All Power to the Pineapple!
Pineapples are the second most popular American fruit; bananas are number one. Although it is believed that they originated in South America; pineapples were discovered on the island of Guadalupe by Columbus and brought to Europe in 1493. Portuguese and the Spanish explorers brought pineapples to Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific after realizing that they only flourished in tropical climates. Today, Hawaii is the only U.S state in which they are grown.
Pineapple is comprised of many fruitlets that fuse around the central core. The base of the fruit has high sugar content, which is why it tastes sweeter.
Looking at a pineapple makes you wonder why you like them so much; they’re so hard to get open, but when you do, that combination of sweet and tart is irresistible. But what are the actual nutritional benefits of this pine cone looking food? Here’s a pineapple hack.
Bromelain – a group of digestive enzymes extracted from the core of the pineapple has anti-inflammatory properties; easing the joint pain of arthritis. Bromelain supports digestive health and has been shown to suppress the proliferation of cancer cells.
Vitamin C – is the body’s primary antioxidant that attacks the free radicals that cause atherosclerosis, diabetes, and heart disease. Vitamin C also supports immune system function.
Manganese – supports healthy metabolism and antioxidant properties
Copper – is the third most prevalent mineral in the body, but is not produced by the body. Copper is needed to improve proper body growth, including its connective tissues, hair, and eyes. It prevents premature aging and raises energy levels. Copper is known to increase red blood cell formation and aids in wound healing.
Vitamin B1 – also known as Thiamine, is necessary for our body’s proper use of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. B1 boosts the immune system, eases diabetic pain, and prevents memory loss.
Vitamin B6 – is necessary for healthy brain development and function. It keeps the immune and nervous systems healthy. B6 has been shown to reduce the severity of morning sickness during pregnancy.
Folate – also known as B9, is needed to make white and red blood cells. Folate is essential to a healthy pregnancy and protects against neural defects in the fetus.
Fiber – promotes healthy digestion, regular bowel movement, and reduces gut inflammation.
A study involving children showed that those who ate pineapple had an increase in disease-fighting white blood cells; a significant boost to their immune systems.