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12 Nutritional and Health Benefits of Pineapple

Have you ever thought why pineapple is known as pineapple? It’s because of their resemblance to pine cones, which are the reproductive organs of conifer trees. Ananas is another word, commonly used for it and this word is derived from the Topi word ‘nanas’, meaning “excellent fruit”. They grow on the central stalk of a large plant (5- 8 Feet tall) with sword- like, tough and waxy leaves. This fruit is actually a compact fruit, made up of many individual berries or fruitlets that fuse together around a central core. Each scale of this fruit is an individual fruitlet. One can enjoy this extravagant fruit as raw as in fruit salad, dried or juice etc. It’s juicy flesh has a mix of sweet and tart taste.

Pineapples are tropical fruit that are rich in vitamin C and manganese especially. Also, they are rich in various enzymes required for different functions and digestion and antioxidants. They have lots of health benefits including aid in digestion, boosting the immune system and many more. Let’s take a look on the nutritional value and various health benefits of this excellent fruit.

Nutritional Value of Pineapple

This delicious fruit is a storehouse of several nutrients such as bromelain, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers. It is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A (Beta- carotene), Vitamin B6, Folate, Thiamine etc. Pineapples are low in calories and are rich in minerals such as manganese, copper, potassium, magnesium, sodium etc. They also contain antioxidants which give protection from ageing and cancer. One cup of pineapple chunks provide almost 130% of daily recommended value of Vitamin C and 75% of daily recommended value of manganese.

12 Health Benefits of Pineapple

Pineapples have several health benefits because of the various nutrients present in it. They help in digestion, boosts the immunity, maintains overall health, heart health and also provides protection from cancer because of antioxidants. One should include this delicious fruit in snacks or diet to take various health benefits. Let’s see the health benefits of Ananas or pineapples.

1. Helps in Digestion

Pineapples are rich in a group of digestive enzymes called Bromelain. Bromelain is a mixture of proteolytic or protein digesting enzymes. These enzymes help in digestion of protein in the body. Bromelain helps in breakdown of complex proteins into small ones and amino acids which can be easily absorbed in the gut. Its protein digesting action also helps in wound healing. Bromelain extract is also used commercially as meat tenderizer because of its ability to breakdown complex meat proteins. Also, bromelain extract aid in digestion especially in those who have pancreatic insufficiency.

Pineapples are also rich in dietary fibers. The dietary fibers help in the digestion. They promote regular bowel movements and helps in smooth digestion. Dietary fibers slow down the rate of sugar absorption into the blood. Also, they help in absorbing excess water. Dietary fiber content also help in reducing the risk of colon cancer by improving digestion mechanism. The high fiber content helps in both the constipation and diarrhoea.

2. Boosts the Immune System

Pineapples contain lots of vitamins, minerals and bromelain, which all together boosts the immune system and helps in fighting infections. By boosting the immune system, they also reduce the risk of viral, bacterial and fungal infections. Vitamin C present in it raises the immunity and also reduces the severity of cold. As they are also great source of folic acid, riboflavin, thiamine, manganese etc, these all are essential for good immunity. Pineapples also have anti- inflammatory effects.

3. Keep the Bones, Nerves and Muscles Healthy

Ananas are rich source of various minerals such as manganese, copper, potassium, magnesium, sodium. These minerals also help to build and maintain bone health. Potassium has an important role in nerve stimulation and function. These micronutrients also supports the muscle growth.

4. Maintains the Integrity of Skin and Organs

As they are good source of vitamin C, they help in increasing the collagen production in the body. This collagen helps in reducing the wrinkles of the skin. The beta- carotene content protects the skin from ultra- violet rays (sun rays). Pineapples also contain antioxidants, which reduce and neutralize the free radicals. Therefore, it improves the skin condition and delay the ageing. So the skin remains soft and smooth. By maintaining the collagen metabolism they help in maintaining the integrity of skin and organs.

