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Tuesday, July 24, 2012


The health benefits of pineapple include all the ones you'd expect from fresh fruit and vegetables and a few more. It's high in vitamin C and contains an abundance of minerals and other vitamins. Pineapple is good for your general health but also for specific health needs. The trace minerals in the pineapple, enzymes and photonutrients make it an important addition for people fighting colds, osteoporosis, digestion problems, arthritis, macular degeneration and dental problems.

Bromelain is one reason for the health benefits of pineapple. It comes from the stem and core of the fruit and has a variety of healthy components, among which is the enzyme, which digests protein, called cysteine proteinases. While this substance helps the digestive tract, other components of the bromelain also are beneficial for the body.

The bromelain in pineapple helps to block excessive coagulation of the blood, reduce inflammation and reduce the growth of some tumors if you take it in higher therapeutic doses. However, this doesn't mean you simply stop eating pineapple and take a pill. You'd miss all the other benefits the healthy fruit has to offer. By including it in your diet on a regular basis, you help prevent many of the problems faced as your body experiences the harsh assaults of daily living. There are no studies available on the effects of including pineapple in the diet on a regular basis, but common sense suggests that using this sweet and healthy food as a substitute for high sugar desserts or snacks reduces your caloric intake and provides additional nutrients and enzymes to your diet.

The health benefits of pineapple don't stop at the bromelain; there are abundant trace minerals in the pineapple also. Manganese is one of them. Manganese is important in helping enzymes work. These enzymes range from energy production triggers to using antioxidants to protect the cells of the body. The interior of the cells require energy to duplicate properly. Free radicals attack the interior mitochondria and disable the energy producing area. Manganese helps build the enzymes that block the free radicals.

The vitamins found in pineapple include B6, thiamin or vitamin B1 and vitamin C. The pineapple is also a healthy source of dietary fiber. Scientist found that fiber helps cleanse the system and lower blood cholesterol. Pineapple also contains copper.

A study that included 110,000 people focused on the development of macular degeneration and diet. Scientists found that a diet with high intake of fresh fruits reduced age related macular degeneration, ARMD, and it's more severe form neovascular ARMD. They found that even if the subjects increased the intake of vegetables, carotenoids and antioxidants, it didn't have the same effects.

Fresh pineapple is delicious to eat and locks its succulent flavor in an almost impervious package. Like the plastic wrap on many items, the exterior of the pineapple is difficult to remove. You don't need a machete however, to remove the sweet interior. A large sharp knife works quite well. Simply cut off the top and then peel the sides by cutting straight down. If you don't have a pineapple corer, slice the pineapple and either use a cookie cutter to remove the core or simply cut around it with a knife.

The healthy benefits of the pineapple are at their peak when the pineapple is ripe. To select the best pineapple off the shelf, smell it. While there are a number of methods, including tugging slightly at the leaves to see if they remove easily, the sweet strong pleasant smell of a pineapple tells you it's ready for the dinner table. If it has no odor, it needs to sit on the shelf for a while. An unpleasant odor means the fruit is past its use before date. If your sniffer isn't up to snuff, there's always someone in the produce section to help. It would be a shame to pass up the healthy benefits of pineapple in fear of selecting the wrong fruit.


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