If you skip out on this tropical fruit until summer’s hotter days, then you’re missing out. Pineapple is a fantastic food to boost your overall health. In fact, it’s one of the most overlooked whole, natural plant-based foods that people turn to for high-quality vitamins and minerals.
Pineapples are also one of the easiest fruits to pick at the store. Unlike cantaloupes (which can be a tough one!), pineapples are easy to smell and feel to see if you’re getting a good fruit. If they appear slightly soft to the touch, smell sweet and appear bright yellow at the base, you’re getting a ripe fruit, prime for enjoying. If they’re a little green towards the stem, then you’ll need to wait a few days before cutting into them. Pineapples are available all year round, which also makes them easy to enjoy anytime you like. They can be consumed raw as part of a healthy breakfast, in a smoothie, on top of a salad, or as a healthy snack. But pineapples do more than satisfy our taste buds. They also provide healing and anti-inflammatory benefits to body you’ll want to get in on.
Take a look at these perks of pineapple:
1. Bromelain for Digestion
Bromelain is a digestive enzyme that comes with multiple health benefits. First, it helps break down protein during the digestive process to increase the absorption and uptake of other nutrients. It also aids indigestion and heartburn within just minutes. You can eat just a cube or two anytime you have a stomachache, bloating, gas, constipation, or any other stomach woe related to poor digestion. (Keep a batch of frozen cubes in the fridge at all time for ease of use.) Bromelain also aids in breaking down all types of food in the stomach by helping improve stomach acid levels needed for healthy digestion. This enzyme even goes a step further to treat and prevent inflammation that has been linked to tumor growth and cancer.
2. Vitamin C for Aging and a Healthy Immune System
A cup of pineapple contains your entire day’s worth of vitamin C and then some, with 105 percent. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron easier, fights mental and physical stress, boosts your immune system health, and reduces inflammation. All fruits provide a high dose of vitamin C, with pineapple being one of the highest in every day fruits and veggies. Combine it with 1/2 an orange, some strawberries and a kiwi as a side for breakfast for even more vitamin C.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits to Ward off Painful Muscles
Pineapple is also known to reduce inflammation in the muscles especially after exercise. It can help the body heal and recover more quickly, all in just a small dose. One reason being that it helps enhance blood flow to benefit the muscles, and because its enzyme content directly assists with reducing inflammation. Enjoy it anytime of the day since its easily digested with most foods.
4. A Healthy Lymphatic System to Promote Healthy Blood Flow and Detoxification
You might remember learning that your lymphatic system is essential to good health. Not only does it improve your heart health, but also your digestive health and energy. Think of your lymph fluid as a “life force” within your body. You don’t want to eat foods that cause a standstill and stagnate the body (like dairy, eggs and meat); you want to choose foods that keep it flowing like a steady, energized stream to promote balance and wellness. Pineapple’s vitamin C, anti-inflammatory benefits, digestive benefits, and enzyme content directly improve lymph to promote natural, everyday detoxification.
5. Improves Blood Flow to Help You Breathe Easier
Pineapple has also been shown to have positive effects on blood flow and blood coagulation and improving cardiovascular system health which can help you breathe better. This can do everything from enhance your overall energy production by improving oxygen uptake and also enhance the longevity of your workouts. Have a little pineapple each day or a cup or two a week to get the most benefits.
If you’d like to grow your own pineapple at home, it’s actually not too hard. See how to do that here and then enjoy pineapple in some of these easy recipes…
Grown Up Antioxidant Slushie
No chemicals here, this slushie is packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants, fiber, enzymes and hydrating fruits of all kinds.
Raw Vegan Pineapple and Goji Berry Tart
Filled with high amounts of fiber, vitamin C, healthy fats and antioxidants, this tart is healthy way to enjoy your next dessert without refined sugars or artificial ingredients.
Tired of regular guacamole? Okay, us neither, but you can give your guac a sweet, tropical spin if you’re in need for a mental vacation to the tropics thanks to this recipe. The sweetness in the pineapple combined with the healthy, creamy fats in the avocado is an incredible combination! Try it out with chips, on a salad, or as a dip for raw veggies.
Lead Image Source: CIAT/Flickr