8 Health Benefits of Eating Pineapple: Anti-Inflammation Food Guide
8 minute read
When you think of the tropics, there are a few things that always come to mind first: the smell of coconut oil, warm weather, white sandy beaches, and pineapple.
Even if it originated in South America, the pineapple is a delicious fruit enjoyed around the world. Underneath its prickly exterior, the yellow, juicy, and sweet fruit not only appeases your taste buds, but it provides several important health benefits too.
Nutritional and Digestive Benefits
Like pretty much all fruits, pineapples are good for you. Here’s why:
1. Low in calories and high in nutritional content
The assortment of vitamins and minerals found in a single cup of pineapple is astonishing. Along with several of the B vitamin family and vitamin C, you also get copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and a healthy dose of fiber.
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The most abundant nutrients are manganese and vitamin C, which is essential for proper growth and development as well as maintaining an efficient immune system. Manganese helps with growth, but plays a more important role in regulating metabolism and protection from oxidative damage and free radicals.
2. Give your digestive system a boost
A group of digestive enzymes known as bromelain can be found in pineapple, and these help to regulate and ease your digestive processes. Studies have found that supplements of bromelain help to sooth digestive troubles and ease digestion, specifically in cases of pancreatic insufficiency.
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The pancreas is responsible for producing the digestive enzymes you need, but sometimes, this can fail. Bromelain in pineapple acts as a protease and breaks proteins down into amino acids to absorb them more easily.
Pineapples are particularly well-suited to helping prevent diseases for a few different reasons:
3. Fight inflammation and free radicals
Pineapples have been used in traditional medicine for quite some time, mainly because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Reducing the presence of inflammatory markers and free radicals protects your body from conditions that lead to serious disease.
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In addition to this, pineapples contain compounds that boost your immune system naturally, allowing your body to fight disease and infection more efficiently, and to recover from any ailment quicker.
4. Reduce cancer risk
Compounds within pineapples possess the ability to control inflammation and remove free radicals. In doing so, the harmful environment that cancer cells and tumors prefer is not available.
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The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of pineapples are already known, but there is one additional cancer benefit that needs more research. The bromelain in pineapple is also believed to stimulate the production of white blood cells, which target and suppress the growth of cancer cells.
5. Improve joint health
Inflammation is linked to a host of diseases and health conditions. One of the most commonly seen across the country is arthritis. When chronic inflammation reaches your joints it causes swelling, pain, and the gradual destruction of cartilage.
With time, most movements become painful and your quality of life can become seriously impaired. It’s why joint health supplements and diets are so important. Bromelain’s ability to fight inflammation makes it a good resource for arthritis.
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Whether taken as a supplement or obtained through regular consumption of pineapples, bromelain reduces inflammation and relieves arthritis symptoms. While it has been shown to help with several types of arthritis in terms of managing pain, and easing movement in the short-term, research is still needed to determine if there are any long-term benefits for arthritis sufferers.
Protection and Health Support
Whether you are over the hill or exercising your way up one, pineapples offer great benefits for the present and future:
6. Prevent injuries and improve recovery
The boost to your immune system and the ability to control inflammation make pineapples a natural option for speeding up recovery from injury and exercise.
Whether you have an injury that requires surgery or you regularly exercise at intense intervals, the outcome is the same. Your tissues are inflamed, and pineapple is a natural anti-inflammatory resource.
Strenuous exercise and surgery both cause damage to muscles, and pineapple compounds help to relieve the associated inflammation, and allow for a speedier recovery. As a supplement or eaten as part of your regular diet, the important thing to remember is that bromelain from pineapples helps to care for and heal muscles.
7. A powerful antioxidant
Oxidative damage occurs as a result of your body’s metabolic processes. Molecules known as free radicals are produced and, if left unchecked, can damage cells and tissues.
Oxidative damage triggers inflammation and weakens your immune system, a combination that can lead to the development of serious diseases. Pineapple is a good provider of antioxidants, including phenolic acids and flavonoids, which combat these potentially harmful molecules.
The best part about the antioxidants in pineapple is that they have the ability to withstand harsh environments within your body. The longer-lasting antioxidants can provide the most protection.
Good With Every Meal
We tend to think of pineapple as only available for very particular foods, but that’s simply not the case. In fact, pineapple can be surprisingly versatile.
8. Convenience and affordability
Pineapples are so delicious and refreshing to eat that it is easy to add them to your diet. You can buy them fresh, canned, or in juice form, and they are affordable.
Supplemental bromelain may be more expensive, which is why adding pineapples to your daily regimen is a great and inexpensive way to ensure you get all the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in your system.
Despite being sweet, pineapples are versatile and can be included at every meal, and not just for dessert.
♦ Breakfast: Add pineapples to a smoothie or as a topping for your pancakes and waffles
♦ Snacks: Add to a salad along with your favorite berries, chicken, and walnuts
♦ Lunch: Create a sweet and spicy combination by adding pineapple to your pepperoni pizza, or add a slice to your burger
♦ Dinner: Sliced pineapples are great served atop or alongside a baked ham
♦ Dessert: Make a pineapple fruit salad or homemade pineapple sorbet
The Bottom Line
Pineapples are as nutritious as they are great tasting. Their versatility and sweetness make them perfect for adults and children alike, and they can be eaten any time of day.
Packed full of nutrition, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, there is more to these tropical fruits than an interesting shape and appearance. Apples may keep the doctors away, but pineapples helps keep the serious diseases at bay.