Health Benefits of Pineapple
Of all the vitamins and minerals in pineapple, vitamin C beats them all with 131 percent of the daily value. Vitamin C has a reputation for suppressing coughs, colds, and flu symptoms for a reason. A natural antioxidant, vitamin C is also needed for synthesizing collagen, which is the main structural protein in the body for healthy blood vessels, organs, skin, and tissue support, heavy metal absorption, and bone strength.
Most of the nutrients aren't greatly diminished between fresh and canned pineapple, except for vitamin C, which is reduced from 131 percent of the daily value to 32 percent in canned. One cup of fresh pineapple chunks equals around 165 grams, while the same amount of canned pineapple contains 246 grams.
Pineapples provide three-quarters of the manganese needed for one day in a singleserving, letting loose powerful free radical scavenging through the super healthy enzyme superoxide dismutase. What's more, they come with folates, thiamin, biotin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and minerals like copper and potassium, the latter of which offers what's needed for healthy cell and body fluid maintenance, heart rate regulation, and blood pressure. Vitamin A and beta-carotenes provide additional antioxidants for immune system support and eyesight protection.
An enzyme called bromelain is able to break protein down into simpler substances to provide phytonutrients such as amino acids and peptides needed for digestion. Research indicates that because of the bromelain, wheneating pineapples, , it discourages arthritis inflammation, indigestion, clotting, bruising, and harmful bacteria - even cancer and parasites.
However, consume pineapples in moderation because they contain fructose, which may be harmful to your health in excessive amounts.
• The Bromelain enzyme is generally found in the stem or core of a pineapple and helps to digest food by breaking down the protein particles within it. Promoting a healthy digestive system, it’s great for a natural detox and has also been known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties.
• Pineapple is low in calories, sodium, saturated fats and cholesterol while being a rich source of fibre, so it’s the perfect weight loss food – have a look at our healthy pineapple recipes for some tasty and nutritious snack ideas.
• An excellent source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants essential for collagen synthesis, Vitamin C also helps to maintain the integrity of your blood vessels, skin, organs and bones.
• Increasing your daily intake of antioxidants is also great for boosting your immune system, which means you’ll be able to fight off colds and flus during winter.
• Pineapple is also known for its high level of manganese. The Manganese mineral is an essential element for energy production, while protecting your cells from free radicals. It helps your body use key nutrients including thiamine and biotin, keeps your bones healthy and helps synthesise fatty foods.
• Pineapple is also a rich source in Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene, which helps your immune system, eyesight and protects from free radicals; Vitamins B1 and B6 which are good for energy production and the breakdown of sugars and starches in your digestive system; copper, which helps red blood cell synthesis; and potassium, which assists in controlling the heart rate and blood pressure.
Potential Anti-Inflammatory and Digestive Benefits
Bromelain is a complex mixture of substances that can be extracted from the stem and core fruit of the pineapple. Among dozens of components known to exist in this crude extract, the best studied components are a group of protein-digesting enzymes (called cysteine proteinases). Originally, researchers believed that these enzymes provided the key health benefits found in bromelain, a popular dietary supplement containing these pineapple extracts. In addition, researchers believed that these benefits were primarily limited to help with digestion in the intestinal tract. However, further studies have shown that bromelain has a wide variety of health benefits, and that many of these benefits may not be related to the different enzymes found in this extract. Excessive inflammation, excessive coagulation of the blood, and certain types of tumor growth may all be reduced by therapeutic doses of bromelain when taken as a dietary supplement. Studies are not available, however, to show these same potential benefits in relationship to normal intake ofpineapple within a normal meal plan.
Bromelain extracts can be obtained from both the fruit core and stems of pineapple. Potentially important chemical differences appear to exist between extracts obtained from the stem versus the core fruit. However, the practical relevance of these differences is not presently understood. Most of the laboratory research on bromelain has been conducted using stem-based extracts, however.
Although healthcare practitioners have reported improved digestion in their patients with an increase in pineapple as their "fruit of choice" within a meal plan, we haven't seen published studies that document specific changes in digestion following consumption of the fruit (versus supplementation with the purified extract. However, we suspect that the core fruit will eventually turn out to show some unique health-supportive properties, including possible digestion-related and anti-inflammatory benefits.
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 cancercells, 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.