11 Health Benefits of Pineapple – The Healing Fruit
“Let thy food be thy medicine.” Hippocrates
The pineapple has long been viewed as more than just a sweet, delicious fruit. It is a sign of welcoming in many cultures, especially in the Caribbean, and is used in architectural motifs such as fretwork. Artists carve the distinctive pineapple shape into wood or paint pineapples on canvas for display in public buildings and in homes. Families often display a pineapple in a fruit bowl or on a table to welcome guests to their homes as a sign of hospitality.
In addition to serving as a sign and symbol of hospitality, the pineapple is also an important part of a healthy diet. Well respected health practitioner Dr. Joseph Mercola actually considers pineapple among the nine healthiest fruits. It is used for health and medicinal benefits, playing an important role in folk and alternative medicine remedies. Those who are not practitioners of alternative medicine can still enjoy the health benefits of pineapple by eating the fruit. Just a serving of pineapple each day provides a variety of vitamins and nutrients that may aid in the prevention and treatment of a variety of problems.
Pineapple is best known for 11 specific health benefits
1. Easing indigestion. Pineapples contains bromelain, which is a mixture of substances that include protein digesting enzymes. Many people supplement their diets with enzymes to help digestion, but eating pineapple has the same effect as supplements. The bromelain in pineapple is so effective at breaking down proteins some people use it as a meat tenderizer.
2. Reducing the pain and symptoms of arthritis. Pineapple is packed with powerful antioxidants, including vitamin C. Vitamin C is responsible for cleaning up free radicals, which are believed to play a role in the development of osteoarthritis.
3. Easing sinusitis and the symptoms of the common head cold. The vitamin C in pineapples also helps boost the body’s immune system, aiding in the battle against common viruses such as the head cold. The pineapple is packed with the entire range of vitamins and all sixteen minerals, which helps boosts the body’s immune system and helps fight off these common illnesses.
4. Ridding the body of intestinal worms. Pineapples contain anthelminic, which creates an unwelcoming environment for intestinal worms and other parasites, by loosening them from the intestinal walls.
5. Balancing hormone levels. The bromelain in pineapple balances hormone levels and eases menstruation problems and PMS. Pineapple also has high levels of tryptophan and serotonin, helping to boost mood, improve concentration, and reduce depression.
6. Acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. The bromelain enzyme in pineapple, primarily found in the core of the fruit, is packed with anti-inflammatory properties. It is helpful in treating gout (caused by the buildup of uric acid) because the minerals it contains help balance pH levels in the body thus creating a healthy alkaline environment.
The enzyme is also believed to be helpful in battling a variety of serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Combined with the free radical-fighting components of the vitamin C in the fruit, it serves as a powerful cancer-fighting food. Some people even take pineapple supplements to gain the most benefits, but including it in your diet offers many of the same benefits as supplements.
7. Keeping bones healthy and strong. Pineapples contain high levels of manganese, which helps bones stay strong. Manganese assists enzymes in producing compounds that contribute to bone formation and add to the structure of the bone matrix, so they are essential for maintaining strong, solid bones. Manganese supplements are not usually recommended because too much can be toxic. However, it is safe to eat pineapple and enjoy the benefits of its manganese safely.
8. Providing a relatively low exposure to pesticides. Pineapples have one of the lowest pesticide loads of any fruit or vegetable. According to the Guide to Pesticides, pineapples are among the dozen fruits that are least environmentally toxic and safest to eat.
9. Restoring skin’s vitality and health. Pineapple juice can be used in facial masks to restore, rejuvenate and smoothen the skin. The healthy components of pineapple such as vitamin C and bromelain are also helpful when used externally on the body.
10. Detoxifying the body. Pineapple is considered a “diet fruit” because the bromelain contained in it drains and purges the body of toxins and other impediments to losing excess weight.
11. Creating safer feed for animals. Pineapples are used in animal feed, providing a safer alternative than many of the genetically modified feeds on the market. The animals enjoy the nutritional benefits, passing on their good health to the people who eventually eat their meat.
The health benefits of pineapple go far beyond this list, but it would be impossible to list every single thing eating pineapple can accomplish. Pineapple and pineapple supplements are being studied for use in the battles against cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Its anti-inflammatory properties offer a wide range of benefits that might combine other foods and natural supplements to create powerful healing agents for the body. These nutrients can reverse damage caused by poor diet and lifestyle choices, and could eventually lead to a reduced need for lifelong medications.
Best of all pineapples tastes delicious. Many people find some health foods unpalatable, but this is rarely the case with pineapple. Its combination of mildly sweet and tart flavor blends to make it an ideal food for people of all ages. It can be eaten alone or in a fruit salad, or added to a variety of prepared dishes. It pairs well with Asian dishes and can brighten the flavor of chicken and fish. Including pineapple in your diet should be easy since it tastes great and is packed with healthy benefits.