5. Protects from Age- Related Macular Degeneration

Pineapples are rich source of vitamin A, so they have beneficial effects for eyes and eyesight. The body converts the beta- carotene present in it into vitamin A. Vitamin A protects the cornea and allows to see under low light conditions. It sharpens the vision, especially in dim light. It also helps to prevent age- related degenerative damage to the eyes and age related macular degeneration. Antioxidants are also present in it and they help to prevent cataract. Therefore, it must be included in diet for good eyesight.

6. Helps to Protect from Cancer

As pineapples contain vitamin A, C as well as antioxidants, and dietary fibers, they help in reducing the risk of various types of cancer such as- prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer etc. The antioxidants protect the body from free radicals, which can induce cancer. So, one should add Ananas to the diet to reduce the risk of cancer.

7. Takes Care of Heart Health

Pineapples help in regulating the blood pressure and ultimately the heart health. The vitamin C, fiber and potassium contents of it are beneficial for heart. Potassium content lowers blood pressure, reduces risk of stroke, preserves bone mineral density and also maintains muscle mass. Vasodilating action of potassium eases tension and stress in blood vessels and increases the blood flow to organs. The fiber content lowers the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

8. Reduces Inflammation

Bromelain has anti- inflammatory action. It reduces swelling and inflammation especially after surgery or injury. Bromelain causes the body to produce various substances which help in reducing inflammation and swelling. Bromelain is helpful in relieving ulcerative colitis, arthritis etc. It also contain chemicals which slow down the clotting.

9. Enhances Healing

As pineapples are rich source of vitamin C, they help in collagen production and regulates collagen metabolism. Also, the bromelain reduces inflammation. Thereby, pineapples help in enhancing healing especially after surgery. So, one can include pineapples to their diet after surgery and get well soon.

10. Improves fertility

Pineapples are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, C, folate, copper etc all play an important role in improving male as well as female fertility. Antioxidants scavenges the free radicals and helps in improving fertility. It promotes fertility in the women of child bearing age group. Vitamin A is present in pineapples, which is essential during pregnancy and lactation for hormone synthesis. It also reduces the postmenopausal signs such as hot flashes, headache and joint pain.  So, one should add Ananas to their diet to boost their sexual health.

11. Improves Oral and Dental Health

As pineapples are rich source of vitamin C, A, folate and dietary fibers, they improve oral and dental health. Vitamin C provides protection from scurvy disease by maintaining collagen metabolism. Also, these vitamins helps in maintaining integrity of the oral mucosa. Dietary fibers help in removal of food debris and cleans the teeth. They neutralizes the acid produced by bacteria in the mouth. They also increase the production of saliva. The texture of the dietary fibers acts as a natural abrasive and gently scrub the teeth and cleans them. Their crunchiness helps in removal of plaque, cleans the teeth and thereby prevents dental diseases. So they help in preventing diseases related to teeth and gum. One can include this delicious fruit in snacks and can maintain healthy teeth.

12. Controls Diabetes

Pineapples helps to control diabetes as it is rich in dietary fibers. It contains various compounds which have blood- sugar lowering (hypoglycaemic) effects. They also help in absorption of glucose into the tissue and balance the blood glucose levels. So, they can be used in diabetes patients.

Risks of pineapple

As pineapples are rich in Bromelain, which is known to stimulate menstruation. So, in pregnancy excess bromelain may cause miscarriage. They should not be used in excess in pregnancy. Sensitivity or tenderness may develop in lips, tongue, gums due to high bromelain present in pineapples. Although pineapples are very healthy fruits but excess use of it is not recommended. They may cause problems related to kidney, heart and digestion eg heartburn.

Pineapples are delicious fruits and are rich source of bromelain, various vitamins such as Vitamin C, A, folate, thiamine, minerals such as manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium etc and antioxidants. So, they have lots of health benefits related to digestive system, heart, bones, muscles and overall health. Their excess consumption is not recommended especially because of their bromelain content which may be harmful in pregnancy and may cause sensitivity in the oral cavity. Excess consumption may also cause problems related to heart, kidney etc. So, everyone should include pineapples to their diet in limited quantities to get all the health benefits as well as preventing the disadvantages.

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