Nature's Healing Fruit
By Monique N. Gilbert, B.Sc.
Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Counselor and Health Advocate
nutritionally packed members of the bromeliad family. This
tropical fruit is high in the enzyme bromelain and the antioxidant
both of which play a major role in the body's healing process.
Bromelain is a natural anti-inflammatory that has many health
benefits and encourages healing. According to Dr. Andrew Weil,
bromelain is very effective in treating bruises, sprains and strains
by reducing swelling,
tenderness and pain. This powerful anti-inflammatory effect can also
help relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and reduce postoperative
Additionally, the bromelain contained in fresh pineapple can relieve
indigestion. This enzyme helps break down the amino acid bonds in
which promotes good digestion.
Pineapples provide an ample supply of vitamin C too, a commonly known
antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage and
immune system. Vitamin C helps build and repair bodily tissue and
wound healing. The body uses vitamin C to help metabolize fats and
cholesterol, absorb iron, and synthesize amino acids and collagen.
is one of the primary building blocks of skin, cartilage and bones.
C also decreases the severity of colds and infections.
Furthermore, due to its high vitamin C content, pineapples are good
for your oral health as well. A study conducted at the State
University of New York
at Buffalo found that vitamin C can reduce your risk of gingivitis
periodontal disease. Besides increasing the ability of connective
repair itself, vitamin C also increases the body's ability to fight
bacteria and other toxins that contribute to gum disease.
disease, which destroys gum tissue and underlying jaw bones, has been
to heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
So if you want a natural way to enhance your body's healing
promote overall good health and tantalize your taste buds, pineapples
way to go. Choose the fresh fruit because it has the most healing
properties. Unfortunately, most of the bromelain in canned pineapple
destroyed due to the heat used in the canning process.
When choosing a fresh pineapple, do not judge ripeness solely based
color. There are several varieties on the market that range from
green to golden yellow. The most important factor in determining
ripeness is smell,
let your nose help you decide. Ripe pineapples give off a sweet,
tropical smell. Avoid pineapples that give off an unpleasant odor or
any soft spots or areas of dark discoloration. Once home, let the
sit on your counter at room temperature until ready to use. This
preserve its sweet and tangy flavor.
To prepare pineapple, you need to peel it, remove the eyes (the
protrusions within the puffy squares of the skin) and the fibrous
First, cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple with a sharp
the pineapple upright on a cutting board and carefully slice off the
skin. With a sharp paring knife or the end if a vegetable peeler,
eyes. Don't cut too deep, just enough to lift out the section that
the eye. Then, remove the fibrous core. One way to do this is to
pineapple lengthwise into 4 wedges (quarter it) and cut around the
center core. Another popular way is to slice the pineapple crosswise
remove the cores individually with a cookie cutter. Once the fruit
prepared, it can be diced and eaten fresh, added to salads and
exotic flavor, or made into tasty tropical drinks.
Here is a delicious, nutritious, cholesterol-free smoothie recipe
high in bromelain, vitamin C, potassium, thiamin (vitamin B-1),
B-2), iron, fiber and isoflavones.
Tropical Fruit Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 cup fresh pineapple
3/4 cup soymilk
1 tablespoon honey or sugar (optional)
Blend all of the above ingredients in a food processor or blender for
1-2 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
Makes about 2-3/4 cups (2 servings)
This recipe is from Monique N. Gilbert's book "Virtues of Soy: A
Practical Health Guide and Cookbook" (Universal Publishers, 2001, p.
Copyright C Monique N. Gilbert - All Rights Reserved.
Monique N. Gilbert, B.Sc., is a Health Advocate, Certified Personal
Trainer/Fitness Counselor, Recipe Developer, Freelance Writer and
She began a
grain, vegetable-rich diet in the mid-1970's. This introduced her to
healthier way of eating and became the foundation of her dietary
an adult. She became a full-fledged vegetarian on Earth Day 1990.
years she has increased her knowledge and understanding about health
fitness, and the important role diet plays in a person's strength,
vitality and longevity. Monique feels it is her mission to educate
everyone about the benefits of healthy eating and living. She is the author
"Virtues of Soy: A Practical Health Guide and Cookbook" (Universal
Publishers, $19.95 US, available at most online booksellers).
E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.virtuesofsoy.com
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