Rebecca Gawthorne’s Pineapple Tips!
Nutritionist Rebecca Gawthorne shares her top pineapple nutrition tips and her favourite immunity smoothie recipe!
Written by Rebecca Gawthorne: Dietitian & Nutritionist, BNutrDiet (Hons I), APD, AN for Pure Gold Pineapples
Coming into the flu season, it’s important that we are proactive about our health. Research shows that maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help support our immune system. This means eating a healthy balanced diet, being active each day, managing stress and getting adequate sleep.
Whilst no single food or supplement will make you immune to all diseases or infections, healthy food is critical to keeping our immune system functioning at its best.
There are certain foods that, due to their combination of nutrients, are extra beneficial for our immune system.
One of these foods is pineapples.
Why Eat Pineapples For Your Immune System
Pineapples contain considerable amounts of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and bioactive compounds that help support a healthy immune system.
Pineapples has been proven to have various health benefits including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant activity and gut health. (1)
Eating a few slices of fresh pineapple each day can help defend your body from harmful free radicals, disease and infection and keep your immune system strong.
Pineapples are rich in 3 key nutrients which benefit our immune system: Bromelain, Vitamin C & Prebiotics.
Pineapples are the only food in the world to contain a group of digestive enzymes called bromelain.
Bromelain has been recognised as a safe and successful type of therapeutic agent, and has been shown to be beneficial for a number of ailments such as bronchitis, sinusitis, arthritis and inflammation. (2)
In both traditional and clinical studies, bromelain has shown anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects, supporting our immune system and helping it function optimally. It also has immunomodulatory effects, meaning it can stimulate or suppress our immune system to help our body fight cancer, infection, or other diseases. (2)
In addition, Bromelain may also have anti-inflammatory effects on the gut. Bromelain may reduce inflammation in the bowel, particularly for those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive health issues, which in turn can benefit the immune system.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant essential for a healthy immune system. (3) This essential vitamin contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system, as well as acting as an antioxidant to protect our body against environmental oxidative stress. (4)
Pineapples are rich in Vitamin C. Just 100g of our Pure Gold Pineapples equals 98.6% of your Recommended Daily Intake
Sufficient Vitamin C intake from foods like pineapples can shorten the length of colds and reduce the severity of your symptoms in respiratory and systemic infections.
Vitamin C also helps boost the absorption of two minerals, iron and zinc, which both play a vital role in strengthening your immune system and increasing resistance to infection!
Pineapples contain prebiotic fibres that feed the good bacteria in your gut. This is incredibly important because a large proportion of your immune system is actually in your gastrointestinal tract and your immune system interacts very closely with your gut bacteria.
A healthy gut microbiota has a profound effect on our immune system and can even impact autoimmune-related diseases both within and outside the gut. (5) So keeping your gut healthy by feeding it foods like pineapple that contain prebiotics is important for your immune system.
How To Add More Pineapples Into Your Day
As a natural flu fighter packed with bromelain, vitamin C & prebiotics, introducing some fresh pineapple to your daily diet is a great way to support your immune system this winter (and all year round).
Pineapples are also low in calories, sodium, saturated fats and cholesterol, and just two slices (or 164 grams) of pineapple provides half of your daily fruit requirements
One of my favorite ways to enjoy pineapples is in a smoothie.
Here is the recipe for Pineapple Immunity Smoothie you can try coming into the flu season.
Pineapple Immunity Smoothie
Makes 1 smoothie
1 cup fresh @puregoldpineapple, diced
1 large frozen banana, sliced
1 tsp hemp seeds
Juice of ½ lemon
1 cm cubed turmeric, grated
½ carrot, grated
1-1.5 cups plant milk
1 tsp manuka honey
Method: Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
Here are some other delicious ways you can add more pineapple to your day:
- Slice pineapple up and eat it fresh
- Chop up pineapple and add it to your morning cereal, yoghurt, porridge or pancakes
- Toss some pineapple through your salads or add some to your stir fries and fried rice
- Add it to your salsas – click here for a recipe
- Slice some pineapple and add it to your homemade burgers or pizza
- Use pineapple in your baking of sweets, muffins and slices – click here for a delicious Pineapple Crepe recipe
- Add pineapple to your pina coladas, of course 😉
With all these incredible immune health benefits, it’s time to add pineapples to your day!
Pure Gold Pineapples are available 365 days a year. And when you spot a pure gold pineapple in store, it is ready to eat.