HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING PINEAPPLE
Anyone else a pineapple lover? I love pineapple. I love the sweetness of it. I like adding it into shakes or just eating it on it’s own. One of my favorite ways to eat pineapple is for a dessert with a little real whipped cream or coconut whipped cream on top…so good!
Admittedly, I used to avoid buying pineapple unless it was already cut because I didn’t really know how to cut and core it. Silly right? Turns out, it’s not all that hard so I buy it a few times each month now. I say a few times each month because I like to rotate my nutrients. I try my hardest to rotate all of my fruit and vegetables on a weekly basis. This way I’m not eating the same things all of the time. It can help to make sure you’re getting a full spectrum of nutrients and can also help your body react so it never gets used to eating the same things all of the time (sort of like a plateau).
This post is meant to expose all of the wonderful things about pineapple. If you enjoy the taste of pineapple, it’s a great fruit to incorporate into your diet from time to time. I’ve also included 3 pineapple smoothie shake recipes at the end of the article. They’re delicious so go out and grab some pineapple!
6 SUPERFOOD BENEFITS OF PINEAPPLE
Do you know the benefits of having pineapple in your diet? Pineapple seems to have gotten a bad wrap because of it’s carb (sugar) content but the truth is, it’s loaded with goodness! Not only does it taste great but it also has some great qualities that can help improve your nutrition and your health.
Tons of Nutrients – 1 cup of pineapple contains approximately 83 calories, 1.7 grams of fat, 22 grams of carbohydrates (16g of those are sugar and 2.3g are fiber) and 1 gram of protein. It also contains all of these valuable vitamins and minerals:
Vitamin C: 131% of the RDI
Manganese: 76% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDI
Copper: 9% of the RDI
Thiamin: 9% of the RDI
Folate: 7% of the RDI
Potassium: 5% of the RDI
Magnesium: 5% of the RDI
Niacin: 4% of the RDI
Pantothenic acid: 4% of the RDI
Riboflavin: 3% of the RDI
Iron: 3% of the RDI
Vitamins A, K as well as phosphorous, zinc and calcium found in trace amounts
Loaded With Antioxidants! – Pineapples are especially rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids and phenolic acids. Antioxidants help prevent free radical damage which is linked to chronic inflammation, a weakened immune system and other harmful diseases. Heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer risks may be reduced from these antioxidants as well.
Digestive Enzymes – Pineapple contains a group of digestive enzymes known as bromelain. They function as proteases, which break down protein molecules into their building blocks, such as amino acids and small peptides. Once these molecules are broken down, they are more easily absorbed. You are what you absorb so it’s a huge bonus to have this digestive enzyme making it easier for your body to utilize the food you’re taking in.
Immune System Booster – Because of the wide variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes, there may be a collective boost to the immune system. The anti inflammatory properties of the antioxidants and the digestive enzyme bromelain are what may help boost the immune system and suppress inflammation – a huge win for health!
May Help Keep Bones Healthy – Manganese and calcium are essential in maintaining strong bones as well as healthy connective tissue according to the NIH. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, manganese helps stave off osteoporosis and ease symptoms of the bone disease by helping to improve overall bone and mineral density. Don’t like pineapple? Raspberries, strawberries, bananas and blackberries are also high in manganese.
Great Alternative To Sugary Snacks – Aren’t we all looking for healthier treats and desserts? As I mentioned above, I love to include pineapple in my desserts and add a little bit of whipped cream or whipped coconut cream to make it special. Pineapple is a healthier alternative and is sweet enough to substitute for many desserts. Plus, once you get used to using it instead of highly processed desserts like cakes, cookies and doughnuts, you won’t even miss them.
3 PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE RECIPES
I always balance my smoothies so that I have a good amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat. You’ll see in my recipes that I include ingredients to meet all three macronutrients. Feel free to modify the recipes as you see fit to meet your nutritional needs.
I love the refreshing taste and the vacation memories of a pina colada. While it’s hard to beat the real drink, this shake recipe comes close for a healthy breakfast or snack.
3/4 C Pineapple
1 Scoop (approx 15 – 20g) Vanilla Protein Powder (animal or plant based)
1 Tbsp Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
1 Tbsp Hulled Hemp Seeds
1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk (just the milk – not the cream) or Almond Milk (or milk of your choice)
Blend above ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Add ice to your desired thickness and to chill the shake.
Extras: Add a mild nut like cashews or almonds for extra fat. Mix in some of the coconut cream for a thicker, creamier shake. Add in a booster like a super green or super fruit supplement to increase the antioxidant properties even more.
Pineapple Raspberry Dream
I love the flavor combination of pineapple and raspberry together. Plus, the combination makes any shake look pretty with it’s pink color!
1/2 C Raspberries
1/2 C Pineapple
1 Tbsp Cashews
1 Tbsp Hulled Hemp Seeds
1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (or milk of your choice)
1 Scoop (15 – 20g) Vanilla or Strawberry Protein Powder (animal or plant based)
Bonus: 1 Scoop Super Fruit Supplement to boost antioxidants and that pretty pink color!
Blend all ingredients in blender until fully incorporated. Add extra milk or water to desired thickness.
Add ice if desired to make thicker and chill shake.
Strawberry Pineapple Banana
The classic flavor combination never disappoints! A refreshing smoothie, this is one of my go to’s for a quick morning meal or late afternoon snack.
1/3 C Pineapple
1/3 C Strawberries
1/3 C Banana
1 Scoop Vanilla or Strawberry Protein Powder (animal or plant based)
1 Tbsp Cashews or Almonds
1 Tbsp Hulled Hemp Seeds
1 Cup Coconut Water, Coconut Milk (no cream) or Almond Milk (unsweetened)
Blend until smooth and enjoy! Add ice and additional liquid as necessary to achieve your preferred consistency.
Pineapple is full of nutrients and can be a positive addition to your nutrition regimen. With all of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and digestive enzymes, it’s a nutritional powerhouse! 1 cup of pineapple contains 131% of the RDA allowance for Vitamin C daily! Enjoy it in your favorite fruit salad, on it’s own or in a delicious shake.
If you have any questions about this blog post, please post them in the comments below!
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Happy Pineapple Eating!
Margot Rutigliano + The Vita Vie Retreat Team