Did you know that pineapples are America’s second favorite tropical fruit? It’s no surprise. The sweet and tart taste of this juicy fruit is a real treat! Not only that, but it has some major health benefits!
Because it’s full of water and fiber, pineapple would be considered a healthy choice for those reasons alone. But when you figure in all the vitamins and minerals, plus a unique enzyme called bromelain, pineapple becomes a knock-out.
Nutritious and Nutrient Dense
Just like many other fruits pineapple is extremely nutrient dense. That means it packs a lot of bang for your buck, so to speak. One serving of pineapple provides you with:
- 105% of your daily recommended intake (DRI) of vitamin C.
- 77% DRI of manganese.
- 20% DRI of copper.
- 11% DRI of B6.
- 11% DRI of B1
- 9% DRI of fiber.
These vitamins and minerals are not only essential for good health, they’re essential for the proper functioning of your body in general.
Vitamin C is great for healthy hair, skin, and nails because it’s a vital element of collagen production. It’s also commonly believed to be good for your immune system. So not only will you look great on the outside, you’ll feel fantastic on the inside too.
Pineapple is also full of manganese, which has a great impact on your health and can have many benefits. Manganese is known to help bone health, PMS syndrome, inflammation and sprains, blood sugar, and thyroid levels among other areas.
All these amazing benefits come from one cup.
Loaded with Antioxidants
Did you know that your body is constantly being bombarded and attacked? Every day our bodies have to fight these things called “free radicals.” Free radicals attack our cells and even affect our DNA. These free radicals can wreak havoc on our body and even cause cancer because of the way they mutate our DNA and damage our cells.
That’s where antioxidants come in. Antioxidants fight free radicals and help protect our cells, our DNA, and our health. We can get antioxidants from a wide variety of foods, including pineapple. The vitamins and minerals in the foods we eat act as antioxidants to help keep us healthy. Including high amounts of antioxidants in your diet can help reduce your risk of many diseases like cancer and arthritis.
Manganese plays a major role in antioxidant defenses, as does vitamin C. Pineapples are packed with both of these nutrients, helping to increase your defenses.
What Sets Pineapples Apart
While pineapples contain many of the same vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as other fruit, there’s one thing that pineapples have that kick things up a notch: bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme contained in pineapples that have long been used in natural medicine to treat inflammation and aid digestion.
And guess what? Pineapple is the only known food source of this health-boosting enzyme!
The bromelain in pineapple shows evidence of helping to treat indigestion and help reduce bloating. When you combine that with pineapple’s high water content and healthy dose of fiber, it becomes an obvious choice when you’re trying to reduce bloating and ease tummy trouble.
Eat More Pineapple
Pineapple is a sweet snack when eaten by itself, but you can also take things up a notch and add it to a recipe. Whether you go sweet or savory pineapple is a great way to up the nutrition factor of any dish.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Smoothie
1 Scoop Vanilla IdealShake
1 c Almond Milk
1/2 c Frozen Pineapple
1 tsp. Sugar-Free Butterscotch Pudding Powder
Fat-Free Reddi Whip
1 Maraschino Cherry
Add Ice, Blend Together and Enjoy!
Grilled Pineapple-Avocado Salsa (recipe via Cooking Light)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/3 c finely chopped red onion
1/4 c minced fresh cilantro
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 serrano chile, minced
1. Preheat grill to high heat.
2. Combine oil and honey, stirring well. Brush oil mixture over pineapple. Place pineapple on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove from grill; cool 5 minutes. Chop. Combine pineapple, onion, and next 6 ingredients (through serrano); toss gently.
3. Peel, seed, and dice avocado. Add avocado to the pineapple mixture, and toss gently.
Shrimp and Pineapple Tacos (recipe via RealSimple)
2 tbsp. olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1pound frozen peeled and deveined large shrimp, thawed
1/2 medium pineapple—peeled, cored, and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (about 4 cups)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
8 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
cut-up avocado, salsa verde, cilantro, and hot sauce, for serving
1. Soak 8 small wooden skewers in water for at least 10 minutes.
Heat broiler. Thread the shrimp and pineapple onto the skewers and place on a foil-lined large broiler proof baking sheet. Rub with 2 tbsp. of oil and season with the cumin, cayenne, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper.
2. Broil the skewers until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve with the tortillas, avocado, salsa verde, cilantro, and hot sauce.
Bringing It All Together
Pineapple might seem scary and spiny on the outside, but on the inside it’s a sweet, delicious fruit that is packed with nutrition. Not only does it contain awesome, free radical fighting antioxidants, it also contains bromelain, an enzyme that can help reduce inflammation and aid in digestion. Try incorporating pineapple into your diet for a tasty nutrient boost.
For more awesome smoothie recipes like this yummy Pineapple Upside Down Cake Smoothie, get our Smoothie Recipe Book. It has a ton of awesome smoothie inspiration to incorporate all sorts of nutritious fruits and veggies.