Whether to be added on a pizza or not, this tropical fruit offers much more than just a sweet taste. While containing up to 85% water, it is undeniable that pineapple provides hydration against the scorching heat but also is filled with Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Native to South America and introduced to the rest of the world by Europeans later in the 16th century, pineapple is called the fruit of labour. It is so because its plant can take up to 3 years to grow and mature, making it one of the most difficult fruits to harvest.
Classified as multiple fruits, pineapple belongs to the diverse bromeliad family (Bromeliaceae). Though a symbol of luxury in 17th century Europe, the fruit later was harvested domestically and has gradually become a fruit readily available to all.
This article will explore the nutritional benefits and side effects of Pineapple.
Nutritional Value of Pineapple
The Nutritional Profile of 100 grams of Pineapple:
Calories- 46Protein- 0.4 gramCarbohydrates- 10.8 gramsFats- 0.1 gramFibre- 2.8 grams
Pineapple is an excellent source of Vitamin C. A serving (100 grams) of the fruit contains 47.8 mg of Vitamin C which boosts your immunity. It also is known for improving various cellular functions. Pineapple also has a considerable amount of Vitamins A, B6, E, and K that help growth and development in the body against infections and regulate blood calcium levels.
The fruit is superbly rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and phenolic acids that help fight inflammation. It contains bromelain, an enzyme mixture that is used to treat osteoporosis, great for relieving sinusitis and improving digestion.
There are also significant quantities of manganese present in raw pineapple, which is vital for bone health, healing wounds and processing cholesterol, carbohydrates and protein in the body.
8 Proven Health Benefits of Pineapple
Pineapple has varied health benefits other than being an exotic food. The nutritional value of pineapple is what provides unique long and short term health benefits.
1. Supports Weight Loss
Pineapple is a powerhouse of nutrients that aids weight loss. It is low in calories and high in fibre. It contains soluble and insoluble fibre that helps in the digestion process.
The fruit contains bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme that helps in increasing metabolic rate and also helps to break down protein. Along with these, the high water content in pineapple keeps individuals satiated, hydrated and thus promotes weight loss.
2. Strengthen Bones
An excellent source of manganese, pineapple is a fruit that empowers bone health. An evidence-based human study confirms the fact that manganese synthesizes cartilage and bone collagen.
It is also essential for the body to maintain bone density. The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for manganese is 1.8–2.3 mg per day and a cup of pineapple chunks provides 2.6 mg of manganese. Considering it fulfils the daily requirement, eating pineapple will contribute to an individual’s bone mineralization.
3. Lowers the Risk of Cataract
Antioxidants are radicals that fight the free radicals present in our body and Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that prevents cell damage.
Pineapple contains a significant amount of Vitamin C that wards off eye damage and cataract formation in the ocular lens.
A study by Taiwanese Researchers was published in The Journal of American Science that discusses the regular consumption of pineapple in association with the reduction of eye floaters.
4. Natural Skin Rejuvenation
Pineapple contains AHAs, ascorbic acids and bromelain that act as a natural exfoliant, help in minimizing dark spots and reduce skin inflammation (redness, swelling and irritation).
Pineapple can be called a holy grail for skincare enthusiasts, as its juice is also a great source of antioxidants that slow down the anti-ageing process. Vitamin C and beta carotene reduce fine lines and wrinkles, offering a radiant, youthful glow.
5. Replenishes Energy
Among many other benefits, Pineapple helps fight fatigue and weakness. Its juice can be consumed as a natural energizer. The Vitamin C present in pineapple stimulates norepinephrine in your brain that transfers signals to your body and can improve energy and attentiveness. Pineapple also contains manganese, copper, and vitamins B6 which are responsible for energy production.
6. Minimizes Blood Clot
Bromelain present in pineapple influences blood coagulation. It reduces the formation of blood clots, dissolves existing blood clots and helps prevent serious diseases relating to sudden seizures or strokes.
Regular consumption of pineapple can facilitate long-term health benefits and prevention from serious possible threats.
7. Regulates Blood Pressure
The significant presence of potassium in pineapple is ideal to help lower blood pressure levels.
1 cup (100 grams) serving of pineapple contains 109 mg of potassium which controls high blood pressure. The fruit also has a minimum content of sodium, which is great for patients diagnosed with hypertension.
8. Aids Muscle Growth
This versatile fruit is a favourite among gym-goers as it tends to be packed with nutrients and vitamins in the perfect amount.
The enzyme bromelain also is great for relieving muscle soreness and inflammation.
Is Pineapple a great post-workout snack?
Yes, this delicious fruit is a suitable post-workout snack because a cup of raw pineapple slices contains 19.5 grams of carbohydrate that is similar to a slice of whole wheat bread, minus the gluten. The tons of antioxidants present in pineapple plays an integral role in accelerating tissue healing. It also reduces oxidative stress and helps with post-workout recovery.
