An Ode to the Pineapple: The Health Benefits of Pineapple
Posted Jul 08 2013 3:58am
Aloha from Hawaii!
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you probably guessed that I’m vacationing in Hawaii. Tuesday Tips will be back next week, but in the meantime, I was inspired by my visit from the Dole Plantation here in Hawaii and my own love of pineapple to share the many health benefits that pineapple offers as a natural anti-inflammatory and digestive aid. I enjoy a little fresh pineapple almost daily or add frozen pineapple to my green smoothies or pina colada smoothie .
The pineapple was traditionally a welcome gift and as simple as a pineapple may seem, it’s actually made up of dozens of individual florets each symbolized by the scales on the fruit.
Once picked, a pineapple will not ripen more. Store it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh and choose a pineapple based on the smell and number of scales. If it smells fresh and has lots of scales, it will be sweet and juicy.
One cup of fresh pineapple has 75 percent of the daily recommended amount of manganese, a mineral important for strong bones. It’s also high in an enzyme called bromelain which breaks down protein during digestion. Eat some pineapple after a heavy meal to ease digestion or use it in a marinade to tenderize meats.
As an anti-inflammatory, it can reduce pain associated with arthritis and relieves post-operative swelling. If you have morning sickness or nausea, try some fresh pineapple juice. The Vitamin C in pineapple can also ease congestion from colds and coughs.
Volcanic ash gives Hawaiian soil it’s rich red color and also makes it high in iron which means Hawaiian-grown pineapple is iron-rich — a bonus!
Inspired to add more pineapple to your diet? Keep it simple. Try grilling some fresh pineapple rings for dessert or sprinkling fresh pineapple chunks with chopped mint, ground cinnamon or even cayenne for an unexpected but delicious treat.