In the last year I have become very cognizant of the foods I eat. I still make some bad choices, but when I do they are informed choices, none the less.
I have told you that I have diabetes and lupus, but I have also been through therapy for eating disorders. For these three reasons I tend to
I say all this to tell you about a perfect, or near perfect food for folks in my predicament and anyone else....PINEAPPLE!
Did you know that pineapple contains a glorious nutrient called bromelain (produced in the stem which is inedible but the fruit extracts some from the stem.) Bromelain has three great properties.
- REDUCES INFLAMMATION IN YOUR BODY
- has cancer fighting compounds
- lowers the risk of thrombosis
Because of the bromelain you can't put fresh pineapple in Jell-O because the bromelain content prevents gelatin from setting. Canned pineapple, on the other hand, can be added to Jell-O because the canning process destroys the bromelain. So, for the bromelain benefits, it has to be FRESH pineapple.
So often foods that are good for you are not the foods that people naturally gravitate towards...but, think about any party you've been to with a fruit tray....the pineapple is gone first! Moms, think about cutting up a fresh pineapple for your family....kids and hubby are stealing pieces as you slice! Pineapple is a treat for us at Christmastime...it always shows up on the Christmas morning breakfast buffet. The smell of fresh pineapple is just decadent and intoxicating.
Pineapple is also no slouch. The list of benefits it offers to our diet is awesome!
- For many people it improves their digestion (Sharron, give this a try!)
- High in vitamin C which attacks free radicals in our bodies (anti-cancer property) Columbus introduced pineapple to Spain and it soon became popular with sailors to prevent scurvy! One cup of pineapple has about 135 calories and 33% of the RDA of Vitamin C.
- Is a natural diuretic
- Is a good source of manganese - this attacks free radicals produced in cell respiration to help prevent cell damage (anti-cancer property)
- Clears mucous from bronchial tissues
- Natural source of fiber...we all know we need fiber!
- Its B1 helps to metabolize carbs
- Stimulates our kidneys to help remove toxic waste
- And the juice from pineapple will kill intestinal worms...who knew?
The only down side is watch the acidic properties and we diabetics have to go easy on the sugar content (eat the fruit, not the juice ~ unless, of course, intestinal worms are an issue, then by all means chug-a-lug!)
Bonus info for selecting a fresh pineapple: A pineapple is ripe if one of its top leaves can easily be pulled out.
Bonus recipe: I love fresh pineapple grilled, which takes only a pineapple and a grill. :) However, I love the following recipe on grilled salmon! Hope you try it and enjoy!
1 1/2 c. fresh pineapple, chopped
1/4 c. diced red bell pepper
1/4 c. diced green bell pepper
1/4 c. diced red onion
2 t. minced jalapeno
1 T. fresh lime juice
2 T. chopped parsley
1 T. chopped cilantro
salt to taste
Combine all ingrdients in a bowl, cover, refrigerate and enjoy!