When we think about pineapple the first thought is often of a treat.
The golden fruit inside is naturally super sweet, and they are entertainment for the eye with their boat like bodies and spiked crown sitting on top. Put anything in a hollowed-out pineapple and you’ve got a party. In addition to the sweet taste and fun appearance, pineapples are low in calories, high in fiber, and have a nutrient profile most fruits would envy. The golden fruit is loaded with Vitamin C, manganese, and an amazing protein-digesting enzyme called bromelain.
One cup of golden pineapple fruit provides 105% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C. Pineapple has more vitamin c per serving than citrus fruits including the orange. This is important because we do not synthesize or make vitamin c it must be obtained from the foods we eat. Vitamin c is an important antioxidant protecting our bodies from free-radical damage and boosting our immunity. It also plays a key role in collagen production and benefits the skin by preventing photoaging and the treatment of hyperpigmentation.
That same cup of pineapple also contains 67% of the RDI for the mineral manganese. Manganese works with vitamin C to build collagen, it is important for bone health, and helps with processes like food metabolization, and blood clotting.
Pineapples are the only known food source of bromelain, which is protein digesting enzyme. “Protein digesting”? Yes, pineapple is commonly used as a meat tenderizer because the bromelain breaks down protein softening meat. In the same way, bromelain helps the body digest and absorb food. Bromelain also has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties helping in the healing process and after vigorous exercise.
Pineapple also contains vitamin B6, copper, thiamin, folate, potassium, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, and iron in smaller amounts.
Did you know that the prickly rough skin of the pineapple and the core are packed with loads of nutrients? The peel of a pineapple contains everything we previously discussed, but bromelain is most potent in the peel and core. Try the Pineapple Skin Drink recipe below to take full advantage of the health benefits found in the pineapple.
Vitamin C in dermatology (nih.gov)
Double-blind, half-face study comparing topical vitamin C and vehicle for rejuvenation of photodamage – PubMed (nih.gov)