Why You Should Include More Fresh Pineapple in Your Diet!
You might not realise just how many health benefits including fresh pineapple in your diet can give you.
We are going to share some of these with you here:
High in Vitamin C
If you can include the equivalent of one cup of pineapple, you will be gaining 131 percent of your daily value of Vitamin C, helping to support your immune system while preventing those cough, cold and flu symptoms.
Providing plenty of fiber
Those fruits that are high in fiber could help to lower risks of serious disease such as colorectal cancer, type 1 diabetes and more. Ensuring plenty of fiber in your diet helps to prevent constipation and the hemorrhoids that can result leading to a more healthy digestive tract.
Studies carried out by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, have found that eating foods rich in antioxidants can help prevent infertility. Unfortunately, free radicals can damage the reproductive system. The antioxidants found in pineapple (including vitamin C, beta-carotene, copper and more) can improve both male and female fertility.
Helping with heart health
The benefits of pineapple can reduce the risk of heart disease, helping to establish good digestion and absorption with its high levels of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidant content. In addition, fruits that are high in potassium can also help lower high blood pressure while the presence of bromelain can fight blood clotting.
Helping with asthma symptoms
The beta-carotene in pineapples can help to lower the risk of respiratory inflammation and asthma with its detoxifying benefits.
The nutrients in pineapple can improve the mood while reducing depression and anxiety. Pineapples provide the source of the amino acid tryptophan, used by the body to help produce serotonin well known for supporting the neurological system, for additional energy and for the production of feel good hormones.
That same bromelain in pineapples can help with the symptoms of arthritis and joint pain as bromelain has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It can also help with any sporting injuries. Unfortunately, that all-important bromelain is mostly contained in the inedible stem of the pineapple so if you really need that component's health benefits, you may have to resort to a bromelain supplement.
Including pineapple regularly in your diet will help to break down proteins into peptides and amino acids, easing the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and acid reflux while generally aiding digestion.
More about this delicious fruit
Grown mainly in tropical areas, it is an important crop for the economy of several countries including Hawaii, Thailand and South Africa as well as areas in Southeast Asia and South America. The proper name is Ananas comosus. The fruit of the pineapple varies in size but some can weight as much as eight pounds - the fruit is actually made up of one hundred to two hundred separate fruitlets which are fused together.
The fruit combines a sweet and sour taste with a chewy texture - all that fiber! Pineapples are drought-tolerant, growing anything from five to eight feet tall.
Tips on choosing and using your pineapple
Although often available all year round, the peak time for pineapples is from March to July.
- When choosing your purchase, remember that the heavier the pineapple the better as it means it will be ripe. Another sign of being ripe is the appearance of dark green leaves.
- The smell of a pineapple is another indication of ripeness. It should be fragrant, not musty.
- Chop off the top and bottom of your pineapple before placing on a flat surface to slice off the rind before cutting into rings and removing the core.
- Pineapple can be stored in the refrigerator (after being cut up) for up to nine days.
- Use in fresh chunks as a snack, add to sweet and savory dishes, combine with ice cream for dessert, add to an Asian stir-fry or use with salads. Pineapple makes the perfect extra ingredient for a vitamin-rich smoothie.