When you think of a pineapple, what comes to mind? Piña coladas perhaps? Cue the song!) Or Hawaiian pizza? This juicy tropical fruit deserves more credit than just being the ingredient of a sweet vacation cocktail or a midnight snack.
Originating in Brazil and Paraguay, pineapples were first brought back to Europe in the fifteenth century by Christopher Columbus. Since then, this unique-looking fruit has been cultivated widely across tropical regions of the world, including Asia and Central America.
Did you know that the pineapple fruit actually starts out as multiple berries, each from an individual blossom, which then grow together to form one larger fruit?
Pineapples are packed with nutritional value, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamin, folate and beta-carotene, and minerals like potassium, copper, magnesium, calcium and manganese. They also contain soluble and insoluble fiber, and a special health-boosting enzyme called bromelain.
This potent mix of nutrients makes pineapple a powerful natural remedy. It is known to have beneficial properties for arthritis management, immune system health, anti aging, cancer prevention, digestion, bone and eye health, and blood pressure.
Getting a little more tropical has its benefits! Let’s explore some of these properties in more detail.
Pineapples for arthritis relief
The many anti-inflammatory compounds in pineapple are known to relieve pain in the muscles and joints of those with arthritis. The high vitamin C content also supports the formation of healthy collagen and connective tissues, which are vital to keep joints moving smoothly.
Immune system powered by pineapples
Pineapple is one of the best sources of vitamin C, containing 130 percent of the daily recommended intake in just one serving. What a delicious way to get your vitamins!
This particular vitamin is known to support the activity of the immune system, stimulating the production of white blood cells and protecting the body’s tissues from free radical damage.
Pineapple has also been connected with the reduction of phlegm and respiratory illness. Therefore, it just might be the perfect snack or dessert to hold off a cold or flu.
Pineapples keep you looking youthful naturally
As mentioned above, the high vitamin C content of pineapple supports the formation of collagen. Not only does this protein help build and maintain healthy joints, but it is also the primary building block of blood vessel walls, skin and organs! Keeping all of these tissues in tip-top shape keeps us looking fabulous with a healthy complexion and a clean body from the inside out.
Cancer prevention with pineapples
Studies have linked pineapple consumption with the prevention of a number of different cancers, including mouth, throat and breast. That’s because pineapple contains natural substances that help with cellular maintenance and damage reversal.
For example, the manganese content of pineapple acts as a building block for superoxide dismutase, which is an important free radical scavenging substance that is known to fight the cellular changes that lead to cancer.
Pineapples support digestive health
Eating pineapple leads to better digestion in two different ways. First of all, pineapple provides plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber, which help regulate elimination and clean out the bowels. It also contains the special enzyme bromelain, which is known to boost the body’s own digestive powers and help break down food.
Bone and eye health with pineapple
With a high manganese content (more than 70 percent of the Daily Value in one serving), pineapple is a powerful ally for bone health. This mineral is one of the most important for strong, resilient bones.
Eyes also get a health boost from pineapple consumption. Sink your teeth into a juicy mouthful for a good dose of beta carotene, a nutrient which is strongly linked to eye health and the prevention of conditions such as macular degeneration.
Blood pressure improvements from pineapple
Although millions of people are subjected to dangerous blood pressure medication, nutritional solutions may be the best way to solve this problem naturally. For example, the potassium content of pineapples has been proven to ease tension in blood vessels and improve blood flow throughout the body.
With improved circulation, there is less chance of clots or plaque forming and developing into further problems such as heart disease.
Eating pineapple regularly may be an important step toward maintaining health naturally and not developing the chronic conditions that are all too common in today’s society.
Be sure to add this superfruit to your grocery cart and consume half a cup a few times weekly. Your body will thank you for it!
Liivi is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and is training to become a doula. She inspires women to find peace and personal power by taking control of health and fertility naturally. Liivi‘s passion is ancestral nutrition and primal lifestyle design. She and her partner Will live between Toronto, Canada and Queenstown, New Zealand.