The first thought of the tropics is delicious sweet pineapples. They have been a popular global fruit since Christopher Columbus's return to Europe in 1493. Pineapples are actually native to Paraguay, Brazil and parts of the Caribbean, but are now cultivated in large quantities in Costa Rica, Brazil and the Philippines. Hawaii was the most significant grower until just recently as they have lessened their exports of the delicious fruit. The name evolved from the 17th century due to its similar appearance to pine cones and were traditionally known as "ananas".
Pineapples contain a relatively rare enzyme called bromelain which has serious anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling effects, making it great in reducing signs and symptoms of arthritis, inflamed muscles and tissues.
Being very high in Vitamin C other benefits include:
*Tissue and Cellular health by creating collagen which is the essential protein base of blood vessel walls, skin, organs and bones.
*Helps to heal wounds and injuries and defending against infections and illness.
*Being high in other antioxidants like Vitamin A, beta carotene and manganese it helps in cancer prevention directly related to the mouth, throat and breast.
*Pineapples are a rich source of fiber and are special in the way they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which vastly improves the digestion system.
*Cough and Colds reducer: bromelain is helps to reduce phlegm and mucus build up in the respiratory tracts and sinus cavities.
*Bone health: while it does not have a strong calcium content, it does have an impressive amount of manganese which is another mineral essential in strengthening, growth and repair of bones. A single serving of pineapple is more than 70% of our RDA!
*Oral Health: pineapples have astringent properties which strengthen gums and helps tighten up tissues so our teeth do not become loose.
*Eye Health: beta-carotene boosts eyes and helps to prevent macular degeneration.
*Blood pressure and circulation: High in potassium and copper which prevents blood clots and increases red blood cell formation.
Word of Caution:
Although the benefits are clear, bromelain is primarily used as a "meat tenderizer" which means it can result in softening or tenderness of your lips, tongue and gums if you eat too much.
June 27th is International Pineapple Day
Kris and I love making Chef Chloe's BBQ Tofu Pineapple Pizza
Have a great week.