By Jennifer Fisher, thefitfork.com
Not only does pineapple taste like a tropical vacation, this nutrient-rich fruit is a perfect powerhouse for pre and post workout nutrition. One cup of fresh pineapple has only around 80 calories, no fat or cholesterol and 22 grams of good complex carbohydrates that provide quick and healthy energy to fuel your active pursuits.
Bromelain = No Sprain
Once of the most unique perks of pineapple is bromelain. Pineapple is the only known source of this enzyme that is believed to help reduce inflammation, strains, sprains and joint pain (along with many other medical concerns). Additionally, researchers say that bromelain assists in the digestion and absorption of protein, a good thing if you’re looking for muscle gains.
Pineapple is an abundant source of vitamin C, providing 131% DRV in a one-cup serving. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is believed to help with tissue growth and healing (very important for athletes whose bodies are always in a state of recovery post workout). A study also suggests that vitamin C may help athletes under heavy physical stress (such as marathon runners and skiers) to reduce their risk of catching a cold.
Interestingly, the color of a pineapple’s outer shell isn’t a sign of ripeness (even greener pineapples can be sweet). The best way to determine a good pineapple is to pick one that is plump and firm with fresh green leaves at the crown. Unlike most fruits, pineapple doesn’t ripen any further after being picked. So if you don’t plan to eat your pineapple right away, just stick it in the refrigerator to maximize its edible life.
You can add pineapple chunks to kebabs, smoothies, salads and stir-frys; these are just some of the tasty ways to enjoy this prickly tropical fruit. A quick and healthy dessert idea is to grill pineapple spears for a couple minutes on each side and then top with Greek yogurt and honey. I love pineapple in smoothies, just add a Core Power high protein shake for a protein boost.
So there you go, add some pineapple superfood goodness to your diet, you’ll be glad you did.
Jennifer Fisher is an enthusiastic Core Power fan and user. Along with being a contributor to the fairlife team, she’s a #FitFluential Ambassador, #IDEAfit Inspired Blogger and contributor at the Cooking Light Blogger Connection. Jennifer is also a fit food & healthy living guest speaker, competitive master’s runner, CrossFit enthusiast and mother of three pre-teen through teen boys! For more on Jennifer, visit her blog TheFitFork.com and follow her on twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.