Although we may think of them for cakes and in the occasional piña colada, pineapples are also a fast, easy, and healthy choice with lots of body-loving benefits. Read on to learn more.
Pineapple has been known for years to offer exciting nutritional benefits that may help improve many our quality of life.
Researchers have just begun to study pineapple nutrition, but the outlook so far suggests this common fruit delivers many healthy pluses to the average human body. Jim Dole moved to Hawaii around 1900 to found the pineapple industry that still bears his name today.
However, pineapples are mostly grown in Hawaii from one of several different types. The most common is the Smooth Cayenne pineapple that is found in most supermarkets, however, there are other kinds that can grow up to twenty pounds.
Below are several reasons you should be getting healthy with fresh or canned pineapple at the supermarket.
1. Pineapple overflows with Vitamin C.
According to Nutrition Facts.com, one cup of pineapple chunks contains 131 percent of the daily value of Vitamin C, which helps protect the body against viruses and builds strong skin defenses against infection.Instead of drinking orange juice or grapefruit juice, or restricting yourself to these common rich sources of Vitamin C, you can enjoy the juicy flavor of tropical pineapple to get your daily requirement of this important nutrient.
2. The health benefits of pineapple are numerous.
This tasty treat is low in sodium, cholesterol and saturated fat. However, it has generous amounts of Vitamin B6, thiamin, copper, manganese, and dietary fiber, along with trace amounts of other vitamins and minerals.The Nutrition Facts website assigns pineapple a “completeness score” of 49 for the amount and variety of nutritional elements it contains.
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It is naturally sweet and filling, which is the basis for its main negative quality—good taste that comes from the natural sugar it contains. Because it is eaten without the skin (unlike apples, grapes or peaches, for example), consumers don’t have to worry about exposure to contaminants like pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.
According to health.learninginfo.org, the pineapple is being studied by researchers for an important enzyme mixture called “bromelain.” The compounds appear to reduce inflammation and a certain degree of swelling in conditions like sinusitis, sore throat and arthritic flare-ups.It also contributes to fast recovery from surgical operations and wounds.
For maximum health benefits, the fruit should be eaten between meals rather than with food, because it also contributes to the digestive process.
The canned variety of pineapple may have less bromelain, however, due to heated processing procedures that destroy some of the natural enzymes.
3. There are few negative aspects of eating pineapple.
Although pineapple is 94 percent carbohydrate content and must be carefully balanced in a low-carb diet, this fruit contains no other negative aspects that should concern those restricted to special diets.
The remaining 6 percent consists of 2 percent fats and 4 percent proteins, which are fairly negligible amounts.
4. Pineapple is filling.
Nutrition Facts.com rates pineapple’s fullness factor at 3.3 (on a 5.0 scale). Those who are looking for a sweet snack can fill up on pineapple and consume relatively few calories compared to high-sugar or high-fat foods such as potato chips and bread. Dieters can keep a bowl of pineapple rings or chunks in the refrigerator for easy snacking between meals or to supplement a light meal. Its high-water content also helps make people feel full.
5. The cost is affordable.
Unlike expensive imports or seasonal fruits, pineapple is available year-round, generally fresh in the supermarket’s produce section, and almost always in the canned fruit aisle in small or medium-size containers. It can be found in jars, too.It is not unusual to find sale prices for this item, but on average, for about a dollar or two, shoppers can enjoy a ready-to-eat treat that can be prepared in seconds by removing the skin of fresh fruit or opening the canned or frozen variety.
6. It is easy to serve.
You can pop open a pull-tab can and pour the rings or chunks into a serving bowl for immediate consumption. Crushed pineapple in the can is ready for cooking purposes and requires no mixing or added preparation. Pineapple can be purchased in light or heavy syrup, depending on the buyer’s taste, or it can be found packed in its own juice for a healthier alternative.It also is available in the form of frozen juice or by itself.
7. Kids love it.
Because it is a finger food and easy to eat, not to mention sweet and accessible, pineapple makes a great school lunch addition or after-school treat.Unlike apples and oranges that must be peeled, a pop-open can of pineapple is ready for the kids when they want it. Chunks and rings can be stored in plastic baggies for eating later, as well.
8. Pineapple is convenient.
This delicious staple goes with just about any meal, any time of day.It can be eaten alone or as part of a larger meal, like breakfast cereal with milk and pineapple on the side. It can be packed for lunches or snacks for children and adults.People can eat it with their fingers or with a fork from a baggie or a bowl. It’s not too filling, and it is easy to digest. Eating canned or frozen pineapple promotes simple clean-up.
9. Pineapple recipes abound.
To promote pineapple health benefits without making it sound like medicine, add it to a variety of foods for new and unusual tastes.In addition to serving it alone or as part of a healthy meal, this fruit makes a great addition to recipe specialties such as pork, salads, and many vegetables. For example, use toothpicks to skewer pineapple chunks soaked in brown sugar and its own juice to a holiday ham.Or try the fruit cooked with a pork roast. It can be added to apple sauce for a unique taste and texture.Crushed pineapple is great for sauces and sundaes, along with special stews.
10. Dieters love it.
Because it is inexpensive, easy to find and prepare, tastes good, and is low in calories, people who are trying to maintain or lose weight often fill up on pineapple between meals.Eating pineapple while on a diet, especially when paired with interesting items like walnuts, low-cal whipped cream, and rice dishes, can remove the stigma of dieting because it helps to manage food cravings by delivering a sugar punch and a fiber fill-up.Instead of reaching for a candy bar or chips when hungry, a serving of pineapple will satisfy the taste buds and stomach without adding guilt afterward.In a society that thrives on processed foods and those that are high in fat or salt, the health benefits of pineapple make it a singular choice for dieters, light eaters, finding ways to feed picky eaters or snackers. Most anyone will enjoy the juicy, sweet, low-calorie taste of this easy-to-eat fruit. Some may prefer pineapple juice to the actual pulp, but it is important to compare calorie and nutritional content of both forms, as these can vary somewhat from the liquid to the substance.
Even those for whom health is not a priority will enjoy the distinctive flavor and versatility of this tropical delight in its juice or fleshy form. With so many reasons to indulge, why not add pineapple to your shopping list, as it is sure to please palates of all ages?
Photo Source: Lifescript
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