By: Chidera Anushiem
Pineapples are probably one of the best fruits for you. They are greatly beneficial when you talk about your health. What’s more? Pineapples are packed with a lot of mind-blowing benefits, which you are probably unaware of. As we shall see later, this fantastic group of fruits are essential to healthy living — from the heart to the bones to the eyes, pineapples are fantastic. But for now, let us take a brief look at a few other things about pineapples. Shall we?
Pineapples, also known as ananas, are classified in the Bromeliad family, and of the many bromeliads, they are one of very few that produce edible fruit. They contain bromelain (an enzyme), which is of extreme importance to your nutritional health.The word ‘pineapple’ was obtained from the Spanish word ‘pina’. Its first usage appeared as far back as 1398 when it was used to refer to a pinecone. However, about 3 centuries later, when the word ‘pinecone’ was introduced, ‘pineapple’ came to be used exclusively for the fruit. Pineapples were discovered by colonial Europeans in 1493 on the Guadalupe islands in present-day Mexico. What’s more? Pineapple canneries apply all pineapple parts for production, specifically for animal food, alcohol, and animal food.
What are the benefits of eating pineapples?
Apart from the health benefits you could derive from eating pineapples, pineapples are laden with a few nutritional benefits. When you take a 165g cup serving of pineapple, you stand to gain the following:82 calories of energy (and 131 calories for canned pineapples) 2mg of sodium content 120mg of potassium Carbohydrate 15g Dietary fiber 2g Protein Vitamins A and C Calcium, iron, etc. Health benefits Skeletal Support Pineapples contain about 75% of the daily recommended value of manganese, which can be very instrumental in keeping you standing tall and strong. Manganese is important in developing strong bones, connective tissues, and a generally strong skeletal framework, according to a research carried out by the Linus Pauling Institute, which implies that you could trust pineapples to keep your bones strong and healthy. In addition to that, post-menopausal women can rely on pineapples. This is because according to a 1994 study, manganese, along with some other minor minerals, is helpful for preventing osteoporosis. So, dear friend, take pineapples and stay strong! *Winks*.
Just like many other members of the fruits family, pineapple is very rich in dietary fiber, which is highly powerful in treating many digestive conditions. This fruit fiber fosters the passage of food through the alimentary canal and also stimulates the secretion of digestive juices. Furthermore, regular feasting on pineapples can shield you from conditions including constipation, diarrhea, and sometimes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) by bulking up loose stool, which can be chiefly carried out by the fruit fiber.In addition, pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme which promotes protein digestion and lowers digestive tract inflammation.
Treats Cough and Cold
Bromelain and Vitamin C, two organic components of pineapples, help in both the prevention and the cure of certain respiratory ailments. Perhaps you already contracted an infection; these two compounds can also help you remove phlegm and mucus from your respiratory tract and sinus cavities.
Boosts Dental Health
Pineapples are packed with antioxidants that can protect against oral cancer. But that’s not all. Pineapples also have astringent tendencies, which help to strengthen gums and teeth, according to researchers at the Oregon State University. You may be thinking: what are astringent agents? Well, they are substances that help tighten up tissues, which in turn make sure that tooth loss, hair loss, and skin loosening do not occur. Hence, pineapples are astringent and help to fix teeth loosening and unnecessary tooth loss.
Improves overall Circulatory Health
Pineapple is a rich source of potassium, a very vital nutrient in our bodies. Potassium has a miraculous vasodilating action which helps to ease tension and stress in the circulatory vessels and increases circulation all around the body. When our blood vessels are relaxed, blood flow becomes freer and blood pressure nosedives. This prevents blood clots from restricting the flow of blood, which also reduces plaque accumulation in the blood vessels. This, in turn, reduces the chances of conditions such as atherosclerosis, cardiac arrests, and stroke. Besides, pineapples also nourish the body with Copper, another major mineral that speeds up some biochemical reactions in the body. Of great importance is the contribution of copper towards the formation of our red blood cells. High red blood cells mean increased circulation and oxygenation to body organs and keep them functioning optimally. Copper also boosts cognitive abilities and prevents disorders such as Alzheimer’s and acute dementia. So, to keep a healthy heart, eat more pineapples!
Helps to prevent Cancer
Pineapple is greatly effective in the prevention of cancer. The tropical fruit has been directly linked to preventing oral cancers, cancers of the throat and breast because it is greatly packed with antioxidants such as vitamin A, beta-carotene, bromelain, manganese, and flavonoids. Most importantly, manganese is an essential co-factor of the compound superoxide dimutase, which is a highly effective scavenger that has special powers to prevent various forms of cancer.
Catalyzes Wound Healing
We’ve spoken so much about vitamin C, and we probably may not stop yet. Pineapples are rich in vitamin C which can help you heal bruises and other injuries quickly. The powerful vitamin also helps you defend against infections and other ailments. Vitamin C is seen as a healing vitamin because it is essential in the secretion of collagen, a protein which forms the base of blood vessels, organs, and bones. So when you’ve got a cut, a bruise or whatever form of injury, do well to complement your dosage regimen with pineapples!
And here we are with vitamin C again. Pineapples are one of the richest sources of vitamin C, which makes it high in ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid helps in reducing illnesses and strengthens the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells, and it does this fantastic job by acting as an antioxidant to guard against the devastating effects of free radicals. As you should know, white blood cells are the primary defense mechanism of our bodies when it comes to prevention of diseases; which means that more pineapples mean more ascorbic acid which translates to better cushioning against diseases.
Pineapples, with their exotic flavor, can serve as an elixir for your skin if duly applied. Do you mind if I told you that those stubborn pimples you probably respect fret at the presence of vitamin C? Oh well, vitamin C helps to keep the skin tart, which in turn enables the fruit to be used as a cure for acne and other related inflammatory skin conditions. So, when next acne rears its ugly head on your face, give it the hard kick it deserves with pineapples.
Health Risks Of Pineapples
Shocked to see that? Oh well, yes. Pineapples, for all their benefits, have side effects too! These side effects stem majorly from the humongous amounts of bromelain and vitamin C we’ve spoken of all along. Some of the health risks of pineapples include:
Headaches and migraine
Apart from the forenamed effects, bromelain has been discovered to stimulate menstruation among women, which is why pregnant women must take extra care to ensure that pineapples aren’t taken in excess so as to knock out any chances of a miscarriage.
We’ve spoken about the benefits and health concerns of these little spiky tropical fruits, so take that in mind and enjoy every bite of pineapples. Your body will always thank you for it!