The world might not ever stop arguing over whether pineapples make for good pizza toppings, but there’s no doubt we should still chow down on the delicious fruit for its many health benefits.
Whether you’re adding pineapple to slices of cheesy pizza, enjoy eating it fresh on its own, or tossing it into fruit salads and smoothies, you’ll be getting plenty of nutritional perks. First of all, pineapples are packed with vitamin C — 131 percent of the daily recommended intake in just one cup, to be exact — which will boost your immunity against bacteria, viruses, and other infections.
A nine-week study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism split children into groups who received none, some, or large amounts of canned pineapple to observe the effect on their immune levels. Those who were given the most amount showed a significantly lowered risk of catching nasty bugs. They also showed nearly four times more white blood cell production, which amps up immunity and fights off diseases. Although the study only focused on youngsters, the whole family can likely achieve similar healthy improvements by eating more pineapple on a regular basis.
There’s also a heaping helping of manganese with 76 percent the daily recommended intake in one cup. The trace mineral that’s been shown to aid with things like bone health, blood sugar regulation, improved brain function, and thyroid health.
Pineapple makes for an especially great after-dinner snack thanks to the digestive enzyme known as bromelain, which breaks down protein molecules for our gut to absorb all of the nutrients easier. The enzyme’s anti-inflammatory properties can also help ward off gastrointestinal issues that cause stomach aches and other tummy troubles.
If that wasn’t already enough to convince you to add pineapple to your next grocery list, there’s also a ton of antioxidants that are bound together to produce longer lasting benefits in your body. Plus, they’ll give you some extra anti-inflammatory properties on top of the bromelain.
And all of that is so easy to get by adding pineapple to your meals throughout the day — yes, even on pizza, if that’s your thing. Who doesn’t love scrumptious ways to live our happiest, healthiest lives?
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.