Pineapple benefits our health in ways we may not realize. After all, this fruit doesn’t get the exposure of more recognizable fruits (“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”) but it has a great deal to offer us in nutrients that our bodies need.
What’s Wrong With Our Diet?
We really don’t know all the details of what our ancestors ate in their daily lives. They had access to animal products, fruits in season, and vegetables in season. Because of this, they had access to healthy bacteria, digestive enzymes, and vitamins and minerals that we sometimes lack. So while they had health issues caused by the availability of food and clean water, they presumably did not suffer from the digestive issues caused by the kind of starved gut microbiome that we in our advanced society often mistake for a normal living condition.
Multiple aspects of modern living affect us by undermining what is called our gut microbiome – the bacteria-rich environment within our digestive system that many experts are only just beginning to understand. At present we are relearning things our ancestors knew about having a healthy gut diet.
Here are some effects that modern living has on the balance of healthy gut flora within the digestive system:
- Antibiotics: well known to destroy all bacteria within the digestive system, not just the ones causing an illness.
- Chronic stress: without relief from stress, biochemical systems throughout the body are inefficient, including the immune system, brain function, and nutritional absorption. Our bodies are designed to DO something about our stress, not just steep in it. Exercise that burns nervous energy or yoga that calms and strengthens in subtle ways all help to reduce stress.
- Processed foods: these leave us starved for vitamins and minerals as well as natural flora that we usually replenish through fresh foods. The ’empty’ calories pack on extra pounds that interfere with health as well.
- Lack of fresh foods: fruits and vegetables in their freshest forms provide the most absorbable nutrients as well as flora our bodies are designed to use to maintain digestive health. Pineapple is a star of the fresh fruit market that many people don’t realize has significant power to build our health.
Introducing The Amazing Benefits Of Pineapple
Pineapple is available in more markets than it once was. However, many people overlook its nutritive value and consider it only occasionally as a possible addition to their diet. The fact is, it can also be tricky to open and cut up a pineapple as well, but with practice, it becomes easier.
Pineapple has within its prickly cover multiple B vitamins and vitamin C. It also supplies minerals the body needs to balance the entire physiological system in terms of vision, organ function, skin, healing, moods, nervous system functions, and more. These are potassium, manganese, magnesium, and copper. Finally, among the list which can’t be covered in entirety here, pineapple provides folic acid, fiber, beta-carotene, and proteolytic enzymes. Each of these is worth its own research as they are found in other fruits as well. It is also important to note that many of these are reduced during processing or removed entirely from the fruit.
While canned pineapple will provide nutrition, it won’t be as effective as fresh varieties. Also, the canned item has been treated with extra sugar, which is a known substance for causing inflammation. That means diabetics need to be very careful with pineapple and its natural sweetness but also wary of the hyper sweet canned variety. However, for other people, canned pineapple may well be better than no pineapple at all.
Pineapple, with its rich variety of minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and other nutrients, can help a body fight diseases. It reduces many types of inflammation which reduce pain and swelling. It provides antioxidants which fight oxidants which can harden the arteries. It assists in smoother digestion as it breaks down heavy meals. It also provides fiber for regularity in the bowels.
Pineapple is an excellent treatment for respiratory problems and will ease a cough as well as soothe a sore throat. This is not only because it supplies you with vitamin C, but because it dissolves mucus and quickly eliminates it from the body.
Some Important Terms To Know
Let’s pause for a moment and discuss some of the terms that are associated with the healthy benefits of pineapple:
- Proteolytic enzymes
This is an essential characteristic of fresh pineapple and pineapple juice. Proteolytic enzymes are enzymes that break down proteins within the digestive system. They are both helpful to the pancreas but also produced by the pancreas to continue digestion as the foods pass through various levels of the digestive system. This reduces digestive upsets, releases more nutrients from the food for absorption by the body, and improves lower digestive system functions.
- Healthy gut diet
This is simply a regular condition of balanced flora within the digestive system resulting from a diet of fresh food rich in nutrients. The results of a healthy gut diet show up in healthy skin, reduced digestive issues, resistance to more illnesses and diseases, and over all improved health and energy. Pineapple provides multiple components of a healthy diet that build a healthy gut.
- Digestive enzyme
A digestive enzyme is any enzyme within the body which assists in breaking down food into nutrients, amino acids, minerals, etc. for more efficient absorption. Pineapple assists digestion, especially of proteins from heavy meat meals, using proteolytic enzymes.
- Gut microbiome
This is the environment within the digestive system where healthy bacteria, enzymes, and other useful entities can grow and flourish for improved nutrient absorption. Pineapple assists the microbiome by breaking down foods into the useful components as well as by providing vitamins and minerals, etc., that aid digestion.
How Modern Diet Is Related To Modern Life
Today’s adult has more food choices available than ever before. Grocery stores can be sprawling mega-structures with multi media advertisements tempting the health conscious shopper to make unhealthy choices. Combine that with busy schedules made up of the added schedules of children, work responsibilities, and outside interests, and fast food can start to look appealing on any number of levels. With an increasing awareness of how healthy dietary choices affect our bodies comes an awareness of how many poor choices are out there as well. Finally, with that awareness comes knowledge about skin care, household cleaners, and other sundries with their healthier and less healthy varieties.
Where to begin? Start with one or two things. Change one cleaner and change one dietary item. For instance, switch to lemon juice for cleaning while adding more pineapple to the diet. Have patience as you rebuild your gut microbiome following antibiotic treatment. Practice strengthening and energizing with yoga. Once one or two lifestyle changes have become more permanent, try adding another one.
Holistic treatment of both the body and mind and the environment we expose ourselves to, provides a deeper, more effectively improved health that sometimes can be difficult to see until time has passed. At some point, you may say to yourself, “This walk up the hill used to hurt my knee, but that hasn’t happened in months.” What you’ve just recognized is the health building effects of good foods like pineapple.
First Steps To Pineapple Goodness
It’s easy to include pineapple in your daily diet. Here are some good starting points that are simple and effective:
- Eat pineapple with any meal- yogurt and pineapple in the morning, in a fruit salad at lunch, or as a salad topping for dinner.
- Add pineapple juice to your drinking water.
- Make pineapple a part of a planned snack in the afternoon.
- Use pineapple and pineapple juice as a treatment for coughs and colds.
Making The Change Is Easy
Taking the opportunity to add smaller changes increases the opportunity that larger changes will be more effective. Effective nutrient absorption improves access to the vitamins and minerals, enzymes and fiber that are otherwise flushed right out of the system. For instance, by adding pineapple to the daily diet, a person has now improved their digestion, increased their nutrient absorption, and cultivated a better digestive system for the efficient use of other nutrients from other parts of their diet.
Some of the earliest outward signs of healthy eating are seen in energy levels, mood regularity, and skin health. Later, chronic inflammation will become a memory of the past and recurring illness can be reduced to a minor or infrequent occurrence. Knowing how to make changes means knowing oneself. Trying to make sudden overwhelming changes can be self-defeating. Learning a bit at a time and making small changes build a solid foundation for improving health and adjusting in productive ways as life changes happen.
Pineapple is a fun, sweet, nutritious place to start.