Pineapple: Personality Plus
Making a point to eat fresh, whole, living fruit on a daily basis is one of the cornerstones to creating nutritional balance and staying strong, energized, and balanced–mentally, physically, and immunologically. In the last couple weeks we talked about the nutritional, therapeutic, and emotional value of The King of Citrus & The Queen of Citrus. This week we’re going to focus on the pineapple, and how it can play an important role in revitalizing your mind, healing the body, and boosting your mood. Let’s take a closer look.
...pineapple has a secret weapon that distinguishes it amongst the other “citrus fruits” in the plant kingdom.
Notable Personality Factors:
Native to South America and a staple of Hawaiian and other South Pacific cuisines, the pineapple has a playful effect on moods. It’s a vibrant, jubilant fruit, capable of creating upbeat, cheerful food swings. Like a tropical vacation, pineapples have a way of rejuvenating the mind and body.
Therapeutic & Healing Powers:***
While the pineapple isn’t technically a citrus fruit, I like to consider it a close relative. Why is that? When you take a look at the nutritional profile and therapeutic value–not to mention the fact that it combines well with other citrus fruits–there are all kinds of similarities.
For example, like all citrus fruits, pineapples act as a powerful cleanser of the bloodstream. They are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that fight off accelerated aging and degenerative illness such as cancer, and are also loaded with phytonutrients that strengthen the immune system and increase your resistance to disease. In addition, pineapples are very effective in loosening up excess mucus that put you at increased risk for the cold, the flu, and upper respiratory infections–just like oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits!
In addition to all of these health benefits, the pineapple has a secret weapon that distinguishes it amongst the other “citrus fruits” in the plant kingdom. More specifically, the pineapple is uniquely endowed with a miracle phytonutrient called bromelain. Bromelain is a protein-digesting enzyme complex of the fruit, which resembles the enzymes in the sap of fig and papaya trees. I mention this because in the same way sap heals a tree, so, too, does bromelain heal the body!
In addition to treating indigestion and aiding in the breakdown of protein, bromelain has the notable ability to mend sports injuries, ease arthritic pain, and reduce inflammation in the body. In fact, bromelain is prescribed by plastic and general surgeons, post-operatively, to reduce swelling of tissues and to prevent edema. It’s used to inhibit blood platelet aggregation and accelerate wound healing.
I’ve also found that pineapple encourages an increase in hemoglobin and can be a valuable fruit for anyone suffering from anemia.
While bromelain may be what sets the pineapple apart from other citrus fruits, it’s important to note that pineapples also contain significant amounts of vitamins C and B1. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects your body from damaging free-radicals and vitamin B1 is an important nutrient that supports cellular metabolism and energy production. Pineapples are also a great source of manganese, which has antioxidant properties and also plays an important role in supporting a healthy metabolism.
Selection and Care:
Fragrance is the key to determining freshness: A sweet aroma indicates that the fruit is mature. Look for bright green tops, securely attached crowns, and choose the deepest yellow-orange pineapples. Try to pull out one of the spines–if the pineapple is ripe, it will come out easily. The fruit should feel dry and heavy for its size, and should be free of dark, decayed spots.
Optimal Use and Combining:
Like all fruits, it’s best to consume pineapples and pineapple juice fresh and raw. Serve pineapple fresh with other citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits. In addition, pineapple with strawberry and banana, pineapple with pink grapefruit and banana, or pineapple with papaya and banana all make excellent fruit salads. Keep in mind, however, that pineapple does not combine well with melons or grapes. Finally, give granola a jolt with pineapple chunks.
***This article is not intended to treat or diagnose any type of health condition or disease. Any nutritional considerations for any health complication should be discussed with your physician or healthcare provider.