Saturday, March 3, 2012

What's in a Pineapple?

This picture reminds me of the pineapple I snatched from our table at a luau in Hawaii when I was in college. My friend, who was attending school there, was with me. We ran around town that night toting this pineapple. I'm sure I have pictures of me with it somewhere. We thought it was the funniest thing to walk around with a pineapple. But we were in Hawaii, so looking back it really wasn't as ironic as it seemed at the time. The couple times I visited here there, I always brought home a case of pineapple to consume at home. Not that you can't buy pineapple in California, or anywhere else for that matter, but it was fun bringing pineapple home from Hawaii.

A pineapple is a very interesting looking fruit. There are so many interesting and healthy facts about pineapples.

Have you ever wondered why it burns your mouth when you eat a lot of it? Pineapples contain a plant enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain breaks down protein, which is why it is often used as a meat tenderizer. So basically, it's tenderizing your mouth like a piece of meat =) The highest concentration of bromelain is found in the core. This is actually beneficial if you consider that if you eat a lot of protein, a little pineapple for dessert would help with breaking down that protein.

As for health benefits, bromelain helps greatly with inflammation. It helps with protection against infection. It helps with would healing. Societies in South America use it to help digestion. Bromelain given after surgery can increase the speed of recovery, reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation. It is used widely for Arthritis pain as well as sinus pain. It has anti-clotting and anti-cancer properties as well.

1 cup of raw pineapple has 82 calories, 2 grams of fiber, almost 79 mg Vitamin C, 76% rda of Manganese.

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