Pineapples are a delicious tropical fruit that have been celebrated for centuries not only for their distinct and unique taste, but also for their seemingly miraculous health benefits. Pineapples are eaten fresh, juiced, cooked, and preserved and their leaves are even used for wallpaper and ceiling insulation. They belong to the Bromeliaceae family and are actual a composite fruit made of coalesced berries that grow at the crown of a fruiting tree.
We all know that eating fresh fruit provides your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy, and pineapple is no different. Tropical pineapples have lots of important properties that are essential in keeping you healthy. Here are some of the main health benefits of pineapple.
1. Antioxidant Protection and Immune Support
Vitamin C is the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant, defending all aqueous areas of the body against free radicals that attack and damage normal cells. Free radicals have been shown to promote the artery plaque build-up of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, cause the airway spasm that leads to asthma attacks, damage the cells of the colon so they become colon cancer cells, and contribute to the joint pain and disability seen in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
This would explain why diets rich in vitamin C have been shown to be useful for preventing or reducing the severity of all of these conditions. In addition, vitamin C is vital for the proper function of the immune system, making it a nutrient to turn to for the prevention of recurrent ear infections, colds, and flu.
2. Vitamin Powerhouse
Pineapples are cholesterol-free and fat-free. One cup of cubed pineapple contains 80 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein. This serving of nutrient-rich fruit also provides you with 40 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, 10 percent of your thiamine needs, 8 percent of your vitamin B-6 requirement, 6 percent of the daily value for magnesium, and 4 percent of the recommendations for riboflavin, folate, niacin and iron.
3. Cancer Prevention
In addition to the antioxidant potential of vitamin C in the battle against cancer, pineapples are also rich in various other antioxidants, including vitamin A, beta carotene, bromelain, various flavonoid compounds, and high levels of manganese, which is an important co-factor of superoxide dismutase, an extremely potent free radical scavenger that has been associated with a number of different cancers. Pineapple has directly been related to preventing cancers of the mouth, throat, and breast.
Antioxidant-rich diets have been shown to improve fertility. Because free radicals also can damage the reproductive system, foods with high antioxidant activity like pineapples that battle free radicals are recommended for those trying to conceive. The antioxidants in pineapple such as vitamins C, beta-carotene and the vitamins and minerals and copper, zinc and folate have properties that affect both male and female fertility.
5. Blood Pressure
Pineapples are a valuable source of many minerals, and potassium is among them. This is one of the most important minerals in our body, and potassium deficiency can result in a wide array of health hazards. One of the most important functions of potassium is as a vasodilator, meaning that it eases the tension and stress of the blood vessels and promotes blood circulation to various parts of the body.
When your blood vessels relax, your blood pressure is reduced and the flow of blood is less restricted. This can prevent clots from blocking the flow of blood and reduces the accumulation of plaque in the arteries and vessels. This helps people prevent conditions like atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. So eat your pineapples for a healthy heart.
6. Helps Your Skin Look Younger
This fruit gives the collagen synthesis in your body a boost. The higher the collagen synthesis is, the firmer and flexible your skin will be. Plus, the added nourishment comes from the presence of amino acids and Vitamin C, which ensures that the damaged cells and tissues are repaired quickly.
Apply freshly prepared pineapple juice on the face, leaving aside the eye region. Wash off using tepid water after 10 minutes.
7. Blood Clot Reduction
Flores noted that because of their bromelain levels, pineapples can help reduce excessive coagulation of the blood. This makes pineapple a good snack for frequent fliers and others at risk for blood clots.
8. Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is a condition in which adults lose their vision, making difficult for them to read and recognize things properly. Beta-carotene present in pineapples empowers vision and should be consumed regularly for eye health.
9. Bone Strength
Pineapple may help you keep standing tall and strong. The fruit contains nearly 75 percent of the daily-recommended value of the mineral manganese, which is essential in developing strong bones and connective tissue, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. One 1994 study suggested that manganese, along with other trace minerals, may be helpful in preventing osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.
10. Natural Cure for Chapped Lips
Pineapple, when used along with coconut oil, offers relief from chapped lips. Pineapple as well as coconut oil possesses skin hydrating and nourishing properties. Heal your chapped lips, soften them, and gift them with that ever nourished glow with a pineapple and coconut oil mixture.
11. Digestive Benefits of Pineapple
Like most fruits, pineapples are a rich source of fiber, but they are special in that they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. This means that eating a healthy amount of pineapples can protect you from a vast amount of health conditions, including constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, atherosclerosis and blood clotting, as well as blood pressure.
Fiber can bulk up stool, which promotes the passage of food through the digestive tract at a normal rate, and also stimulates the release of gastric and digestive juices to help food dissolve. Furthermore, it bulks up loose stool, which helps with diarrhea and IBS. Fiber also strips the blood vessels clean of excess cholesterol and eliminates it from the body, thereby boosting cardiovascular health.
12. Relieves Nausea
A key benefit from pineapple juice intake is that it averts nausea or morning sickness. This is quite useful for pregnant women who usually experience nausea. It also helps people who are looking to go on airplane trips that usually cause motion sickness.
13. Prevents Hair Loss
Vitamin C is an important element that aids in preventing hair loss. It is a powerful antioxidant that combats the free radical damages. Pineapple is a rich source of this water soluble vitamin. Eat them as wedges or just juice them fresh and drink it to reap the benefits of Vitamin C and prevent hair loss.
The health benefits of pineapple are clear from the impressive list of qualities that you just read, but there is always something about foods that should be cautioned against, and pineapples are no exception.
The bromelain in pineapples is primarily a meat-tenderizing enzyme, which is why it is so helpful in the digestion of tough foods. This can result in the softening or tenderness of your “meat” as well, meaning that your lips, gums, and tongue might experience some tenderness or sensitivity if you eat too much pineapple.
Bromelain is a powerful chemical, as is vitamin C, if taken in excess. Both of these are in high proportions in pineapple, and an “overdose” can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and nausea. Also, bromelain has been known to stimulate menstruation, so pregnant women should avoid excessive pineapple, as the high levels of bromelain can actually lead to a miscarriage in rare cases.