Come to the tropics for effective pain relief! Pineapple is loaded with joint-protecting vitamin C, making pineapple a superior arthritis-healing superfood. The manganese in this sweet treat strengthens bones and protects joints, while the bromelain tackles inflammation.
1. Pineapple’s C protects your joints. Higher intake levels of the antioxidant vitamin C is essential for people with arthritis–and one cup of pineapple has 94% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA). Research published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases showed that vitamin C-rich foods protect against inflammatory polyarthritis, a type of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in which two or more joints are affected. Scientists examined nutritional data on 20,000 adults and discovered that those eating the least amount of C-rich foods tripled their risk of arthritis compared to people eating the most.
If you have osteoarthritis, don’t be concerned by warnings that you should not increase your vitamin C intake. Those warnings are based on a 2004 study on guinea pigs! Studies on humans show vitamin C reduces pain, cartilage loss and disease progression.
2. Healthier joint tissue, thanks to minerals. Pineapple is also an excellent way to get the trace mineral manganese, which is essential for building healthy joint tissue and dense bones. One cup provides 128% of the RDA for manganese. Research shows that manganese tackles free radicals that can damage joint cartilage.
3. Pineapple’s enzymes clean up rusty joints. Studies show that pineappple’s bromelain enzyme is a potent anti-inflammatory. When you eat pineapple on an empty stomach, the enzymes go right to work on your joints. If you eat it with other foods, the enzymes divert their activity to digesting the rest of your meal instead of the gunk in your joints, so keep pineapple around for between-meal snacks. Juice the hard inner core as well to take advantage of the concentrated bromelain located there.
4. For optimal arthritis pain-relief, eat fresh pineapple. Bromelain is destroyed by heat, so fresh pineapple will give you the most benefit. Frozen pineapple retains active enzymes, but canned fruit and commercially processed juice don’t provide the anti-inflammatory benefit of fresh.
If the fruit needs to ripen, keep it on your kitchen counter for a couple days. You’ll know it’s sweet and ready to eat when the bottom softens a bit. There are several clever pineapple-cutting tools that make the job easy. Refrigerate pineapple slices or chunks so you can enjoy it all week long.
Because of bromelain’s anti-clotting activity, please consult with your physician before combining it with blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin), heparin, or aspirin.