Yes, Pineapple is Paleo!
The Unique Pineapple
Traditionally known as “ananas”, pineapple belongs to the family of Bromeliaceae where the enzyme bromelain was named. The Spanish name of pineapple is piña and its English name reflects it similiarity to pinecone. Pineapple is a composite of many flowers whose individual fruitlets combine together around a central core. Each fruitlet is called the “eye” which has a rough spiny marking on the surface of the pineapple.
Pineapple has a wide cylindrical shape and its skin has a scaly green, brown or yellow color. It has a spiny crown of blue green leaves and its flesh is vibrant yellow color. The taste of pineapple is both tropical sweet and tarty and its fiber-like pectin gives its satisfying chewy texture. The area closer to the pineapple’s base contains more sugar and therefore sweeter and more tender.
Native to Paraguay, pineapple became known as an exotic fruit served at the most lavish banquets and is found in wide array of cuisines. It can be consumed fresh, cooked, juiced, preserved or can be added to recipes such as shish kebabs, salads, stir fries and salsa. It is also popular in canned and fresh juices, jams, yogurts, ice creams, cocktails, smoothies and the famous pinacolada. Pineapple is available all year round and is common in grocery stores and markets around the world.
Nutritional Profile of Pineapple
Pineapple is a powerhouse of vitamin C and manganese. It is a very good source of copper and contains significant amounts of vitamin B1, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, folate, potassium, calcium, magnesium, thiamin and pantothenic acid. Pineapple has antioxidants too and it is the only fruit that contains natural bromelain, an enzyme that aids in digestion and reduces swelling and inflammation. Bromelain is known to treat muscle and joint injuries like arthritis and gout.
Health Benefits Pineapple
Like most fruits and vegetables, pineapple has been associated with reduced risk of several health conditions from inflammation to diabetes.
Antioxidant and Immune System
Pineapple is a very rich source of vitamin C. A single serving of pineapple provides 130% of vitamin C daily requirement. Vitamin C is a natural potent antioxidant than fights illnesses including infections, colds and flu and boosts the immune system by stimulating the activity of the white blood cells and acts as antioxidant to fight against the harmful effects of free radicals.
Blood Pressure and Heart Health
Potassium is one of the many nutrients present in pineapple. It aids in lowering blood pressure and is associated with reduced risk of stroke. Pineapple also contains fiber which supports heart health
Fruits that are rich in fiber and water content prevent constipation and promote healthy digestive system. Pineapple is one of the fruits that are fiber-rich. Fiber provides bulk in the stool that can help in an easy passage through the digestive tract. It also helps with diarrhea and IBS. Fiber also eliminates the excess cholesterol in the body.
According to studies, high fiber diets can lower blood sugar levels in individual with type 1 diabetes.
The enzyme bromelain found in pineapple can reduce swelling and inflammation and can increase rate of healing.
Another benefit of vitamin C is that it plays a vital role in the formation of collages which supports the skin. It can also help fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution and it can improve overall skin health.
As mentioned above, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and combats the effect of free radicals that causes cancer. Vitamin A, beta carotene, bromelain and other flavanoids present in pineapple were associated in reducing risks of certain cancers.
Pineapple and Sugar
Pineapple is one of the many fruits that are high in sugar content. While it is not necessarily prohibited in the Paleo diet because of its numerous health benefits, it should be consumed in moderation especially by individuals suffering from diabetes.
What Experts Say About Pineapple
“Pineapple is the only food which contains natural bromelain, a group of enzymes that aid in digestion, reduce inflammation, reduce swelling, and speed healing”. – Mark Sisson
All you ever wanted to know about Pineapple and Paleo
Mark’s Daily Apple. Pineapple.
Paleo Grubs. Paleo Diet Food List
Paleo Porn. Is Pineapple Paleo?
Medical News Today. Pineapple: Health Benefits, Recipes, Health Risks
Organic Facts. 11 Amazing Benefits Of Pineapples
The World’s Healthiest Foods. Pineapple
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photo credit: shock264 Pineapple