6 Reasons pineapples deserve a spot in your diet (recipe included)
09/07/2021 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
6 Reasons pineapples deserve a spot in your diet (recipe included)

Pineapple is a tropical fruit known for its spiny skin and refreshing sweetness. It can be eaten on its own or in a fruit salad or smoothie. It can even be added to savory salads and stir-fries.

But pineapple isn’t just a versatile ingredient. In ancient times, it was also used for medicinal purposes, such as for treating wounds and relieving indigestion. Today, experts know that the fruit contains essential nutrients and beneficial compounds that allow it to confer various health benefits, from better digestion to stronger bones.

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Here are a handful of pineapple’s science-backed health benefits.

  1. Protects against free radicals – Pineapples are rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, manganese, bromelain, phenolic acids and flavonoids. As antioxidants, these compounds help protect your cells from free radicals. At very high levels, these unstable molecules can damage your cells. They may also play a role in the development of chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
  2. Maintains strong bones – Pineapple’s high vitamin C content is also crucial for bone health. In fact, a recent review found that people who regularly ate foods rich in vitamin C had a lower risk of developing osteoporosis, a skeletal condition marked by weak and brittle bones. Pineapple also contains manganese, a mineral that’s important for developing strong bones.
  3. Maintains good vision – Vitamin C and other antioxidants in pineapple protect the eyes from damage caused by free radicals, which could lead to macular degeneration.
  4. Supports gut health – The bromelain in pineapple aids in digestion by breaking down proteins. It also helps reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract for those with inflammatory bowel disease. Plus, the insoluble fiber in pineapple adds bulk to stool and promotes bowel regularity. Combined, bromelain and fiber work to encourage optimal digestion.
  5. Lowers the risk of blood clots – Bromelain also helps reduce excessive coagulation of the blood. This has the effect of lowering your risk of unnecessary blood clots, which can be dangerous.
  6. Reduces mucus in the throat and nose – The bromelain in pineapple can also help reduce mucus in the throat and nose. So the next time you’re down with a cold, try eating pineapple chunks.

Take note that pineapple is often used as a meat tenderizer. This means eating too much pineapple could result in tenderness of the mouth, including the lips, tongue and cheeks. In the absence of an allergy, this should resolve itself within a few hours.

Extremely high amounts of bromelain as a result of eating too much pineapple can also cause rashes, vomiting, diarrhea and excessive menstrual bleeding. Therefore, only eat pineapples in moderation and as part of a healthy diet.

How to prepare and eat pineapples

With their spiny skin and spiky leaves, pineapples can appear intimidating to the uninitiated.

If you’d like to give pineapples a go, follow this method for prepping pineapples:

  1. Slice off the green spiky top.
  2. Carefully cut the skin off the sides as close to the edge of the pineapple as you can.
  3. Cutting close to the edge exposes a couple of brown dots called eyes. These should be removed since they are too prickly to eat.
  4. You can then slice the pineapple in rounds or make lengthwise cuts to make spears or chunks.

Pineapple rounds and chunks can be eaten on their own or tossed into salads. The chunks can also be crushed and added to cupcakes, cookies, yogurt and other desserts.

Recipe for grilled pineapple

This grilled pineapple is an easy side dish or dessert option that’s perfect for beating the summer heat.

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, plus more
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • Fresh raspberries and mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat. Grease the grill grates with some butter.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sugar, butter and cinnamon.
  3. Brush the sugar mixture over both sides of each pineapple slice.
  4. Place the slices on the grill in a single layer. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  5. Garnish with raspberries and mint if desired. Serve immediately.

Pineapple is a refreshing tropical fruit packed with essential nutrients and powerful compounds. Incorporate it into your daily diet to reap its many amazing health benefits.

Sources:

Spandidos-Publications.com

LiveScience.com

FrontiersIn.org

SimplyRecipes.com

DinnerAtTheZoo.com

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