This tropical fruit has more health benefits than most people know. Apart from being a rich source of vitamin C, it also contains a substance called bromelain, which can ease swelling and inflammation, associated with rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, soft tissue injuries, inflammatory conditions in the colon, and even chronic pain.
In a recent lab study at the University of Connecticut, researchers found that promelain reduced the level of eosinophils, the main inflammatory cells associated with asthma by half. “Asthma is a very serious disease. It can be life threatening”, says Eric Secor, ND, a naturopathic physician at the University of Connecticut. Promelain may even speed up healing time and decrease pain and bruising after surgery.
Bone Builder You need calcium to prevent osteoporosis, the bone-thinning disease that primarily affects postmenopausal women. What you may not know is that your bones need the trace mineral manganese as well.. The body uses manganese to make collagen, a tough, fibrous protein that helps build connective tissues like bone, skin, and cartilage. Research has shown that people deficient in manganese develop bone problems similar to osteoporosis. One study found that women with osteoporosis had lower levels of manganese than women who didn't had the disease.
“Eating fresh pineapple or drinking pineapple juice is a good way to add manganese to your diet,” says Jeanne Freeland Graves, PhD, professor of nutrition at the University of Texas in Austin. A cup of fresh pineapple chunks or pineapple juice will give you more than 2 milligrams of manganese, witch is more than 100% of the Daily Value (DV).
Promoting Digestion Pineapple has a centuries-old reputation for relieving indigestion, and there may be good reasons for that. Bromelain in pineapple also helps digestion by breaking down protein. This could be important for some older people who have low levels of stomach acid, which is needed for protein digestion. If you are older and have frequent indigestion, adding a few pineapple slices to your dessert plate might help to keep your stomach calm.
Great Source of Vitamin C Vitamin C gets a lot of attention, and for good reason. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, that means it helps to combat free radicals, unstable oxygen molecules that damage cells and can cause cancer and heart disease. The body also uses vitamin C to make collagen, the "glue" that holds tissue and bone together.
And when you have a cold, the first thing you reach out for is probably vitamin C. It reduces levels of a chemical called histamine, which causes the cold symptoms like watery eyes and running noses.
While pineapples aren't as rich in vitamin C as oranges and grapefruits, they're still excellent sources. One cup of pineapple chunks, for example, contains about 24 milligrams of vitamin C, or 40% of the daily value (DV). Juice is even better. A glass of canned pineapple juice contains 60 milligrams, or 100% of the DV.
The next time you're at the store, try a new variety. The "Gold" pineapple from Costa Rica is exceptionally sweet, and it has more than four times the vitamin C content than found in other varieties.
Look for freshness To get the most out of pineapples, buy them fresh, when eating them to soothe an upset stomach. Fresh fruit is best because the intense heat used in canning destroys the bromelain.
Eat pineapple alone, otherwise the bromelain will be deactivated as it helps to digest protein in the other foods that you eat.
The leaves on pineapples should be crisp and deep green, without yellowed or browned tips. Contrary to popular wisdom, a leave that comes off easily doesn't indicate that the fruit is ripe.
Reveal the fruit When you get the pineapple home, cut off the top and bottom ends. Then place the pineapple in a shallow dish to catch the juices a you slice off the spiny skin vertically. You can then cut it into rounds and remove the tough center core. Enjoy your healthy snack!
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health benefits, vitamin C, osteoporosis, calcium, manganese, indigestion, antioxidant, bromelain, collagen,