The Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical plant with an edible fruit and most economically significant plant in the family Bromeliaceae. The pineapple is indigenous to South America, where it has been cultivated for many centuries. The introduction of the pineapple cultivation to Europe in the 17th century made it a significant cultural icon of luxury. Since the 1820s, pineapple has been commercially grown in greenhouses and many tropical plantations. Further, it is the third most important tropical fruit in the world production. In the 20th century, Hawaii was a dominant producer of pineapples, especially for the US; however, by 2016, Costa Rica, Brazil, And the Philippines accounted for nearly one-third of the world’s production of pineapples.
This popular fruit is packed with nutrients, antioxidants and other helpful compounds, such as enzymes that can fight inflammation and disease.
Pineapple and its compounds have been linked to many health benefits, including aiding digestion, boosting immunity and speeding up recovery from surgery, among others.
☆ IMPRESSIVE HEALTH BENEFITS OF PINEAPPLE
■ Loaded With Nutrients
One cup (5.8 ounces or 165 grams) of pineapple chunck contains the following:
● Calories: 82.5
● Fat: 1.7 grams
● Protein: 1 gram
● Carbs: 21.6 grams
● Fiber: 2.3 grams
● Vitamin C: 131% of the RDI
● Manganese: 76% of the RDI
● Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDI
● Copper: 9% of the RDI
● Thiamin: 9% of the RDI
● Folate: 7% of the RDI
● Potassium: 5% of the RDI
● Magnesium: 5% of the RDI
● Niacin: 4% of the RDI
● Pantothenic acid: 4% of the RDI
● Riboflavin: 3% of the RDI
● iron: 3% of the RDI
■ They are especially rich in vitamin C and manganese, providing 131% and 76% of the daily recommendations, respectively.
■ Vitamin C is essential for growth and development, a healthy immune system and aiding the absorption of iron from the diet. Meanwhile, manganese is a naturally occurring mineral that aids growth, maintain a healthy metabolism and has antioxidant properties.
■ Contains Disease-Fighting Antioxidants
● Not only are pineapple rich in nutrients, they are also loaded with healthy antioxidants.
● Antioxidants are molecules that help your body combat oxidative strees.
● Oxidative stress is a state in which there are too many free radicals in the body. These free radicals interacts with the body’s cells and cause damage that is linked to chronic inflammation, a weakened immune system and many harmful diseases.
● Pineapples are especially rich in antioxidants known as flavonoid and phenolic acid.
● Many of the antioxidants in pineapples are bound. This allows the antioxidant to survive harsher conditions in the body and produce longer lasting effect.
■ Its Enzymes Can Ease Digestion
● Pineapples contains a group of digestive enzymes known as bromelain.
● They function as proteases, which break down protein molecules into their building blocks, such as amino acids and small peptides.
● Once protein molecules are broken down, they are more easily absorbed acrossed the small intestines. This can be especially helpful for people with pancreatic insufficiency, a condition in which the pancreas cannot make enough digestive enzymes.
● One study showed that participants with pancreatic insufficiency experienced better digestion after taking a digestive enzyme supplement containing bromelain, compared to taking the same digestive enzyme supplement without bromelai
● Bromelain is also widely used as a commercial meat tenderizer due to its ability to break down tough meat proteins.
■ May Help Reduce The Risk of Cancer
● Cnacer is a chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. Its progression is commonly linked to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
● one of these compounds is the group of difestive enzymes called bromelain. Test-tube studies have shown that bromelain may also help fight cancer.
● Two test-tube studies show that bromelain suppressed the growth of breast cancer cells and stimulated cell death.
● Other test-tube studies show that bromelain suppresses cancer in the skin, bile, duct, gastric system and colon, among other areas.
● Test-tube and animal studies have found that bromelain may stimulate the immune system to produce molecules that make white blood cells more effective at suppressing cancer growth and eliminating cancer cells.
■ May Boost Immunity and Suppress Inflammation
● Pineapples have been part of traditional medicine for centuries.
● They contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and enzymes like bromelain that may collectively boost immunity and suppress inflammation.
