Healthy Ingredient Spotlight: Pineapple
Spring is almost here, can you feel it? In the theme of warmer days and lots of sunshine, our healthy ingredient spotlight is on pineapple, one of nature’s most perfect fruits. Pineapple, besides being delicious, is chock-full of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus. Additionally it is high in fiber, low in fat, and very low in cholesterol. So what does this mean for your heath? Keep reading.
Anti-Inflammatory & Digestive Helper
Bromelain found in the core of the pineapple is an enzyme that helps the body digest proteins to promote good digestive health. Additionally, bromelain may help certain inflammatory ailments.
All that Vitamin C found in pineapple is good news for your immune system, as it helps it to fight off the viruses that commonly cause colds. Already sick? The bromelain found in pineapples helps to naturally loosen phlegm and suppress coughs.
Helps your Eyes
The Vitamin A in pineapple, in the form of beta carotene, is good news for your eyes, particularly if you are starting to get older. As you age you are more at risk for macular degeneration, which is one of the top causes of vision loss for adults. Eating foods high in beta carotene, including pineapple, can lower this risk by up to 36 percent.
Good for Bones
Pineapple contains a decent amount of the trace mineral manganese, which is a vital component in building and maintaining healthy bones. One cup of pineapple contains 73 percent of your daily requirement of manganese – impressive! When buying pineapples, look for fruit that feel heavy for their size. Avoid fruit with soft spots or darkened ‘eyes’ as this may be an indication of spoiling. Let the pineapple ripen at room temperature as much as possible before eating – some studies indicate that this improves antioxidant levels. If the pineapple ripens before you are ready to eat it, you can store it in your fridge for an additional few days. Pineapples can be eaten raw or cooked, as part of a meal or on their own. Add this fruit to smoothies, cereal, stir-fries, or baking. You can also find or make dried pineapple as a healthy, on-the-go snack for the whole family. Just be sure to buy dried pineapple without any added sugar.