East Jefferson General Hospital

Looking for something refreshing on one of our hot days? Try a cup of fresh cut pineapple. It is packed with flavor and contains many minerals and vitamins that are important for overall good health. This tropical fruit is available in most grocery stores and markets. Cutting off the outer skin and coring it may take a little getting used to, but it is well worth making it part of your diet.

One of the great things about pineapples is that it can stand alone as a snack or it can be incorporated into your main course, desert or salad. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Containing about 80 calories per serving cup, adding it to your fish, chicken or lean meat can add plenty of flavor without significantly adding calories.

Pineapple is also a good source of vitamins that can help in losing weight and boosting energy levels. The top five health benefits are:

Vitamin C – antioxidant that is important for the body's immune system and may help to prevent infection.

Manganese – pineapple is extremely high in manganese. This mineral may help to regulate blood sugar and is needed for brain and nerve function.

Vitamin B – can aid the body in metabolizing fats and protein.

Fiber – helps with the digestion of food and reduces the feeling of hunger by making you feel full. Studies indicate that fiber may play a big role in preventing diabetes and heart disease.

Macular Degeneration – some studies indicate that increasing consumption of fresh fruits such as pineapple into your daily diet may help eye health and reduce the risk of vision loss due to aging.