● One nine-week study fed 98 healthy children either no pineapple, some pineapple (140g) or lots of pineapple (280g) daily to see if its boosted their immunity.
● Children who ate pineapples had a significantly lower risk of both viral and bacterial infections. Also, children who ate the most pineapple had close to four times more disease-fighting white blood cells (granulocytes) than the other two groups.
● Another study found that children with a sinus infection recovered significantly faster while taking a bromelain supplement, compared to a standard treatment or combination of the two.
● Studies have shown that bromelain can reduce markers of inflammation.
● It’s believed that these anti-inflammatory properties aid the immune system.
■ May Ease Symptoms of Arthritis
● Arthritis affects over 54 million adults in the US alone.
● There are many types of arthritis, but most of them involve inflammation in the joints.
● Since pineapples contain bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties, it’s commonly thought that they may provide pain relief for those with inflammatory arthritis.
● in fact, research from as early as the 1960s shows that bromelain was used to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, a type of arthritis that involves inflammation of the joints.
● Several recent studies have looked into the effectiveness of bromelain for treating arthritis.
● One study in patients with osteoarthritis found that taking a digestive enzymes supplement containing bromelain helped relieved pain as effectively as common common arthritis medicine like diclofenac.
● Furthermore, one review analyzed bromelain’s ability to treat osteoarthritis. It concluded that bromelain has a potential to relieved arthritis symptom, especially in the sort term.
● However, it’s not clear if bromelain can be a long-term treatment for arthritis symptoms. Longer studies are needed before recommending bromelain to relieve arthritis symptoms.
■ May Speed Recovery After Surgery or Strenuous Exercise
● Eating pineapples may reduce the time it takes to recover from surgery or exercise.
● This is largely due to the anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain.
● Several studies have shown that bromelain may reduce the inflammation, swelling, bruising, and pain that often occurs after surgery. It also seems to reduce markers of inflammation.
● One study showed that those who consumed bromelain before a dental surgery had significantly reduced pain and felt happier than people who did not. In fact, it appeared to provide a similar amount of relief as common anti-inflammatory medicines.
● Strenuous exercise can also damage muscle tissue and cause surrounding inflammation. Affected muscles cannot produce as much force and are sore for up to three days.
● Proteases like bromelain are believed to speed up the recovery of damage caused by strenuous exercise by reducing inflammation around the damaged muscle tissue.
● One study tested this theory by providing participants a digestive enzyme supplement that contained bromelain after 45 minutes of strenuous exercise on the treadmill. Those who took the supplement had less inflammation and maintained more strength afterward.
● Several other studies have shown that bromelain can speed up recovery from damage caused by exercise.
■ Strengthen your Bones
● In addition to containing loads of vitamin C, pineapples also have plenty of manganese which strengthens bones and connecting tissues.
● One study also suggests that manganese helps preventing osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.
● One cup of fresh pineapple juice contains over 70% ofnthe required daily dose of manganese. Kids, adults and elderly people should eat a few chuncks of pineapple a day to keep their bodies strong.
■ A Great Remedy For Sinuses and Allergy Swellings.
● Again, it’s all about vitamin C and bromelain which helps to reduce mucus in the throat and nose.
● Exposed to seasonal allergies incorporate pineapples to your diet, along with some extra bromelain supplements to ease up your condition.
■ Reduce Stress & Keep Your Eyes Healthy
● Pineapples contain a good level of several B vitamins which propel your brain to function better and boost your ability to deal with stress efficiently.
● Due to high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C, pineapple reduces the risk of macular degeneration-an eye disease, causing vision lose. Elder people are particularly exposed to it.
● Also, it contains a lot of beta carotene – an essential element needed for healthy vision that should be consumed regularly.
■ The Bottom Line
● Pineapples are delicious, low in calories and loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.
● Their nutrients and compounds have been linked to impressive health benefits, including improved digestion, a lower risk of cancer, improved immunity, relief of arthritis symptoms and improved recovery after surgery and strenuous exercise.
● Pineapples are also incredibly versatile and can be consumed in a variety of ways.
● To experience their health benefits, try incorporating pineapples into your diet.
References: wikipedia / healthline.com