The pineapple is a delicious tropical fruit with a unique taste and miraculous health benefits.
The health and medicinal benefits of pineapple include boosting the immune system, respiratory health, aiding digestion, strengthening bones, reducing inflammation, curing coughs and colds, and weight loss.
What Is The Pineapple?
Pineapple, also known as ananas, is a delicious tropical fruit that is surrounded by thorny spikes and topped with hard, waxy leaves. The fruit is up to a foot long and has a combination of sweet and tart taste.
Pineapple belongs to the Bromeliaceae family and is actually a composite fruit made of coalesced berries that grow at the crown of a fruiting tree. The name pineapple evolved in the 17th century due to its structure and appearance which is similar to pine cones.
Historically, Hawaii had the largest production of pineapples, but they are now cultivated in large quantities in Brazil, the Philippines, and Costa Rica. The fruit is native to Paraguay and Brazil, and possibly parts of the Caribbean. The exact evolution of pineapple as a popular global fruit is still unknown; however, it is believed that pineapple was first brought to Europe following Christopher Columbus’ return there in 1493.
The fruiting season of pineapple runs from March until June, and each tree can produce a number of fruits. It can be eaten fresh, juiced, cooked, and preserved, and its leaves are even used as wallpaper and ceiling insulation. Pineapple and its juice are enjoyed around the world, even as a popular flavor in alcoholic beverages, the most famous of which is the tropical drink, pina colada!
The Nutritional Value Of The Pineapple
The pineapple has several health benefits due to its wealth of nutrients. It contains vitamins, and minerals, including potassium, copper, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, thiamin, vitamin B6, and folate.
Health Benefits Of Pineapple
The pineapple fruit offers several health benefits. Read on to find out.
One of the most celebrated uses of the pineapple is its ability to reduce inflammation of joints and muscles, particularly those associated with arthritis. Pineapple contains a relatively rare proteolytic enzyme called bromelain, which is primarily associated with breaking down of complex proteins and has serious anti-inflammatory effects. Bromelain is also correlated with reducing the signs and symptoms of arthritis in many.
A single serving of pineapple has more than 130% of the daily requirement of vitamin C. This makes it one of the richest and most delicious sources of ascorbic acid. Vitamin C helps in reducing illnesses and boosting the immune system by stimulating the activity of white blood cells and acting as an antioxidant to defend against the harmful effects of free radicals.
Free radicals are dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism that can damage various organ systems and disrupt function, as well as cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous ones. The vitamin C content of pineapple defends against this.
Speeds-up Wound Healing
One of the most commonly overlooked benefits of vitamin C is its essential role in creating collagen. This is the reason why it is seen as a healing vitamin because collagen is the essential protein base of blood vessel walls, skin, organs, and bones. The high vitamin C content in pineapple helps you heal wounds and injuries more quickly. What is more, it defends your body against infections and illnesses.
Pineapple has been directly related to preventing mouth, throat, and breast cancer. It is rich in various antioxidants, including vitamin A, beta carotene, bromelain, various flavonoid compounds, and high levels of manganese. Manganese is an important cofactor of superoxide dismutase, an extremely potent free radical scavenger that has been associated with a number of different cancers.
Eating pineapple regularly can protect you from a vast amount of health conditions such as constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, blood clotting and high blood pressure. Pineapple is rich in fiber and it promotes the passage of food through the digestive tract at a normal rate.
What is more, it stimulates the release of gastric and digestive juices to help food dissolve. It also bulks up the loose stool, which helps in treating diarrhea and IBS. Furthermore, bromelain in pineapple stimulates protein digestion, reduces gut inflammation, and therefore, treats digestive diseases.
Treats Cough And Cold
Pineapple is rich in both bromelanin and vitamin C. Therefore eating pineapple helps in preventing and treating respiratory illnesses, and eliminating phlegm and mucus from your body. The immune system boosting property of vitamin C is well known, but that special enzyme, bromelain, is also connected with the reduction of phlegm and mucus build up in the respiratory tracts and sinus cavities.
Improves Bone Health
Although pineapple doesn’t have a strong calcium content, it does have an impressive amount of manganese. Manganese is another trace mineral essential for the strengthening of bones, as well as their growth and repair. It is the most prominent mineral in pineapple, and a single serving can provide you with more than 70% of your daily requirement of this mineral.
Improves Oral Health
Along with the antioxidant compounds that protect against oral cancer, pineapple also has astringent properties. These strengthen the gums and teeth. Astringent agents help to tighten up tissues and tone the body so that tooth loss, hair loss, and muscle weakness or skin loosening do not occur.
Pineapple is a very powerful astringent and is often prescribed as a natural remedy to fix the loosening of teeth or for the retraction of gums.
The eye is the most important sensory organ of the human body and the pineapple has the ability to improve eye health and prevent other age-related eye diseases. Macular degeneration affects many elderly people, and the beta carotene present in pineapple can help delay this vision problem.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Pineapple is a valuable source of many minerals, and potassium is among them. Potassium deficiency can result in a wide array of health hazards. The vasodilator property of potassium eases the tension and stress of the blood vessels and increases blood circulation to various parts of the body.
When your blood vessels relax, the blood pressure is reduced and the flow of blood is less restricted. This can prevent clots from blocking the flow of blood and reduce the accumulation of plaque in the arteries and vessels which, in turn, help prevent conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Improves Blood Circulation
Pineapple also provides copper, another essential mineral that functions in a number of enzymatic reactions and compounds in the body. Most notably, copper is a necessary element for the formation of healthy red blood cells.
High red blood cell count increases oxygenation to the various organ systems and makes them function at optimal levels. It also increases cognitive abilities and can maintain neural pathways to prevent neural disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.