Nutrition Facts: Pineapple
Pineapple improves gut health and can help fight disease
Pineapple stands out as the only plant that contains a digestive enzyme called *bromelain, which aids in protein digestion(1) and has anti-diarrheal properties (2). Pineapple is also extremely high in insoluble fiber that friendly bacteria love to feed on (3), so in terms of gut health - this fruit’s a winner! Good digestion is key to absorbing nutrition from healthy food and for preventing and managing chronic disease. Check out my blog post on how nutrition and digestion are really two sides of the same coin.
In studies, therapeutic doses of bromelain also proved to have anti-cancer effects (4), was beneficial for heart health (1), had strong anti-inflammatory properties useful in treating osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and other autoimmune diseases (1, 5) and increased the body's immune response and the ability to fight infection (6 , 7, 8).
*Bromelain is especially concentrated in the pineapple’s core, so do slice into the tender, more edible part of the core and consume when possible.
Pineapple is high in Vitamin C and Manganese
One cup of pineapple also provides more than 130% of your daily needs for Vitamin C, a vitamin that’s important to include in your daily diet because our bodies cannot store it. Vitamin C helps build collagen which is important for the health of your skin, bone and blood vessels (9). It’s a powerful antioxidant which means it protects cells from everyday damage caused by metabolic processes and environmental toxins and pollutants (10). Vitamin C also helps with the absorption of iron from plant sources like leafy greens and sprouts, which is especially important if you are a vegetarian or vegan (11).
Pineapple is a great source of manganese (76% of daily requirement/cup), a trace mineral important for healthy bones, blood sugar regulation, metabolism, thyroid and other hormonal function, brain health and the absorption of other important vitamins and minerals (12).
Nutrition Facts: Garlic
Garlic has potent anti-aging and detoxifying benefits. It is also good for immune, heart, brain and bone health. Few other ingredients in your kitchen can stand up to these claims!
Most of the widely known medicinal benefits of garlic are attributable to a compound called allicin, which is formed when raw garlic is broken or crushed. Be sure to slice or press raw garlic and let it sit for 10 minutes before cooking (or eat it raw and be sure to chew 😁), so you get the goodness!
Here’s where current research stands on the *therapeutic benefits of garlic:
Regular consumption of garlic, at least **2 cloves per day modestly lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. (1, 2).
Eating about **4 cloves of garlic/day might be as effective as taking the medication, Atenolol in reducing high blood pressure (3).
The above cholesterol and blood pressure lowering capabilities of garlic, in addition to its antioxidant potency may help in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s, and aging (4, 5).
Garlic supplementation may be useful for post-menopausal women in preventing bone loss (6).
Garlic also helps prevent and fight the common cold and flu (7, 8).
High doses of garlic supplementation help the body detox heavy metals (9).
*These therapeutic benefits have been studied using garlic capsules, aged garlic extract (AGE) or garlic oil. **Approximately equivalent to the supplementation dose used in a study.