresh pineapple as the bromelain is destroyed by heating and processing.
Once you cut the pineapple, it retains most nutrients for several days.
The color of the pineapple may differ depending on the variety, some are ripe when they are green and others turn gold when they’re ripe.
Grow Your Own Pineapple
You can grow your own pineapple by cutting off the top of a pineapple and let it dry out for about a week. Then root it in water by putting the crown in water and changing the water every day. In a week or so you will start seeing the roots. When the roots are long, the crown is ready to plant.