Pineapple is also a fibre-rich fruit that reduces cholesterol levels in the bloodstream that can induce heart attack or any cardiovascular disease. Fibre also boosts metabolism and eases the process of burning calories.
Fresh pineapple contains Vitamin B6 that promotes the formation of red blood cells in the body. A higher quantity of red blood cells is directly proportional to an increase in the oxygen level in the blood and better functioning of organs.
Bromelain is another enzyme that is present in pineapple that is responsible for a lot of health benefits. For post-workout nutrition, as pineapple is anti-inflammatory it can help reduce pain in case of an injury.
Side Effects of Pineapple
1. Fluctuate Blood Sugar Levels
Though a fruit that has numerous health benefits, excessive consumption of pineapple can heighten blood sugar levels. The high natural sugar content of pineapple can elevate blood sugar levels and can be dangerous for people suffering from chronic diabetes.
2. Bromelain Reaction
The enzyme is highly effective to reduce inflammation, reducing the formation of blood clots etc. However, excessive intake of bromelain can be fatal as it soars the chances of excessive bleeding. The consumption of pineapple should be restricted after surgery as it can cause postoperative bleeding.
3. Drug Interactions
The various vitamins and minerals in pineapple can interfere with various drugs and medications and hinder their process. It can also react with medications and cause lethal damage.
Healthy Pineapple Recipes
Pineapple is a delicious fruit that can provide tremendous health benefits. Here are two lip-smacking recipes with pineapple.
1. Grilled Pineapple Salsa
Fresh pineapple (peeled and diced into small cubes)- 1Extra-virgin olive oil- 1 tbspPeaches (chopped)- 2Jalapeño (minced)- 1Red onion (chopped into small pieces)- 1/2Lime juice- 1 tbspKosher salt- Per TasteFreshly chopped cilantro- 2 tbsp
Preheat the grill or the grill pan and place it on medium-high heat.Brush the whole pineapple with olive oil and grill it until charred on both sides.Next, set aside to cool and then chop into bite-sized pieces.In a medium mixing bowl, mix the pineapple, peaches, jalapeños, onions and add lime juice. Season with salt and garnish with cilantro.Serve cold for hot summers
2. Pineapple-Ginger Smoothie
Fresh pineapple (cut into 1-inch pieces)- 1 cupFresh ginger (peeled and minced)- 1 inch Low-fat plain yoghurt- ½ cupFresh pineapple juice- 1 cupGround cinnamon- ⅛ tspCup ice- ½ cup
Take a large blending JarPut all the ingredients (pineapple, ginger, yoghurt, pineapple juice, cinnamon, and ice) in the jar. Blend until smooth. Pour in a glass or a mason Jar and sprinkle some cinnamon powder at the top.
Pineapples are one of the many great summer fruits and an amazing standalone snack. Whether you cut into ring-shaped slices, grill it, blend it to make a smoothie or simply take it along the day as pineapple-infused water, all are great options. However, do consult your nutritionist before including it in your diet plan or a post-workout snack.
Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is it good to eat pineapple every day?
A. Eating a few slices of pineapple every day can be healthy. However, it is not recommended for diabetic people to eat pineapple daily.
2. What does pineapple do for a woman?
A. The vitamin C and manganese present in pineapple can help with increasing bone density and reduce the chances of osteoporosis. The various vitamins and minerals in pineapple also are great during pregnancy.
3. Does pineapple burn fat?
A. Pineapple helps lose weight. They are rich in fibre that improves metabolism and burns calories. The bromelain also helps in breaking down protein and aids digestion.
4. What is the best time to eat pineapple?
A. You can have pineapple as a post-workout snack or between meals. Pineapple juice is a summer favourite as it is hydrating and consumed in the afternoon to beat the heat.
5. Can pineapple be eaten at night?
A. Yes, you can have pineapples at night. They are high in melatonin and help you fall asleep.
6. Is pineapple good for your lungs?
A. The high bromelain content in pineapple can help with respiratory problems, breaks down lung mucus in tuberculosis and is even great for relieving asthma.
7. Is pineapple good for skin?
A. Pineapple is a fruit that is a great source of Vitamin C, AHA, Ascorbic Acid which is great for the skin. It also has anti-ageing properties and helps keep your skin radiant.
8. Is pineapple a detox?
A. Yes, people use pineapple infused water as a detox drink. Pineapple has a significant amount of antioxidants that can stimulate the body’s natural detoxification.
9. Is pineapple good for joint pain?
A. Bromelain is an effective pain reliever. It is anti-inflammatory and reduces joint pain, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis etc. So, consuming pineapple can be beneficial for reducing joint pain.
10. Who should not drink pineapple juice?
A. People with gastroesophageal reflux and kidney problems should refrain from consuming pineapple juice. Excessive consumption of pineapple juice can also be damaging for people with diabetes.
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