Pineapple is one of those naturally sweet fruits that can be eaten in so many ways. Not only that, it is incredibly tasty and nutritious too. For Islanders, the pineapple is a symbol of welcome and hospitality.
This fruit is quite the popular fruit worldwide, pineapple is packed with nutrients, antioxidants and other helpful compounds such as enzymes that help to fight inflammation and disease.
Pineapple can be found fresh, frozen and canned. This makes it easy to eat year round, at least in the United States. Pineapple has 100% of the recommended daily requirements of Vitamin C, there is also a good amount of manganese, B6, Thiamine, Copper, folate, potassium, magnesium, iron and riboflavin.
What are the Health benefits of pineapple?
- Eating Pineapple may help if you want to lose weight as part of its health benefits. It is believed that the juice from a pineapple may help to decrease the fat formation. It may also help to break down the fat cells.
Pineapple does not have enough research to back up claims for weight loss, however, it is a nutrient packed fruit that tastes great. When eating fruit, it is possible to eat a few cups of fruit per day, the fruit helps you to stay full longer, thus eliminating snacking. Compared to other snacks of choice, pineapple is low in calories.
This means that eating pineapple will fill you up, satisfy that sweet tooth of yours, give you loads of nutrients and vitamins and minerals.
- Eating pineapple can help your digestive system work up to par. Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps reduce inflammation and swelling. Helps reduce the time for healing of cuts and burns. It is believed that bromelain also helps reduce chronic diarrhea in some patients. Throughout history, pineapple has been used as a medicinal aid for digestive upsets.
- Pineapples are loaded with flavonoids and phenolic acids. These antioxidants protect your system from ‘free radicals’. Free radicals are the molecules found after the digestive system breaks food down into molecules. Free Radicals are known to cause some chronic diseases.
- Throughout history, generations have not only used pineapple as a digestive aid, but also a pain reliever or analgesic. The anti-inflammatory qualities also help reduce swelling. This is considered definitive for sinus issues, or injuries such as sprains and minor burns.
- The antioxidants in pineapple are known to combat oxidative stress. This oxidative stress is when the body has too many of the free radicals. Studies show that the antioxidants in pineapple are called ‘bound’. This means that they will not break down quickly, they will last longer in your system to fight the free radicals. Bound antioxidants can live longer in the harsh conditions within the body, enabling longer fighting time.
- Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells believed to come from oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Studies so far have been promising, showing that bromelain is one enzyme that stimulates the immune system to produce white blood cells. The white blood cells are those that have been shown to fight cancer cell growth. Further studies are still needed.
- For those who suffer from inflammation in their joints, pineapple can help fight the pain from arthritis. Studies to this point have shown that rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and many other types of arthritis have been aided by the bromelain found in pineapple.
- Containing 78% of the daily recommended requirement of manganese, pineapple can help with strong bone health. Along with calcium, none is found in pineapple, manganese is beneficial to strong bones. Manganese can help improve bone density and overall bone health.
- Recovery time after surgery or a strenuous workout is shortened when the participant or patient is eating pineapple. A strenuous workout can create inflammation or strained muscles, the analgesic properties and bromelain help reduce these after effects. Some studies have shown that patients who have eaten pineapple before having dental work done, have far less pain and end up feeling better much quicker.
Pineapple is a very versatile fruit. It can be eaten for any meal, breakfast, lunch, dinner preferably not late at night, snack times. Pineapple can be eaten hot or cold, as a savory meal or a sweet dessert. Fresh pineapple may be somewhat intimidating to many people. Cutting a fresh pineapple is not difficult to do.
- First, you will cut off the top
- Lay it on it’s side and slice off the sides
- Make diagonal cuts to remove the eyes of the pineapple
Pineapple is very easy to incorporate into your daily diet, however, there are also some risks of too much of a good thing. Such as manganese. Which can cause loss of appetite, slower growth and possible issues with the reproductive system.
With all the positive benefits of eating pineapple, finding foods to incorporate it with should not be difficult for any one. I will include a recipe for each meal within this article, just to show how easy it could be.
Breakfast: Pineapple Strawberry Spinach Smoothie
1 cup chopped pineapple
1 cup chopped strawberry
¼ cup chopped spinach
¼ cup plain yogurt
- Add all ingredients to the blender and mix well
- Pour into a glass and drink up!
Lunch: Pineapple Chicken Salad
1 ½ cups chopped lettuce
1 cup Pineapple chunks
1 ½ cups shredded chicken
½ cup Monterey Jack Shredded cheese
¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Prepare all ingredients and place in the salad bowl
- Top with chopped walnuts and the shredded cheese
- Optional ingredients include blueberries, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, onions
- Add one tbsp your choice of dressing
Dinner: Sweet and Sour Chicken
1 pound chicken breast, boneless, skinless and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 red bell pepper
1 small onion, cut into chunks
1 can pineapple chunks
1 jar sweet and sour sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp all purpose flour
4 tbsp oil
- In a small bowl combine the flour and the cornstarch
- Heat oil in a skillet
- Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mix and carefully place in the hot skillet
- Cook chicken for 2 to 3 minutes on all sides.
- When chicken is almost done, add in the vegetables and the pineapple
- Cook until the vegetables soften somewhat. You can add in ¼ cup soy sauce and a little water to help cook the vegetables.
- Add in the jar of sweet and sour sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes. To heat through
Other ideas for meals would include glazed ham with pineapple slices and cherries, pineapple fruit salad, or even Hawaiian burgers. Again, pineapple is very versatile, the flavor of the pineapple will enhance other foods and their flavors.
A diet that is filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein not only gives the benefits of vitamins and minerals, but also helps in many ways. Many ways in which you would not expect. Pineapple’s properties include minerals that act like an analgesic, an anti-inflammatory, a healthy part of a good diet and even satisfies the sweet tooth that rears its ugly head every so often.
Many generations of people relied on pineapple and other whole foods to keep them healthy. They used pineapple for digestive issues, reduce swelling, reduce calorie intake, and pineapple has been shown to assist in fighting off the free radicals that can lead to many debilitating and chronic illnesses and diseases. Pineapple also has shown that white blood cells are improved and can more easily fight off free radicals.
A major risk of eating too much pineapple is that although it is a great meat tenderizer, it tends to wear away at the protein in meat. This is evident when a person eats pineapple, their tongue may begin to feel tingly. It is the effect of the pineapple on the tongue. The tongue is made up of a protein so it does react to the minerals in pineapple.
For the many people who love pineapple, recommended amounts should be adhered to. Eating too much can cause an overabundance of Vitamin C, also. This can lead to vomiting, nausea, heartburn and more. Just as too much bromelain can counteract with some medications, it can also cause swelling, hives and excessive menstrual bleeding.
As a warning, eating pineapple that is not fully ripened, or pineapple juice that is not fully ripened, can cause serious illness. Unripened pineapple is toxic to humans and should be avoided at all costs. A new bit of information even to me is that if you eat too much of the pineapple core, it can cause fiber balls to form in the digestive tract.
It is also not recommended to chew on the pineapple leaves or to suck on the sap within the leaf. The sap inside can lead to irritation of the lips, tongue, mouth and even dermatitis if the sap sits on the skin. This may also lead to diarrhea and vomiting.