Healthy Foods: Pineapple

Healthy Foods

Beyond the typical benefits common to fresh fruits high in antioxidants, pineapple has an additional enzyme, bromelain, that is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Bromelain contains a group of protein-digesting enzymes that are excellent for the intestinal tract and aid with digestion. The anti-inflammatory benefits make it highly effective in healing sports-related injuries, sprains and bruises as well as reducing arthritis symptoms and post-operative swelling.

Pineapples are excellent sources of Vitamin C and manganese. Vitamin C keeps the immune system functioning properly and helps to prevent colds, flu and ear infections. The anti-inflammatory benefits in the bromelain also help to ease bronchitis, sore throat and sinusitis by loosening mucus and suppressing coughs. Vitamin C is good for preventing gingivitis and periodontal disease and also helps the body to metabolize fats and cholesterol, absorb iron, and synthesize amino acids and collagen. Collagen is crucial for healthy skin, cartilage and bones. Manganese also is necessary for your body to build bone and connective tissues.

Pineapples are also a good source for Vitamin A, calcium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, fiber and Vitamins B1 and B6 and are low in fat and cholesterol. They also help prevent macular degeneration in adults as well as memory loss and are thought of as a mood-lifter.

When not in the peak season for pineapples (March through July), it’s helpful to know that canned pineapples and pineapple juice provide virtually the same nutrients.