The Healing Benefits of Pineapple

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Fruit for Thought: Pineapple

The Pineapple* (Ananas Comosus*) is a tropical plant with edible fruit. It has a bright yellow fibrous inner flesh that is naturally very sweet and best when ripe. Its aroma is pleasant, and the juice thirst quenching. Pineapple does not ripen well post-harvest, and it is available year-round.

**Botanical name:
**Ananas comosus, the most economically significant plant in the Bromeliaceae family.

**Native to:
**The plant is indigenous to South America and is said to originate from the area between Southern Brazil and Paraguay. Columbus encountered the pineapple in 1493 on the Leeward island of Guadeloupe. He called it piña de Indias, meaning “pine of the Indians,” and brought it back with him to Europe, thus making the pineapple the first bromeliad to leave the New World. Many say the fruit was first introduced in Hawaii when a Spanish ship brought them there in the 1500s. The fruit was cultivated successfully in European hothouses beginning in 1720.

Healing Benefits:
As a very subtle healer of many body ailments, below is a list of some of the benefits of pineapple:

  • Its most essential ingredient is bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory and painkiller. In the upper respiratory tract, bromelain fights bronchitis and sinusitis. Bromelain is effective in healing stomach ulcers and repairing body tissues.
  • Pineapple juice contains natural collagen which boosts the immune system.
  • Damaged, chapped or burnt skin can be reconditioned by drinking pineapple juice.
  • Pineapple contains detoxifying elements and chemicals that stimulate kidney functions.
  • Helpful in treating bruises, cuts, muscle pain, arthritis, joint pain, sprains, and back pain. Pineapple has proven to positively supplement recovery from knee injury, reduce fever, body wrinkles, and aid digestion.
  • Consuming pineapple often drastically reduces recovery after surgery.
  • Excellent antidote for cardio-vascular disease due to its ability to break-down cholesterol compounds.

**CAUTION:
**Children should not eat it in excess as it can cause gingivitis in children.

Recipe: Spiced Tropical Fruit Compote

Makes: 6 servings, 2/3 cup each Active Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes

Whole spices give a subtle but distinct flavor to this tropical fruit compote. Here the fruit is not cooked in the syrup, but simply macerated so that the taste remains fresh and distinct. The spiced syrup is also a wonderful sweetener for hot tea or as a base for a veggie-stir-fry.

**Ingredients: **

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh pineapple juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
1/4 cup lime juice, (2 limes)
10 whole cardamom pods
8 whole allspice berries
8 whole black peppercorns
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
3 kiwi, peeled and sliced
2 mangoes or papayas, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
2 seedless tangerines or small oranges, peeled and sliced
2 star fruit (carambolas), thinly sliced
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 banana, peeled and cut into thick slices

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar, pineapple juice, lime zest and juice in a small saucepan.
  2. Tie the spices in a small cheesecloth bag and add it to the saucepan.
  3. Bring the liquid to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
  6. Toss all the fruit in a serving bowl.
  7. Add syrup and stir gently.
  8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove spice bag and serve.


Eat Your Way to a Healthy Complexion

mature black woman drinking a green smoothie

It’s been said “you are what you eat,” and far from being a poetic platitude, this timeless trope is literally true! Not only do the micro-nutrients in food, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients allow biochemistry to proceed properly, but the building blocks of the proteins, fats and carbohydrates that we ingest, ultimately become our bones, blood, muscles, and all the other tissues and organs that make up our miraculous and marvelous human bodies. This of course includes the body’s largest organ, the skin, and there is no way to get around the fact that eating poor quality foods will show up as poor-quality complexion.

While this seems like an obvious truth, it isn’t something most of us account for when we decide what to eat. And the unfortunate results are pretty much all skin-health conditions from acne and accelerated aging to dryness and dark spots.

Foods that are overly heated and highly processed are deficient in enzymes and nutrients, negatively impacting the skin and acting as the source of pretty much all cutaneous concerns including eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. Even seemingly external dermatological problems like allergic reactions and sun damage can at least partially be the result of poor food choices.

On the other hand, enjoying high-quality foods not only helps slow down aging and prevent full-blown skin health challenges, but can also be the source of healthy, beautiful, glowing skin. Sure, topical skin care is important, but at the end of the day the skin, like any other part of the body, is composed of what we consume. I recommend including foods with phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in your daily meal plan.

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