What are the health benefits of pineapple?
Pineapple could help to defend your body from harmful free radicals as a result of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components, including its high vitamin C content. Pineapple also contains the enzyme bromelain which can not only act as a natural digestive enzyme, but also as a natural anti-histamine in the body.
In today's blog, I run through these benefits in more detail and give you more reason than one to be including more pineapple in your everyday diet.
1. It could help calm hayfever symptoms
Although we've not long entered spring, for some people troublesome hayfever symptoms have already started to crop up. Depending on which types of pollen you are most sensitive too, you could find you are affected at different times of the year.
Tree pollens tend to be highest nearer the start of the hayfever season (from as early as March), whereas grass pollen comes into its own at the height of the summer months (July-August time).
However, if like many you're keen not to have to take medications on an ongoing basis, could some dietary additions help to keep some of your bothersome symptoms under control instead?
Pineapple, for one, boasts some impressive natural anti-histamine properties as a result of its bromelain content. The enzyme bromelain from pineapple has been found in some preliminary research to display anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties, which could literally help desensitise your airways to allergens.1
2. It's a digestive aid
As a nutritionist, I'm a firm believer that health originates from the gut. Rather than just what we eat, how our digestion is functioning is a crucial predictor of our overall health. So, in many instances of ill-health or tricky conditions where nothing seems to help, paying a little attention to our digestive can be a sure place to start.
Whilst bitter herbs such as Centaurium are one of my favourite natural digestive aids, pineapple is a sure contender. See, bromelain also acts as a natural digestive enzyme complex, working in a similar way to your gastric acid or pancreatic enzymes to help break down components of your diet into its simplest units, particularly proteins.2
This could ultimately allow for more efficient digestion and, in theory, make it less likely that troublesome digestive symptoms such as indigestion are going to crop up.
4. It’s an all-round nutrient powerhouse
The beauty of eating wholefoods, much like using fresh herbal remedies, is that they often contain a whole complex of ingredients and phytonutrients which work beautifully in combination together, in order to offer us some unique benefits. On the nutrient front, pineapple certainly doesn't disappoint in this respect.
The vitamin C content of pineapple is arguably its most impressive feature. Just one portion of pineapple could see you get your vitamin C fix for the whole day, plus, it nearly ticks off the full range of B vitamins too.
Then, the mineral content you say? Equally as impressive in my book! Pineapple contains manganese, copper, potassium, magnesium and some iron too, with some smaller amounts of zinc and calcium making it a nice all-rounder.
5. It’s anti-inflammatory plus antioxidant
Many of the health benefits and components of pineapple which I've mentioned already make it obvious that this fruit is brimming with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, but we'll just tease them out one last time to be sure.
Bromelain is arguably the most obvious anti-inflammatory agent contained in pineapple but, as I mentioned above, it's likely that there are a number of other elements that work nicely in combination when we eat the whole fruit, which work away quietly in the background.
It's also encouraging that the whole fruit has been subject to research and been found to indeed exert some benefits, rather than just solely bromelain supplements.4
Next, onto antioxidants. Vitamin C is a hugely powerful antioxidant and, luckily for us, pineapple is bursting at the seams with it! See, antioxidants help to protect our cells from damage by free radicals which overtime can risk contributing to the process of aging and disease processes, such as those involved in degenerative structural conditions or even cancers.
6. It’s super versatile and so can be added to any meal
Pineapple is obviously sweet and can be a lovely tasty snack in its own right. However, if you're keen to include pineapple more often in your diet, you might fancy getting a little more experimental with it.
Pineapple can literally be incorporated into any meal. As a unique twist on breakfast, why not try a pineapple-based smoothie with some Molkosan Fruit? Alternatively, try my latest recipe baked spiced pineapple with cinnamon yoghurt. Click the video link below to watch - enjoy!
Molkosan® Fruit – A prebiotic for good gut bacteria
- Rich in L+ lactic acid - supports good gut bacteria
- Source of calcium, contributes to the normal function of digestive enzymes
- Daily tonic for digestive balance
- Lactose & gluten free
- Naturally sweetened with stevia and delicious aronia & pomegranate juices
However, pineapple can also work well in more savoury dishes as it can bring a lovely sweet contrast – some sweet and sour vibes! I like to include some pineapple in homemade, salsas, for example.
Chop up some fresh vine tomatoes, cucumber, spring onion, avocado, sliced chilli, fresh pineapple chunks and dress with some seasoning, extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lime juice and fresh herbs such as basil – utterly delicious!