Pineapple already has so much going for it. It’s delicious, of course, and inherently summery. A cooling treat on a hot day and a nice change of pace from apples and oranges.
But did you know that this healthy food also has impressive health benefits?
Here are the Top 5 reasons to add this healthy food to your diet, during the summer and all year round.
This healthy food is a source of potassium, a mineral that research associates with a drop in blood pressure, according to Medical News Today. One cup of fresh pineapple chunks has 131 percent of your recommended daily amount for vitamin C, which is good news because vitamin C is important for heart health, among its many other functions in the body. It’s also an antioxidant, and may play a role in cancer prevention by destroying damaging free radicals in the body.
Along with the anti-cancer benefit that antioxidant vitamin C provides, it could also mean a boost in fertility – diets rich in antioxidants have been shown to improve fertility, Medical News Today reports, and pineapple is certainly one of those foods. Antioxidants provide many health benefits, including busting the free radicals that can damage the reproductive system and other parts of the body. Other antioxidant nutrients found in this healthy food include beta-carotene, copper, zinc, and folate. The beta-carotene and bromelain in pineapple may be helpful during the luteal phase of conception, dietitian Elizabeth Ward told Parenting.
Two of pineapple’s health benefits are the fruit’s high amounts of both fiber and water, which are important for the regular bowel movements that keep your colon healthy. As well, the protein-digesting enzymes in bromelain are thought to help with digestion, food expert Joanna Blythman wrote in The Guardian.
Bromelain is an enzyme that is only found in pineapples – no other food contains it. The enzyme has also been shown to reduce bruising, swelling, pain, and healing time after surgery. That’s a pretty good reason to stock up on pineapple if you’ve got a scheduled visit under the knife coming up.
Here’s yet another benefit of all that vitamin C: Its antioxidant properties make pineapple a healthy food for your skin too, preventing damage by busting free radicals that could damage your complexion. Free radicals can result from sun and pollution, two things we’re more likely to encounter a lot of in the summer. Vitamin C is also important for collagen formation.
When you’re buying fresh pineapple, look for fruits with green leaves at the crown, no bruises or soft spots, and a firm and plump body. If you’re buying canned pineapple, look for fruit canned in water or its own juices instead of syrups, which add a lot of calories.
Frozen pineapple is a great way to enjoy the fruit out of season – it’s delicious in smoothies – and 100 percent pineapple juice is increasingly easy to find as well. With all those options, you can enjoy the impressive health benefits of this fruit year-round.